Founded in 1945 by Edmond de Stoutz, the Zurich Chamber Orchestra is now one of the leading ensembles of its kind. Under the direction of Edmond de Stoutz and later Howard Griffiths and Muhai Tang, the orchestra won international recognition. In the years of the world-acclaimed Principal Conductor Sir Roger Norrington, from 2011 to 2015, the Zurich Chamber Orchestra did much to establish and enhance its excellent reputation. Since the 2016/17 season the orchestra is led for the first time not by a conductor but, in the person of Music Director Daniel Hope, by an instrumentalist.
Regular invitations to international festivals, performances in Europe's leading centres of music, concert tours on almost all continents and numerous critically acclaimed CD releases testify to the worldwide renown of the Zurich Chamber Orchestra. In 2017 two of the orchestra's CD releases were honoured with an Echo Classic Award in the Classics Without Borders category.
The repertoire is broadly based, extending from the Baroque (in historically informed performance on gut strings and with Baroque bows) through the Classical and Romantic eras to the present day. The orchestra is also notable for its work with musicians from other fields such as jazz, folk music and popular entertainment. The concerts for children of all ages, outreach work with children and young people and encouragement of young instrumentalists are in every way as important to the Zurich Chamber Orchestra as its close and continuing collaboration with world-renowned soloists.