The SLOVAK SINFONIETTA ŽILINA (The State Chamber Orchestra Žilina)is one of the best known professional orchestras in Eastern Europe and holds a very important position in the Slovak musical life. It was founded in 1974 as the only "Classical period" chamber orchestra in Slovakia. Since then the orchestra has attained a prominent position in both the Slovak and Czech Republics, as well as it has achieved a considerable international reputation.
Its 34 members are graduates of the major Czech and Slovak music academies and many of them are winners of international competitions and active both as soloists and chamber musicians. The quality of the players together with the experience and musicianship of the founding music director and conductor Eduard Fischer (1930-1993) brought about the quick artistic growth of the orchestra. Following chief conductors were Jan Valta, Leoš Svárovský and Oliver von Dohnányi. Mr. Simon Chalk was appointed the Chief Conductor of the Slovak Sinfonietta Žilina. He will take up his post in September 2015.
Principal Conductor of the Slovak Sinfonietta is Theodore Kuchar.
Chief conductor emeritus is maestro Tsugio Maeda from Japan.
By 1977 the orchestra attained international recognition when it was invited to the Salzburg Festival and designated the official orchestra of that prestigious festival. Soon after followed appearances at the "Prague Spring" and the major festivals throughout Europe, including Wiener Festwochen, Spring Festival and Haydn Festival in Vienna, Sofia's Musical Weeks, Festa Musica Pro in Assisi, Festival de Catalunia in Spain, Festival El Djem in Tunisia, Festival de Bonaguil in France, Music in Old Krakow, Budapest Spring Festival, Bratislava Music Festival, Melos Ethos Bratislava, Mozartfest Schwetzingen, Mozart Sommer Schloss Salem, Schleswick - Holstein Festival, Festival de Manaus in Brasilia, Festival van Vlaanderen, Aspekte Salzburg, Johann Strauss Festival in Vienna, Bodensee Festival in Switzerland, Ankara Musik Festival, Slovenian Music Days, NCPA Festival Beijing, and many others.
The Sinfonietta played at such prestigious international venues as the Musikverein and Konzerthaus Vienna, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Philharmonic Halls in Berlin, Munic and Cologne, House of Artists Prague, Tonhalle Düsseldorf, Komische Oper and Konzerthaus Berlin, St. Francis' Cathedral Assisi, Auditori Barcelona, Palau St. Jordi and Palau de la Musica Catalana Barcelona, Teatro Arriaga Bilbao, the Symphony Hall Osaka, Tokyo's Metropolitan Hall, Theatre de la Monnaie Brussels, Mozarteum Salzburg, Teatro Abadia and Palacio de Deportes Madrid, Tonhalle Zürich, Pavilhao Atlantico Lisbon, NCPA Beijing, Les Invalides and L´eglise de la Madeleine Paris, and the Great Concert Hall of the St. Peterburg Philharmonic among others.
Altogether the orchestra has given almost 3000 concerts in almost every country of Europe, in Asia, Africa, Japan, China, Brasilia, Canada and the U.S.A.
Among the prominent artists who have performed with the orchestra are conductors Peter Maag, Marco Armiliato, Theodore Kuchar, Claus Peter Flor, Jean-Bernard Pommier, Nicholas Kraemer, Erik Zainermand, Alexander Schwinck, Misha Katz, Vladimír Válek, Petr Vronský, Ľudovít Rajter, Christian Benda, Dwight Bennett, Christian Pollack, Peter Breiner, Vladimír Kiradjiev, Ernst Märzendorfer, Martin Sieghardt, Stefan Lano, Janusz Powolny, Volker Schmidt Gertenbach, Georg Mais, Urs Schneider, Ondrej Lenárd, Francesco Angelico, Daniele Rustioni and soloists: Igor Oistrach, Narciso Yepes, André Gertler, Václav Hudeček, Sophia Jaffé, Baiba Skride, Dalibor Karvay, Liana Issakadze, Vanessa Mae, IL DIVO, Marián Lapšanský, Eugen Indjic, Till Felner, Paul Badura Skoda, Timur Sergeyenia, Ludmil Angelov, Michael Kofler, Peter Dvorský, Sergej Kopčák, Vittorio Grigolo, Michél Senechal, Stefan Elenkov, Edita Grúberová, Vesselina Kasarova, Georg Tichy, Pavol Breslik, Otokar Klein, Peter Mikuláš, Gabriela Beňačková, Magdaléna Kožená, Ľuba Orgonášová, Magdaléna Hajossyová, Gustáv Beláček, Izabela Labuda, Benno Schollum, Ildikó Raimondi, and Olivia Stapp.
Slovak Sinfonietta is a member of the Orchestra Network for Europe (ONE), a distinctiver network of classical symphony orchestras initiated in 2004. Focusing on addressing the specific issues of the classical music sector, ONE has designed cooperation project promoting intercultural dialogue and extending artistic reach across borders. Since 2005, the network has received support from the European Union under the Culture Creative Programmes for five succesive periods of activity called ONE, ONE a new dimesion, ONE step further, ONE goes places, and ONE is more (2015 – 2019).