Philharmonia Zurich

The Zurich Opera Orchestra was created following the division of the venerable Tonhalle and Theatre Orchestra in 1985. In 2012, with the beginning of Andreas Homoki’s directorship and the accession of the new General Music Director Fabio Luisi, the Zurich Opera Orchestra became the Philharmonia Zurich.

Each season, the Orchestra can be heard at about 250 opera and ballet performances given by Zurich Opera House. The Philharmonic Concerts are also organised as a podium for the concert repertoire. Soirées and chamber music matinees complete the Orchestra’s artistic spectrum.
Before Fabio Luisi took over artistic direction of the Orchestra at the beginning of the 2012/13 season, his predecessors had included Franz Welser-Möst (1995–2008, General Music Director from 2005), and most recently Daniele Gatti as Principal Conductor (2009–2012). In 2000/01, the Zurich Opera Orchestra’s consistency and versatility were rewarded with extensive international recognition when it was voted “Orchestra of the Year” in a survey conducted by Opernwelt magazine.

Many renowned conductors, such as Riccardo Chailly, Christoph von Dohnányi, Vladimir Fedoseyev, John Eliot Gardiner, Valery Gergiev, Bernard Haitink, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Heinz Holliger, Zubin Mehta, Ingo Metzmacher, Georges Prêtre, Nello Santi, Ralf Weikert and many others come to Zurich regularly to work with the Orchestra on opera and/or concert performances. The Orchestra can also frequently be heard abroad, including performances at the Musikverein in Vienna, the Alte Oper Frankfurt, London’s Royal Festival Hall, and in Tokyo.

One of the Philharmonia Zurich’s special features is the Orchestra La Scintilla, a period instrument ensemble consisting of musicians from the Philharmonia Zurich that enriches Zurich’s cultural scene with its opera performances on historic instruments. It emerged from the Orchestra’s long-standing collaboration with Nikolaus Harnoncourt. The Orchestra La Scintilla works with conductors like William Christie, Thomas Hengelbrock and Marc Minkowski. Under the direction of Ada Pesch it can be heard regularly in the world’s great concert halls, and performs with renowned soloists such as Cecilia Bartoli, whom it has accompanied on concert tours lasting several weeks.

Throughout the musical spectrum, from baroque to contemporary works, the Philharmonia Zurich consistently proves itself to be a stylistically confident, dedicated orchestra – whether in the pit or on the concert stage.


Fabio Luisi

Fabio Luisi, General Music Director of Zurich Opera House, hails from Genoa. In 2011 he was appointed Principal Conductor of the Metropolitan Opera in New York, after having already acted as Principal Guest Conductor since September 2010. He has been Principal Conductor of the Vienna Symphony Orchestra since 2005 (until 2013).

Fabio Luisi was previously General Music Director of the Staatskapelle Dresden and the Saxon State Opera (2007–2010), Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the MDR Symphony Orchestra Leipzig (1999–2007), Musical Director of the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande (1997–2002), with which he recorded numerous CDs (Poulenc, Respighi, Mahler, Liszt, a recording of all the symphonic works of Arthur Honegger, and with Verdi’s Jérusalem and Alzira two operas), Principal Conductor of the Tonkünstler Orchester Wien (Vienna, 1995–2000), and Artistic Director of the Graz Symphony Orchestra (1990–1996).

Luisi has performed as a guest conductor with the following internationally renowned orchestras: Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Vienna Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Concertgebouw Orchestra, Staatskapelle Berlin, Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, Philharmonia London, NHK Symphony Tokyo, Munich Philharmonic, Santa Cecilia Orchestra, Rome, and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra. He is also a frequent guest at the Vienna State Opera, the Bavarian State Opera in Munich, the Deutsche Oper Berlin and the Staatsoper Berlin. In 2002 he débuted at the Salzburg Festival with Richard Strauss’s Die Liebe der Danae and returned there the following year with Die Ägyptische Helena by the same composer. Luisi gave his début in the United States in 2000 at a concert with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, followed by a new production of Verdi’s Rigoletto at the Lyric Opera Chicago. He conducted at the Metropolitan Opera for the first time in 2005 (Verdi’s Don Carlo).

