Festspielhaus St. Pölten was opened on 1st March 1997 by the Tonkunstler Orchestra. Ever since they have with opera, dance and outreach projects as well as an extensive concert programme as the Festpsielhaus’s resident orchestra they have shaped a decisive portion of the overall artistic repertoire in the state capital of Lower Austria. 

The Tonkunstler Orchestra – with three residencies at the Musikverein Wien, Festspielhaus St. Pölten and in Grafenegg – is one of Austria’s greatest and most significant musical ambassadors. The core of the orchestra’s artistic work lies in the traditional orchestral repertoire, ranging from the classical to the Romantic period through to the 20th century. At the same time, the Tonkunstler see the promotion of contemporary music as among their highest duties. The Tonkunstler’s alternative approach to programming appreciated by musicians, audiences and the press alike. The inclusion of genres such as jazz and world music as part of the «Plugged-In» has ensured that the orchestra has been able to keep its finger on the pulse of the times for the last eleven years. The Tonkunstler also embrace current musical developments with performances of work by contemporary composers.

Yutaka Sado, one of the leading Japanese conductors of our time, has been the orchestra’s Music Director since the 2015-16 season.

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