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 music. Concertmaster and frequently the conductor is Julia Schröder, as of 2013.
Kammerorchester Basel, then called Serenata Basel, was formed by graduates of Swiss music academies. It was conducted by Johannes Schläfli until 1999. The ensemble assumed its present name in 1999 and has had no principal conductor since. The orchestra performs both early and modern music and continues the tradition of Paul Sacher's Basler Kammerorchester (1926-1987). Music up to the classical period is performed on period instruments. Every year the orchestra also commissions new works. Performances are often led by the concertmaster, typically Julia Schröder. Guest conductors have included Paul Goodwin, Christopher Hogwood, Kristjan Järvi, Paul McCreesh and David Stern.
In 2004, Kammerorchester Basel played Handel's opera Lotario both in Basel and at the Handel Festival Halle. 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".
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. 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". They performed the works at the Barbican Centre in 2012. In 2013, they combined them with the sinfonia from cantata Ich steh mit einem Fuß im Grabe, BWV 156, and Bach's harpsichord concerto in f minor, BWV 1056. Members of the orchestra sang and played the closing chorale of BWV 169.
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.
In 2008, Kammerorchester Basel won the ECHO Klassik award as "Ensemble of the Year". 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.
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