The Basel Sinfonietta is a Swiss orchestra, founded in 1980 in Basel.
The Basel Sinfonietta was founded in 1980 by a group of young musicians with the goal of bringing new contemporary music and works both familiar and unknown to an audience enthusiastic for unusual sounds and open to experimentation. With its unconventional, provocative approach, this large symphony orchestra has achieved an international reputation. The Basel Sinfonietta has carried out performances with dancers, jazz musicians, cabarettists and choral groups in addition to projects incorporating, for instance, silent movies and multimedia.
Now in its 30th season, the orchestra has presented more than 50 world premieres, many of them commissioned by the orchestra itself. The Sinfonietta is the only Swiss orchestra to have been invited four times to participate in the famous Austrian "Salzburger Festspiele". Furthermore, the orchestra has been invited to other festivals, such as Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik, Lucerne Festival, Biennale di Venezia, Musica Strasbourg, Festival d'Automne Paris and Kunstfest Weimar.
The Sinfonietta works with conductors such as Stefan Asbury, Fabrice Bollon, Dennis R. Davies, Mark Fitz-Gerald, Jürg Henneberger, Peter Hirsch, Michael Hofstetter, Johannes Kalitzke, Karen Kamensek, Jun Märkl, Emilio Pomàrico, Kasper de Roo, Jonathan Stockhammer and Lothar Zagrosek. The Sinfonietta has participated in education-projects to attract a young audience for classical music.
When not taking part in the orchestra members perform as freelance performers in ensembles and chamber music groups. The group manages itself, which gives its members a high degree of self-determination both in artistic and organisational matters.