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Over its long history, the Salzburg Mozarteum Orchestra, the symphony orchestra of the Town and the Province of Salzburg, has grown to become an international ambassador for Mozart's native town. With two concert series of its own – the Sunday matinees in the famous Large Festival Hall, and the Thursday concerts in the festive ambience of the Mozarteum Foundation – the Orchestra is a pillar of Salzburg's eventful musical life.
The Orchestra collaborates closely with the Salzburg Festival, contributing not only the Mozart Matinees – "the secret heart of the Festival", as newspaper critic Karl Harb put it in August 2015 – but also performing in major opera productions, as well as at the annual Mozart Week and in the concert programme of the Salzburg Kulturvereinigung. Throughout the season, the Orchestra is part of the musical productions in the Salzburg Landestheater, with a repertoire ranging from grand opera through operetta and ballet to musical. In recent years, successful concert tours have taken the ensemble to Argentina, China, Japan, Korea, Germany, Italy, Spain and Romania.
Distinguished principal conductors have contributed to shaping the Orchestra – notably Leopold Hager, Ralf Weikert, Hans Graf and Hubert Soudant. Ivor Bolton, who held the post from 2004 until the end of the 2015-2016 season, has had a decisive formative influence; as honorary conductor, he will remain in close association with the Orchestra. Internationally acclaimed guest conductors and soloists enjoy regular engagements with the renowned Salzburg ensemble, whose versatility is documented by a wide range of CD recordings.
In 2016, the Mozarteum Orchestra – which dates back to the Cathedral Music Society and Mozarteum, founded in 1841 with the support of Mozart's widow Constanze and their two sons – celebrates the 175th anniversary of its founding. A first official ceremony was held at a Mozart Week concert on 27 January 2016, Mozart's 260th birthday. On this occasion, the Orchestra, which specialises in independent, contemporary interpretation of the works of Mozart, was awarded the highest distinction of the Mozarteum Foundation: the Gold Mozart Medal.
The official main sponsors of the Mozarteum Orchestra are Leica & Audi.