“The Musikkollegium Winterthur is a jewel in the Swiss orchestral landscape.”
Neue Zürcher Zeitung
The Musikkollegium Winterthur was founded in 1629 and has been a professional symphony orchestra since 1875 – when it was initially known as the Stadtorchester Winterthur (the “Winterthur City Orchestra”). Today it employs some 50 musicians and is one of the leading professional orchestras in Switzerland. Each season it plays roughly 40 concert programmes at the Stadthaus in Winterthur, and also organises numerous chamber music events.
In the fields of opera and ballet, the Musikkollegium Winterthur also enjoys a fruitful collaboration with institutions such as the Winterthur Theatre and the Zurich Opera House. It has a broad repertoire ranging from the Baroque to contemporary music, with a focus on Classical and early Romantic works. It regularly gives first performances and world premières.
In the first half of the 20th century, the conductor Hermann Scherchen had a significant impact on the orchestra. He was followed by Joseph Keilberth. Renowned conductors such as Franz Welser-Möst and Heinrich Schiff continued the tradition they established. From 2009 to 2016 Douglas Boyd was the Chief Conductor of the Musikkollegium Winterthur, and since the 2016/17 season this position has been held by Thomas Zehetmair.
Famous soloists and conductors such as Martin Helmchen, Sir András Schiff, Christian Tetzlaff, Isabelle Faust, Maurice Steger, Heinz Holliger, Michael Sanderling, Fazil Say, Sol Gabetta, Andreas Ottensamer and Reinhard Goebel – to name but a few – perform regularly as guests with the Musikkollegium Winterthur.
In recent years, the Musikkollegium Winterthur has been engaged in wide-ranging youth work. It has played a pioneering role in this field and has already received several prizes for it. Besides a diverse spectrum of events, it has also realised CD, DVD and book projects, along with a documentary film. Time and again, the Musikkollegium Winterthur has also presented new, even experimental concert formats – such as the “Classic Openair” in the Rychenbergpark in Winterthur, “Klassik im Club”, “Classic Circus” and “Film & Music”. The Musikkollegium Winterthur is also regularly invited to give guest performances in Switzerland and abroad.
The artistic excellence of the Musikkollegium Winterthur is also demonstrated by its numerous CD recordings, some of which have been awarded prizes – such as its cycle with all the piano concertos and symphonies by Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy.