Kammerorchester Basel

The chamber orchestra Kammerorchester Basel (also: Kammerorchesterbasel) was founded in Basel, Switzerland, in 1984. In the tradition of Paul Sacher's Basler Kammerorchester, its focus is on both early music and contemporary classical music. Concertmaster and frequently the conductor is Julia Schröder, as of 2013.

Kammerorchester Basel
Conductorless chamber orchestra
Founded1984 (1984)
LocationBasel, Switzerland


Kammerorchester Basel, then called Serenata Basel, was formed by graduates of Swiss music academies. It was conducted by Johannes Schläfli until 1999.[1] The ensemble assumed its present name in 1999 and has had no principal conductor since.[2] The orchestra performs both early and modern music and continues the tradition of Paul Sacher's Basler Kammerorchester (1926–1987).[3] Music up to the classical period is performed on period instruments. Every year the orchestra also commissions new works.[4] Performances are often led by the concertmaster. Guest conductors have included Paul Goodwin, Christopher Hogwood, Kristjan Järvi, Paul McCreesh and David Stern.[2] In 2015 they toured Australia for the first time.


In 2004, Kammerorchester Basel played Handel's opera Lotario both in Basel and at the Handel Festival Halle.[2] They recorded all of Beethoven's symphonies, led by conductor Giovanni Antonini. A review of Symphony No. 5 noted the "period practice lightness, despite the use of modern instrument", "refinement and delicacy", "fleet-footedness in the scherzo – particular from the running basses and cellos at the start of the trio", and the finale "thrillingly and refreshingly done, remarkable, once again, for the care and attention to details".[5]

In 2011, the orchestra accompanied Andreas Scholl in a recording of Bach cantatas including Ich habe genug, BWV 82 and Gott soll allein mein Herze haben, BWV 169.[6] A review described the orchestra, led by concert master Julia Schröder, as "lively and definitive" and noted that it provided "a clear and articulated accompaniment throughout".[7] They performed the works at the Barbican Centre in 2012.[8] In 2013, they combined them with the sinfonia from cantata Ich steh mit einem Fuß im Grabe, BWV 156, and Bach's Harpsichord concerto No. 5 in F minor, BWV 1056. Members of the orchestra sang and played the closing chorale of BWV 169.[9]

In 2013 they played, conducted by Mario Venzago, Sommernacht for string orchestra by Othmar Schoeck, the first cello concerto by Dmitri Shostakovich with Sol Gabetta as soloist, and Schubert's Symphony No. 7.[10]


In 2008, Kammerorchester Basel won the ECHO Klassik award as "Ensemble of the Year".[11] In 2012, the orchestra, led by Julia Schröder, won the award for the "Opera Recording of the Year", arias by Georg Philipp Telemann sung by Nuria Rial.[12]


  1. Hagmann, Peter (12 August 2013). "Musizieren für heute und für morgen / Sinfonien Beethovens mit dem Kammerorchester Basel und Giovanni Antonini" (in German). Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Retrieved 7 August 2009.
  2. "Kammerorchester Basel / Serenata Basel (Chamber Orchestra)". bach-cantatas.com. 2010. Retrieved 9 August 2013.
  3. "Basel celebrated". Gramophone. 79 (949–952). 2002. As Basel celebrated his 90th birthday in 1996 with a conference devoted to the same topic of the 'classically modern' ... of his Basler Kammerorchester (not to be confused with the Kammerorchester Basel, established in 1984).
  4. "Porträt: das Kammerorchester Basel: Der Klangkörper zu Gast in Köln" (in German). Westdeutscher Rundfunk. 12 February 2013. Retrieved 9 August 2013.
  5. Shirley, Hugo (23 April 2010). "Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 5 & 6". musicalcriticism.com. Retrieved 13 August 2013.
  6. "Kammerorchester Basel / Andreas Scholl / Bach: Cantatas". Allmusic. Retrieved 9 August 2013.
  7. Guest, Paul (18 January 2012). "Andreas Scholl Bach Cantatas; Aleksandra Kurzak Gioia! /Decca review". Barbican Centre. Retrieved 9 August 2013.
  8. "Andreas Scholl / Bach Cantatas performed with the Kammerorchester Basel". Barbican Centre. Retrieved 9 August 2013.
  9. Wolff, Jan-Geert (12 August 2013). "Andreas Scholl singt Bach-Kantaten" (in German). Wiesbadener Kurier. Retrieved 12 August 2013.
  10. Sayed, Aron (9 February 2013). "kammerorchesterbasel & Mario Venzago / Frei schwebende Rhythmen". magazin.klassik.com. Retrieved 10 August 2013.
  11. "Bartoks Quinten / Das Kammerorchester Basel" (in German). 3sat. Retrieved 9 August 2013.
  12. "Nuria Rial/ Kammerorchster Basel/ Julia Schröder". Echo Klassik. Archived from the original on 3 February 2014. Retrieved 12 August 2013.
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