In 1964, music lovers from Eisenstadt, Neusiedl/See and Mattersburg founded the “Joseph Haydn Eisenstadt Chamber Orchestra”. The initiative came from the then music advisor Prof. Karl Gradwohl and the music pedagogue Prof. Eduard Ehrenreich. The purpose was to cultivate the music of Joseph Haydn in Burgenland.
In the first few years, the orchestra’s programme included small-scale works. Not least due to the founding of the Joseph Haydn Conservatory and the consistent expansion of the Burgenland music school system, the association was able to attract more musicians as members. As a result, large-scale works of the classical and romantic periods were increasingly included in the repertoire. The change of name to “Haydnorchester Eisenstadt” initiated by chairwoman Katrin Gstöttenbauer in 2008 also documents this development externally. The orchestra currently has about 60 permanent members – instrumental teachers, music students and committed enthusiasts – with a gratifyingly high proportion of young musicians.
At the beginning of the 2015/16 concert season, Peter Schreiber took over the direction of the Haydn Orchestra. As a long-standing member and professional orchestral musician, he is predestined to continue established concert series as well as to meet new cultural challenges.
The orchestra’s home is the Esterházy Palace in Eisenstadt. The incomparable opportunity to make music in the same room where Joseph Haydn rehearsed with his princely court orchestra shapes the orchestra’s style, as does the unique Haydn Hall as a performance venue. These historically significant venues fill the members of the orchestra with immense joy, pride, and gratitude. It is this spirit – and not necessarily technical perfection – that makes the Haydn Orchestra so special.
In addition to the traditional Burgenland performance venues, the Haydn Orchestra also gave concerts in Vienna and in other federal provinces. Concert tours have taken it to Hungary, the Federal Republic of Germany, France, and Italy.
In addition to the cultivation of Joseph Haydn’s music, the promotion of young musicians is one of the ensemble’s most important tasks. Numerous renowned musicians made their first solo experiences with the Haydn Orchestra Eisenstadt. The concert series Junge SolistInnen lassen aufhorchen is one of the orchestra’s flagships in this area. In addition to the functions mentioned so far, church music is an essential task of the orchestra musicians.
The Haydn Orchestra plays ten to fifteen concerts per season, with a programme ranging from works of the Viennese Classical period to the symphonic and concert literature of the Romantic period, from the great choral and orchestral works to the music of the Strauss dynasty and contemporary compositions. The orchestra is organised by a board of 8 people under the leadership of chairman Friedrich Tinhof and Katrin Gstöttenbauer. They manage the orchestra’s fortunes with great care and ensure that the orchestra can continue to develop in line with the challenges of the times.