The orchestra's primary concert venue is The Bridgewater Hall. It also presents concerts at the Royal Northern College of Music. In addition, the orchestra gives run-out and residency concerts in various cities in the North of England, including Kingston upon Hull, Sheffield, Leeds, Kendal, Whitby, Keswick, Bradford, Stamford, Crewe, Colne, Stafford and Ulverston. The orchestra appeared annually at the Rasiguères Festival of Music and Wine, held near Perpignan, France, which Moura Lympany established in 1981.
In 1972, Raph Gonley, a music producer at BBC Radio Manchester, founded the orchestra. Gonley ran the Camerata until 1975. Funding for the Camerata after its initial period came from the Greater Manchester Council. The Camerata became an autonomous organisation in 1979.
The Camerata's first principal conductor was Frank Cliff, who served from 1972 to 1977. Subsequent principal conductors have included Szymon Goldberg, Manoug Parikian, Nicholas Braithwaite, and Sachio Fujioka. Braithwaite had also been principal guest conductor of the orchestra from 1977 to 1984. Douglas Boyd was principal conductor of the orchestra from 2001 to 2011. In March 2010, the orchestra announced the appointment of Gábor Takács-Nagy as the orchestra's newest principal conductor, effective September 2011. Nicholas Kraemer serves as the Camerata's permanent guest conductor.
Principal funding for the orchestra comes from the Arts Council England and the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities. The orchestra has encountered financial difficulties during its history, running up a deficit of £120,000 into the early 2000s. In 2002, the orchestra received stabilisation funding of £345,000 from the Arts Council to settle its debts.
Bob Riley is the orchestra's current chief executive.
- Frank Cliff (1972-1977)
- Szymon Goldberg (1977–1980)
- Manoug Parikian (1980-1984)
- Nicholas Braithwaite (1984–1991)
- Sachio Fujioka (1995–2000)
- Douglas Boyd (2001–2011)
- Gabor Takacs-Nagy (2011–present)
- "Dame Moura Lympany (obituary)". Telegraph. 31 March 2005. Retrieved 2009-12-25.
- The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Music, 4th ed. (editor, Michael Kennedy). Oxford University Press (ISBN 0-19-860884-5), p. 452 (2004).
- "Gábor Takács-Nagy for Camerata post" (Press release). Manchester Camerata. 10 March 2010. Retrieved 2010-05-06.
- Rachel Pugh (15 August 2003). "Camerata has something to say". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 2008-07-12.
- Tim Ashley (2006-08-11). "Mozart: Symphonies Nos 40 and 41 Jupiter, Manchester Camerata/ Boyd". The Guardian. Retrieved 2008-01-25.
- Andy Gill (2011-10-28). "Album: Manchester Camerata, Tchaikovsky: Variations On A Rococo Theme; Prokofiev: Symphony No 1 (Avie)". The Independent. Retrieved 2011-10-30.
- Official homepage of the Manchester Camerata
- "Camerata's founder Raph Gonley has died". Manchester Camerata magazine, 5 December 2012