The Orchestra Mozart was founded in Bologna in 2004 based on an idea of Carlo Maria Badini and Fabio Roversi-Monaco, thanks to the decisive contribution of the Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio of Bologna, and is a special project of the Regia Accademia Filarmonica di Bologna, one of the oldest musical institutions in Europe.
The orchestra's Artistic Director, Claudio Abbado, has involved famous soloists and principal players from prestigious orchestras, joined by young talents from across Europe, as well as Venezuela and other countries. As a chamber ensemble that gets together for the pleasure of making music, the Orchestra Mozart places mutual listening at the centre of its musical sound.
Famous names in the string section include Raphael Christ, concertmaster before the age of thirty, who has shared the post with Giuliano Carmignola, the former principal violas of the Berlin Philharmonic Danusha Waskiewicz and Wolfram Christ, Gabriele Geminiani, principal cello of the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, and Alois Posch, former principal bass with the Vienna Philharmonic. In the wind section are Jacques Zoon, former principal flute in the Boston Philharmonic and the Concertgebouw, while principal oboe and bassoon are held by Lucas Macías Navarro, principal oboe of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, and Guillhaume Santana, two of the most popular figures from the younger generation; Alessandro Carbonare and Alessio Allegrini, principal clarinet and horn in the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, and Reinhold Friedrich, former principal trumpet in the Berlin Philharmonic.
Starting from the 2010 season, Abbado has chosen Diego Matheuz as Principal Guest Conductor. The Venezuelan conductor, who was also recently appointed as Principal Conductor at Teatro La Fenice in Venice, is one of the successes of Josè Antonio Abreu's famous "El Sistema", and is making his mark as one of the greatest under-30 talents.
Each production sees the enthusiastic participation of the most acclaimed soloists, such as pianists Martha Argerich, Maria Joầo Pires, Radu Lupu, Alfred Brendel, Hélène Grimaud, Alexander Lonquich, Yuja Wang, violinists Isabelle Faust and Vadim Repin, cellists Mario Brunello, Natalia Gutman and Enrico Dindo, recorder player Michala Petri, and singers of the calibre of Julia Kleiter, Rachel Harnisch, Sara Mingardo, Jonas Kaufmann and René Pape.
The excellence of the Orchestra Mozart has attracted the interest of the most authoritative recording label for classical music, Deutsche Grammophon, with whom it has released a number of successful recordings. The high-profile of the orchestra has opened the doors of the most important concert halls, first and foremost the Musikverein in Vienna and the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome, with whom it has an on-going relationship. In Italy, it collaborates with La Scala in Milan, Teatro San Carlo in Naples and the Ravenna Festival, and abroad with the Lucerne Festival, the Salzburg Festival, the Alte Oper in Frankfurt and the Salle Pleyel in Paris.
The Orchestra Mozart has always maintained close links with its local area, Bologna and the Emilia-Romagna region, and from its inception. The Orchestra’s performance schedule have been part of many different initiatives: since 2006, the Orchestra Mozart been promoter of the Tamino Project, which organises activities led by musicians and music therapists in the health and social services field. It is also very committed to working with those in prisons, offering special concerts are held at the Penitentiary in Bologna. The Papageno Project is aims to run choir workshops for prison inmates. Finally, in the field of cultural promotion, offering access to music for young people and new types of audiences, dress rehearsals are open free of charge to dozens of schools and cultural associations.
All these initiatives are the result of a clear concept of music, an art form in which the Orchestra Mozart never loses sight of its strong educational and social values, the same values on which Claudio Abbado and every single musician have always based their participation in the orchestra.
The Orchestra Mozart therefore has a two-fold spirit: on one hand the international stage and, on the other, a deep-rooted commitment to its local territory, the city of Bologna and its social fabric.