Formed as the Zurich Opera Orchestra upon division of Zurich's venerated Tonhalle Orchester Zurich (1868) and Theater Orchestra in 1985, the 111 member Zurich Opera ensemble was renamed the Philharmonia Zurich in 2012 with Fabio Luisi's commencement as its conductor. The orchestra's established residence is the Zurich Opera House. One of the Philharmonia Zurich's special features is its Orchestra La Scintilla, a period instrument ensemble, which has worked with such eminent conductors as William Christie (harpsichordist), Thomas Hengelbrock and Marc Minkowski. Under the direction of Ada Pesch the Orchestra La Scintilla can be heard regularly in the world's great concert halls and on its major labels, performing with renowned soloists like Cecilia Bartoli.
Franz Welser-Möst, Chief Conductor 1995-1996, General Music Director 2005-2008,
Daniele Gatti, Principal Conductor 2010-2012,
Fabio Luisi, General Music Director (named 2009, effective 2012),
The 29 soloist members of the Philharmonia Zurich under Fabio Luisi's baton are Anahit Kurtikyan, Eoin Andersen, Michael Salm on violin, Karen Forster, Valérie Szlàvik, Sebastian Eyb, Rumjana Naydenova on viola, Claudius Herrmann, Massimiliano Martinelli, Xavier Pignat, Christine Theus on violoncello, Viorel Alexandru, Dariusz Mizera, Ruslan Lutsyk, Roman Patkoló on contrabass, Maria Goldschmidt, Maurice Heugen on flute, Bernhard Heinrichs, Philipp Mahrenholz on oboe, Rita Meier, Robert Pickup on clarinet, Urs Dengler, Anne Gerstenberger on bassoon, Glen Borling, László Szlávik on horn, William Nulty, Laurent Tinguely on trumpet and Sergio Zordan, David García on trombone.