Philharmonia Zürich



Founding of the Aktientheater Zürich, located at the Untere Zäune. Richard Wagner conducted performances here in the early 1850s, including his own Der fliegende Holländer and Tannhäuser. Founding of the Orchesterverein, a permanent professional ensemble with 31 members that played for the Allgemeine Musikgesellschaft and the Aktientheater.

Founding of the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, which played both symphonic concerts and operatic performances through 1944.

The Aktientheater burns to the ground.

New construction of the Stadttheater Zürich (renamed the Opernhaus Zürich in 1964). Both Richard Strauss and Wilhelm Furtwängler are among the orchestra’s conductors.

New construction of the Tonhalle concert hall. Under the direction of Friedrich Hegar, its first principal conductor, and his friend Johannes Brahms, the Tonhalle-Orchester reaches new musical heights. Later, while under the musical direction of chief conductor Volkmar Andreae, the Tonhalle-Orchester enjoys an intense collaboration with Ferruccio Busoni.

The SRG (the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation) dissolves its Zurich-based radio orchestra and the musicians are incorporated into the Tonhalle-Orchester. The resulting ensemble, made up of 142 musicians, is divided into both concert and theater formations, and is henceforth called the Tonhalle- und Theaterorchester (TTO) Zürich. Highlights in the history of the theater formation of the TTO include Monteverdi and Mozart cycles in the 1970s, performed under the musical direction of Nikolaus Harnoncourt and stage direction of Jean-Pierre Ponnelle. Conductors such as Nello Santi (music director from 1958 to 1969, subsequently a regular guest conductor) and Ferdinand Leitner (musical supervisor at the Opernhaus Zürich from 1969 to 1984) help shape the orchestra.

Ralf Weikert is named chief conductor of the TTO (a post he held until 1992); under his direction, the orchestra steadily increases in size. The TTO is separated into the Tonhalle-Orchester and the Orchester der Oper Zürich.

The ensemble «La Scintilla», which performs using original instruments, is founded within the orchestra.

Franz Welser-Möst takes over as chief conductor, and is named General Music Director in 2005, a post he held until 2008; guest conductors that work regularly with the ensemble include 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, Ivan Fischer, and Adam Fischer.

Daniele Gatti takes over as chief conductor of the orchestra, a post he holds through 2012.

With the start of Andreas Homoki’s tenure as Artistic Director and Fabio Luisi’s assumption of the post of General Music Director, the Orchester der Oper Zürich receives a new name: it is now called the Philharmonia Zürich.

