The Camerata Salzburg was founded in 1952 by Bernhard Paumgartner, co-founder of the Salzburg Festival, with teachers and students from the Mozarteum. It has been shaped over the years by its collaborations with Géza Anda, Sándor Végh, Roger Norrington and András Schiff. Musicians such as Clara Haskil, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Heinz Holliger, Alfred Brendel, Philippe Herreweghe, Franz Welser-Möst, Pinchas Zukerman, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Teodor Currentzis, Matthias Goerne, Hilary Hahn, Ádám Fischer, Fazıl Say and Isabelle Faust have appeared with the orchestra over the years. Its core repertoire, focussing on the works of Salzburg-born genius Mozart and the Viennese classics, has expanded to include both Romantic and modern works.
Since its inception, the orchestra has been a musical mainstay in the city of Mozart’s birth, performing concerts and operas alike at the Salzburg Festival and the Mozartwoche Festival, as well as having its own subscription series at its prestigious home in the main hall of the Mozarteum. It also performs regularly in Europe’s leading musical centres, appears regularly at international festivals and undertakes a major transatlantic tour every year.
More than 60 recordings, many of which have won significant awards, span its six-decade history. The orchestra’s founder, Bernhard Paumgartner, focussed on the preservation and revival of a traditional musical style. Following the Paumgartner era, Sándor Végh led the orchestra for nearly two decades, overseeing a particularly high point in its history and recruiting many young musicians into the orchestra. He achieved the musical ideal of performing like a string quartet on a larger scale. Following Végh’s death, Roger Norrington became chief conductor of the orchestra and is now conductor laureate. His successors were Greek violinist and conductor Leonidas Kavakos and, from 2011 to 2016, French conductor Louis Langrée.
Highlights in recent years have included appearances at the Lucerne Festival, the BBC Proms in London, the Edinburgh International Festival and Carnegie Hall in New York.
Since 2016 the musicians of the Camerata Salzburg have taken its artistic direction into their own hands. Each member of the orchestra bears responsibility for interpretation, refinement and sound. Guided by concertmaster Gregory Ahss, as a first among equals, the orchestra has already gained recognition, both nationally and internationally, as a self-determining ensemble.