The Orchestra

The Altomonte Festival Orchestra – St. Florian

Rémy Ballot, Chief Conductor

T­hrough its close association with the annual Brucknertage (Bruckner Days) at the St. Florian Monastery in Upper Austria, the Altomonte Festival Orchestra embodies the very spirit of Anton Bruckner.

Altomonte Festival Orchestra at St. Florian Basilica (c) Reinhard Winkler

The orchestra has received international attention with its exemplary performances of the composer’s symphonies under its French conductor, Rémy Ballot. Recordings of these continuing yearly concerts, released on the Gramola label, have been awarded some of classical music’s highest honours, including the Diapason d’Or and the Supersonic Award.

The Altomonte Festival Orchestra was founded in 1996, the 100th anniversary of Bruckner’s death, by the legendary church musician Augustinus Franz Dropfreiter and the cellist Thomas Wall. It counts among its members several of the highest-ranking musicians from the leading orchestras of Europe, together with some of the most outstanding of today’s emerging young players. The name of the orchestra is taken from the18th Century father-and-son painters Martino and Barholomeo Altomonte, who adorned the magnificent rooms of the St. Florian Monastery with their beautiful, large-scale frescoes. Matthias Giessen has led the orchestra since 2003. From 2013, Rémy Ballot has conducted the orchestra, achieving widespread acclaim with his Bruckner interpretations.

The special musical relationship of the orchestra to the inimitable work of Anton Bruckner reaches its yearly pinnacle in its concerts as Orchestra in Residence at the annual Brucknertage in the Basilica of the St Florian Monastery, when the orchestra performs the composer’s orchestral works here, his spiritual home and final resting place. Bruckner lovers from all over the world flock to the Brucknertage to explore the many different facets of the Upper Austrian genius loci, and – as the highpoint of their visit – experience Rémy Ballot’s interpretations of the composer’s symphonies in concert in the Basilica, an event which is always sold-out weeks in advance.

In addition to Bruckner, the orchestra embraces repertoire from the Baroque to contemporary music, while also fulfilling the important task of maintaining the musical tradition and the church music of the monastery’s Basilica. The orchestra enjoys long-standing collaborations with the St. Florian Boys Choir, the Choir of St. Florian Abbey, the Haagchor and the Jeunesse Choir, Linz. A particularly important function of the Altomonte Orchestra is to promote young and talented musicians, and together experience music as an adventure.

The Altomonte Festival Orchestra also has a period-instrument ensemble, the Altomonte Baroque Ensemble, whose size varies according to the repertoire. The Altomonte Baroque Ensemble has performed several times at the Fiori musicali and other concert series in Upper Austria. A special focus is the preservation and performance of the music of the old masters of St. Florian, especially the music from the monastery’s archives.

Orchestra Management: Thomas Wall
General Representation: MISSION CULTURE OG, Vienna