Tonkünstler-Orchester Niederösterreich & Yutaka Sado
Tonkünstler-Orchester Niederösterreich & Yutaka Sado © Sebastian Philipp

Grafenegg is one of the Tonkunstler Orchestra’s three major exclusive venues. The orchestra opens the summer season with its traditional Midsummer Night’s Gala, which is broadcast on television and radio in Austria and several other European countries, and puts its stylistic versatility to the test in its concerts at the Wolkenturm. As orchestra in residence, it also plays a significant role in the programme of the Grafenegg Festival. At the annual composer-conductor workshop Ink Still Wet, its musicians offer their services as workshop orchestra and they pass on their knowledge and experience to a new generation of musicians. In various ensembles, they deliver a number of Prélude concerts.

The Tonkunstler Orchestra is considered one of the most important institutions of Austrian music culture. It devotes itself to the concert repertoire of Viennese Classicism via Romanticism and up to the 21st century. The orchestra’s traditional Sunday Afternoon concerts at the Wiener Musikverein, its most successful programme series, go back more than 75 years. Alternative programming approaches, such as the «Plugged-In» series with its jazz and world music, as well as the presented concert format «Explained. Experienced!», are appreciated by audiences and the press. With their New Year’s programme, the musicians bring joy to thousands of people in Vienna and Lower Austria every year.

In addition to Grafenegg – where its 50-year success story as orchestra in residence began on 19 August 1973 with a performance of Beethoven’s «Coriolanus» overture in the castle courtyard – and the Musikverein Wien, the third Tonkunstler residence is the Festspielhaus St. Pölten. Recent tours have taken the Tonkunstler to Germany, Spain, Slovenia, the Czech Republic, South Korea and Taiwan, the Baltic states and, repeatedly, to Japan and Britain. Their artistic profile is reflected in numerous CD recordings. The orchestra’s own label releases up to four recordings every year. Tokyo-born Yutaka Sado, one of the most important Japanese conductors of our time, has been Music Director since 2015.

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