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The Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich, which was founded in 1868, this year celebrates its 150th anniversary. The first 80 years of its history were shaped by the conductors Friedrich Hegar and Volkmar Andreae, each of whom helmed the orchestra for about four decades. In the recent past, it was above all David Zinman who led the ensemble to world renown as principal conductor (1995–2014). For the 2019-20 season, the Estonian maestro Paavo Järvi will take over as Music Director. The Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich currently consists of about 100 musicians and presents approximately 100 concerts featuring 50 different programs each season. These also include numerous guest tours. In the last twenty years alone, the ensemble has performed in 70 cities and 14 countries. Most recently, in October and November 2018, the orchestra toured Asian metropolises, with stops in Beijing, Shanghai, Taipei, and Seoul. The Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich regularly collaborates with such renowned guest conductors as Herbert Blomstedt, Christoph von Dohnányi, Bernard Haitink, and Franz Welser-Möst, as well as with specialists in historically informed performance practice such as Ton Koopman, Jan Willem de Vriend, and Giovanni Antonini. Among the prominent soloists with whom the orchestra has performed are the pianists Alfred Brendel, Rudolf Buchbinder, Nelson Freire, Hélène Grimaud, Maria João Pires, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, and Yuja Wang; the violinists Lisa Batiashvili, Julia Fischer, Christian Tetzlaff, and Frank Peter Zimmermann; and the cellist Yo-Yo Ma. Its concerts for children and families, workshops, along with the tonhalleLATE series and the community platform TOZzukunft, are aimed at new audiences. The Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich has released more than 40 CDs; a box set of recordings featuring all of its music directors and important guest stars from 1942 to 2016 has been produced to mark the anniversary in 2018.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL debut on September 14, 2003; David Zinman conducted works by Luciano Berio, Antonín Dvořák, and Richard Strauss.