Tonhalle Orchester Zürich

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Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich
Orchestra
TonOrchZürichLogo.png
Official logo
Founded 1868
Location Zürich, Switzerland
Principal conductor David Zinman
Website www.tonhalle.ch

Tonhalle Orchester Zürich is a symphony orchestra founded in 1868 in Zürich Switzerland, where it established its residence in the neue Tonhalle (new concert hall) in 1895.

The Tonhalle Orchestra is conducted by David Zinman who became the music director in 1995 and the orchestra has since come to international attention with a large and growing repertoire of recordings. Zinman's contract was recently extended to 2014. The orchestra of just over 100 musicians now plays all over the world; it has twice performed widely-broadcast BBC Promenade Concerts at Royal Albert Hall. With Zinman, the orchestra has made many recordings, including a cycle of Beethoven and Schumann symphonies and works by Richard Strauss.

Under Friedrich Hegar, its first conductor, it began to have a great influence on music in and around Zürich. His successor, Volkmar Andreae, noted for promoting works of Bruckner, directed the orchestra for forty-three years and gave 1,300 concerts. Rudolf Kempe focused especially on German romantic music. Gerd Albrecht thought of new ways to introduce music to wider audiences, including concerts for children and families and had a considerable role in enhancing the orchestra's role in the musical life of Zürich. The pianist Christoph Eschenbach held his first post as conductor there and, under Zinman, the orchestra is again experimenting with new ways, including a Friday disco night, known as "Tonhalle Late", after concerts designed to attract younger people.

From its very beginning, the orchestra has been conducted by noted composers of the day, including Johannes Brahms, Richard Wagner, Richard Strauss and Paul Hindemith. Under David Zinman, the orchestra is now playing and recording works of Beethoven, Mozart, Schubert, Mahler, Wagner and Schoenberg while also pursuing the "Swiss Connection", featuring works by composers who were connected with Switzerland in one way or another. As well as some of those listed, these include Stravinsky, Rachmaninoff, Frank Martin and less internationally-known composers such as Klaus Huber, Rolf Urs Ringger, Lehmann, Zinsstag and Kelterborn. Regular guest conductors have included Ernest Ansermet, Wilhelm Furtwängler, Otto Klemperer, Georg Solti and, more recently, Bernard Haitink, Mariss Jansons, Frans Brüggen, Mstislav Rostropovich and Herbert Blomstedt.

In 1947, Franz Lehár recorded a number of high fidelity 78-rpm discs of his music with the orchestra for Decca Records. The discs were issued in the U.S. by London Records, initially in the 78-rpm format and then on LPs. Some of the recordings are now available through Naxos Records on CD.

Recently soloists in Zürich under David Zinman's baton have included Yo-Yo Ma, Lynn Harrell, Gustav Rivinius, Heinrich Schiff, Truls Mørk, Alfred Brendel, Krystian Zimerman, Yefim Bronfman, Emanuel Ax, Leif Ove Andsnes, Pinchas Zukerman, Gil Shaham and Christian Tetzlaff as well as some of the orchestra's own principals, several of whom are internationally recognized players in their own right, such as Simon Fuchs (oboe), Florenz Jenny (bassoon), Sabine Morel (flute), Gilad Karni (viola), Michel Rouilly (viola), and Thomas Grossenbacher (cello). The orchestra is international in composition, though it includes many talented Swiss musicians. It is led by Klaidi Sahatçi from Albania and Julia Becker and Andreas Janke from Germany.

In autumn 2009 David Zinman and the Tonhalle-Orchester Zurich recorded an elaborate soundtrack together with composer Diego Baldenweg and music producer Lionel Vincent Baldenweg for a feature film called 180° - AMOK (Source: Werbewoche). This project was honoured with the SUISA prize for "best film music 2010" at the Locarno International Film Festival.

Principal conductors[edit]

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