In 2011, Fabio Luisi conducted new productions of Don Giovanni, Siegfried and Götterdämmerung (2012) at the Metropolitan Opera, as well as Das Rheingold, Ariadne auf Naxos and Rigoletto. He conducted the Met’s productions of Don Carlo and La Bohème during a tour of Japan. He débuted at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden with Aida, and at the Gran Teatre de Liceu in Barcelona with Falstaff. He also conducted a tour of the United States with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra and conducted concerts with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, the Concertgebouw Orchestra (with which he gave guest performances at the Gustav Mahler Festival in Leipzig), the Cleveland Orchestra, and a production of Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci at the Teatro Carlo Felice in his hometown of Genoa. In the coming months he will conduct a new production of Massenet’s Manon at the Met, and give his début with this opera at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan.

Luisi’s CD recordings include Verdi’s Aroldo, Bellini’s I puritani, as well as all the symphonies and the oratorio Das Buch mit sieben Siegeln by the forgotten Austrian composer Franz Schmidt. There are also recordings of various symphonic poems by Richard Strauss and a much-lauded recording (Echo Classics Prize 2009 for the best symphonic recording of the year) of Bruckner’s 9th Symphony with the Staatskapelle Dresden.


Members 14/15

General Music Director

Fabio Luisi

Personal Assistant to General Music Director Marie Wolfram-Zweig

Orchestra director

Heiner Madl

Orchestra authorised Luis Perandones Lozano
Orchestra technician Thomas Bossart, Daniel Gütler, Sebastian Lange, Markus Metzig
Library Anja Bühnemann, Dominique Ehrenbaum 

1. Violin

Concertmeister Bartlomiej Niziol, Ada Pesch, Hanna Weinmeister, Keisuke Okazaki, Xiaoming Wang, Wen-Chun LinJonathan Allen, Christian Barenius, Josiane Clematide, Franziska Eichenberger, Juliana Georgieva, Lisa Gustafson, Betül Henseler, Ulrike Jacoby, Martin Lehmann, Judit Morvay, Jakub Nicze, Tatjana Pak, Seraina Pfenninger, Dominique Schiess, Janet van Hasselt, Laurent Weibel, Daniele D'Andria (Orchester-Akademie), Alexander Kuznetsov (Orchester-Akademie), Mateusz Slawomir Smol (Orchester-Akademie)

2. Violin

Solo Anahit Kurtikyan, Eoin Andersen, Michael Salm
Hermann Alexejew,Yuko Arakaki-Krachler, Marianne Borling, Andrea Bossow, Cornelia Brandis, Martina Goldmann, Regine Guthauser, Daniel Kagerer, Nadezhda Korshakova, Anne-Frédérique Léchaire, Sibylle Matzinger-Franzke, Ursula Meienberg, Marina Yakovleva Häfliger, Chen Yu, Ignazio Atzori, Birgit Th. Löffler-Müller, Saskia Paulisch, Timotheus Schläpfer, Mikolaj Tomaszewski, Daniele D'Andria (Orchester-Akademie), Alexander Kuznetsov (Orchester-Akademie), Mateusz Slawomir Smol (Orchester-Akademie)


Solo Karen Forster, Valérie Szlàvik, Sebastian Eyb, Rumjana NaydenovaLouis Chaintreuil, Maria Clément, Katarzyna Duz-Bielec, Daniel Hess, Florian Mohr, Natalia Mosca, Juliet Shaxson, Martina Zimmermann, Artur Wieczerzynski (Orchester-Akademie)



Solo Claudius Herrmann, Massimiliano Martinelli, Xavier Pignat, Christine Theus
Luzius Gartmann, Christof Mohr, Barbara Uta Oehm, Daniel Pezzotti, Andreas Plattner, Fabien Genthialon (Orchester-Akademie)


Solo Viorel Alexandru, Dariusz Mizera, Ruslan Lutsyk, Roman Patkoló
Wolfgang Hessler, Hayk Khachatryan, Dieter Lange, Bruno Peier, Alexander Önce (Orchester-Akademie)


Solo Maria Goldschmidt, Maurice Heugen
Thomas Voelcker, Pamela Stahel, Andrea Kollé, Nathalie Hérouan (Orchester-Akademie)


Solo Bernhard Heinrichs, Philipp Mahrenholz
Samuel Castro Bastos, Maria Alba Carmona Tobella, Clément Noël, Martin Danek (Orchester-Akademie)


Solo Rita Meier, Robert Pickup
Heinrich Mätzener, Nina Sara Höhn, Filipa Margarida Sacramento Nunes, Livio Russi (Orchester-Akademie)