General Musical Director

Fabio Luisi hails from Genoa. He is the general music director of the Opernhaus Zürich, the principal conductor of the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, music director of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, and music director designate of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, a post he will take up in 2020. From 2011-2017, Fabio Luisi was principal conductor of the Metropolitan Opera in New York, and from 2005-2013 principal conductor of the Wiener Symphoniker, as well as general music director of the Staatskapelle Dresden and the Sächsische Staatsoper (2007-2010), artistic director and principal conductor of the MDR Sinfonieorchester Leipzig (1999-2007), and music director of the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande (1997-2002). With the latter, he made numerous CD recordings (Poulenc, Respighi, Mahler, Liszt, a recording of the complete symphonic works of Arthur Honegger, and Verdi’s Jérusalem und Alzira). He is music director of the Festival della Valle d’Itria in Martina Franca (Apulia) and has appeared as guest conductor with numerous renowned ensembles, including the Philadelphia Orchestra, The Cleveland Orchestra, the NHK Tokio, the Münchener Philharmoniker, the Filarmonica della Scala, the London Symphony Orchestra, the Concertgebouw Orkest Amsterdam, and the Saito Kinen Orchestra, as well as with various prominent opera orchestras. He appeared at the Salzburg Festival with performances of Richard Strauss’ Die Liebe der Danae und Die Ägyptische Helena. His most important appearances at the Opernhaus Zürich include, among others, the new productions of three Bellini operas, as well as Rigoletto, Fidelio, Wozzeck and Verdi’s Messa da Requiem. Important CD recordings include Verdi’s Aroldo, Bellini’s I puritani and I Capuleti e i Montecchi, and the complete symphonies of Robert Schumann, as well as the symphonies and the oratorio Das Buch mit sieben Siegeln by Franz Schmidt, the largely forgotten Austrian composer. In addition, he has recorded various symphonic poems by Richard Strauss, and a lauded reading of Bruckner’s Symphony No. 3 with the Staatskapelle Dresden. His recordings of Siegfried and Götterdämmerung with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra won Grammy awards. He received the Premio Franco Abbiati, the coveted Italian critics’ prize, in 2013, and in 2014 won the Grifo d’Oro from the city of Genoa. He was awarded the Anton Bruckner Ring by the Wiener Symphoniker, and is a Cavalier of the Italian Republic. The «Philharmonia Records» recording label, founded by the Philharmonia Zürich in 2015, has issued CD recordings of works by Berlioz, Wagner, Verdi, Rachmaninoff, Bruckner, Rimsky-Korsakov, and Frank Martin under Fabio Luisi’s musical director, as well as DVD records of Rigoletto (stage direction: Tatjana Gürbaca), Wozzeck (stage direction: Andreas Homoki), I Capuleti e i Montecchi (stage direction: Christof Loy), the Messa da Requiem (stage direction /choreography: Christian Spuck), and Das Land des Lächelns (stage direction: Andreas Homoki).


General Musical Director
Fabio Luisi
Assistant to the General Music Director Marie Wolfram-Zweig

Manager Orchestra
Heiner Madl
Orchestra Personnel Manager Dominique Ehrenbaum
Orchestra Personnel Manager/Administration Sara Waegner
Music library Anja Bühnemann, Sophia Gustorff
Head of Orchestral Technique Sebastian Lange
Orchestral Technique Thomas Bossart, Mathias Hannus, Andres Martinez, Markus Metzig

1. Violin
Konzertmeister/innen Bartlomiej Niziol, Ada Pesch, Hanna Weinmeister, Keisuke Okazaki, Xiaoming Wang, Vera Lopatina;
Jonathan Allen, Michal Bielenia, Josiane Clematide, Franziska Eichenberger, Juliana Georgieva, Lisa Gustafson, Ulrike Jacoby, Judit Morvay, Jakub Nitsche, Tatjana Pak,
Seraina Pfenninger, Dmitry Serebrennikov, Janet van Hasselt, Mireia Castro Real,* Carolin Forster Borioli,* Rustem Monasypov,* Jonas Moosmann,* Yuka Kiryu-Tsuboi, * Samuel Jimenez Collazos, ** Katarzyna Seremak**

2. Violin
Solo Maya Kadosh, Anahit Kurtikyan, Yuko Arakaki-Krachler, Michael Salm;
Andrea Bossow, Cornelia Brandis, Martina Goldmann, Regine Guthauser, Daniel Kagerer, Nadezhda Korshakova, Anne-Frédérique Léchaire, Sibylle Matzinger-Franzke, Ursula Meienberg, Mikolaj Tomaszewski, Marina Yakovleva Häfliger, Chen Yu, Birgit Thorgerd Müller,* Samuel Jimenez Collazos,** Katarzyna Seremak**

Solo Karen Forster, Valérie Szlàvik, Sebastian Eyb, Rumjana Schamlieva;
Louis Chaintreuil, Maria Clément, Daniel Hess, Izabel Markova,
Florian Mohr, Natalia Mosca, Valentyna Pryshlyak, Julie Le Gac,* Ladina Zogg**

Solo Claudius Herrmann, Lev Sivkov, Xavier Pignat, Christine Theus;
Luzius Gartmann, Alexander Gropper, Christof Mohr, Barbara Uta Oehm, Andreas Plattner, Seiji Yokota, Eléonore Willi,* Noémie Akamatsu**