Solo Urs Dengler, Anne Gerstenberger
Artan Hürsever, Elisabeth Göring, Marc Jacot, Baris Önel (Orchester-Akademie)


Solo Glen Borling, László Szlávik
Tomas Gallart, Hanna Rasche, Edward Deskur, Lionel Pointet, Andrea Siri, Elia Bolliger (Orchester-Akademie)


Solo William Nulty, Laurent Tinguely
Evgeny Ruzin, Albert Benz, Paul Muff, Marco Antonio Carneiro da Silva (Orchester-Akademie)


Solo David García, Sergio Zordan
Ricardo Faustino Diaz Méndez, Benjamin Green, René Meister, Marc Sanchez Marti (Orchester-Akademie)


Ricardo Lopes Sotomaior Carvalhoso


Norbert Himstedt, Renata Walczyna, Lukas Gamper (Orchester-Akademie)


Hans-Peter Achberger, Didier Chevallier, Michael Guntern, Dominic Hermann


Julie Palloc, Una Prelle


Kateryna Tereshchenko (Orchester-Akademie)






On two occasions, Vienna found itself at the centre of the musical world: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Joseph Haydn and Ludwig van Beethoven worked in the city in the years around 1800, producing masterpieces under the label of “Viennese Classicism”. A century later, the circle of composers associated with Gustav Mahler, Alban Berg and Arnold Schönberg continued to cultivate the musical legacy of the 19th century, while at the same time heralding the advent of Modernism. These two highlights of musical history made Vienna legendary. As former Music Director of the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, our General Music Director Fabio Luisi has studied the musical tradition of the city closely, and chosen to make it the theme of this season. Our Philharmonic Concerts will focus on the works of Gustav Mahler, who was important as a role model in Viennese musical life around 1900 – not only as a composer, but also as a conductor and opera director. Taking the Second Viennese School as our point of departure, we shall look back on the First Viennese School, performing works by Haydn and Beethoven on the one hand, while anticipating the Modernist movement on the other. We will even be presenting a world première – a performance of Jean-Luc Darbellay’s Alphorn concerto. Furthermore, Fabio Luisi and our artist in residence, pianist Lise de la Salle, will continue their Rachmaninoff cycle and perform the composer’s third and fourth piano concertos. For our “Scintilla” concert, conductor Teodor Currentzis, who has already enjoyed considerable success at Zurich Opera House with Shostakovich’s “Lady Macbeth of Minsk”, but is also a baroque specialist, will assemble a suite of works by Jean-Philippe Rameau. This year marks the 250th anniversary of the composer’s death. As of this season, all concerts will be given at the Opera House.

The Philharmonic Concerts are supported by Evelyn and Herbert Axelrod

  1. Gastspiel Konzert Ottobeuren

    Marc Albrecht, Philharmonia Zürich, Chor der Oper Zürich; Anton Bruckner Messe f-Moll Nr.3
    15.09.2013 - 15:00
  2. 1. Philharmonisches Konzert

    Fabio Luisi, Lise de la Salle, Philharmonia Zürich; Works by Gottfried von Einem, Sergej Rachmaninow and Hector Berlioz
    Philharmonic concert
    29.09.2013 - 11:15
  3. Rachmaninow / Tschaikowski

    Fabio Luisi, Lise de la Salle, Philharmonia Zürich; Works by Sergej Rachmaninow and Pjotr Tschaikowski
    Philharmonic concert
    22.12.2013 - 11:15
  4. Hartmann / Mahler

    Fabio Luisi, Hanna Weinmeister, Philharmonia Zürich; Works by Karl Amadeus Hartmann and Gustav Mahler
    Philharmonic concert
    16.03.2014 - 11:15
  5. Mozart

    William Christie, Orchestra La Scintilla Zürich; Works by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Philharmonic concert
    11.05.2014 - 11:15
  6. Mozart / Bruckner

    Karl Heinz Steffens, Sabine Meyer, Philharmonia Zürich; Works by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Anton Bruckner
    Philharmonic concert
    01.06.2014 - 11:15
  7. Rachmaninow / Beethoven

    Fabio Luisi, Lise de la Salle, Sen Guo, Anna Stéphany, Mauro Peter, Philharmonia Zürich Chor der Oper Zürich; Works by Sergej Rachmaninow and Ludwig van Beethoven
    Philharmonic concert
    06.07.2014 - 11:15

Photo Gallery

Photographed by Monika Rittershaus on 13. June 2O13