Double bass
Solo Viorel Alexandru, Dariusz Mizera, Ruslan Lutsyk, Roman Patkoló;
Wolfgang Hessler, Hayk Khachatryan, Dieter Lange, Bruno Peier, Gonzalo Jiménez Barranco**

Solo Maurice Heugen, Rute Daniela Pereira Fernandes;
Andrea Kollé, Pamela Stahel, Nieves Inmaculada Aliano Ramos**

Solo Bernhard Heinrichs, Philipp Mahrenholz, Martin Danek;
Maria Alba Carmona Tobella, Clément Noël, Artemii Cholokian**

Solo Rita Karin Meier, Robert Pickup, Nina Sara Höhn;
Heinrich Mätzener, Filipa Margarida Sacramento Nunes

Solo Urs Dengler, Anne Gerstenberger, Artan Hürsever;
Elisabeth Göring, Marc Jacot

Solo Glen Borling, László Szlávik, Tomas Gallart;
Irene Lopez del Pozo, Lionel Pointet, Hanna Rasche, Andrea Siri, Alejandro Cela Camba**

Solo Balàzs Nemes, Laurent Tinguely, Evgeny Ruzin;
Albert Benz, Paul Muff, José Ferreira Pereira**

Solo David García, Sergio Zordan, Tobias Lang;
René Meister, Raphaël Long**

Florian Hatzelmann

Norbert Himstedt, Renata Walczyna, Felix Birnbaum**

Hans-Peter Achberger, Didier Chevallier, Michael Guntern, Dominic Hermann, Felix Birnbaum**

Julie Palloc, Una Prelle

Key instruments
Polina Charnetskaia**

*Ad interim
**Orchestra Academy

Orchestra Academy

In existence at Zurich Opera House since the 1997/98 season, the Orchestra Academy gives musicians from Switzerland and abroad the opportunity to gain their first experiences in a professional orchestra for two years. The students are actively involved in the day-to-day work of the Philharmonia Zurich, prepare the pieces they are to perform under the instruction of their mentors (first-chair players and soloists from the Orchestra), are given specialist training for auditions, as well as the opportunity to play chamber music in the widest variety of combinations. Many former members of the Academy have already made the transition to excellent orchestras.

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Orchestra La Scintilla

The care for historical performance practice has been a tradition at the Zurich Opera House for many decades. This continuum formed the orchestra of the opera, today's Philharmonia Zürich, an independent ensemble of first-class specialized musicians, which were able to create an excellent reputation. The spark that ignited the enthusiasm for new early music gave the ensemble its name: officially founded in 1998, the ensemble called itself La Scintilla - The Spark.

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Guest Performances 2020/21

Stresa Festival

28, 29 Aug 2020

Gianandrea Noseda, Conductor
Seong-Jin Cho, Piano

Ludwig van Beethoven
Piano Concerto No. 4 in G Major op. 58
Robert Schumann
Symphony No. 2 op. 61
Ludwig van Beethoven
Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat Major op. 73
Robert Schumann
Symphony No. 1 op. 38

Germany and Austria Tour

13 Jan 2021 Philharmonie Köln
15 Jan 2021 Philharmonie Essen
20 Jan 2021 Liederhalle Stuttgart
21 Jan 2021 Philharmonie München
22 Jan 2021 Congress Innsbruck

Fabio Luisi, Conductor
Beatrice Rana, Piano
Sabine Meyer, Clarinet
Noa Wildschut, Violin
Nils Mönkemeyer, Viola

Philharmonia Records

Die Philharmonia Zürich gründete zu ihrem dreissigjährigen Jubiläum 2015 ein eigenes Label, über das Live- und Studio-Aufnahmen weltweit online und im Fachhandel vertrieben werden. Erfahren Sie mehr auf der Philharmonia Records-Website.



Philharmonia Zürich Musikerportraits