Founded in 1935 and originally known as the Orquesta de Cámara de Canarias (Canary Islands Chamber Orchestra), today the Orquesta Sinfónica de Tenerife (OST) is a key project of the Cabildo de Tenerife Island Council. Michal Nesterowicz is now in his third season as the principal conductor and artistic director (the sixth in the orchestra’s 79 years of history), following in the footsteps of Santiago Sabina, Armando Alfonso, Edmon Colomer, Víctor Pablo Pérez (honorary conductor) and Lü Jia.
Throughout these years, the OST has become a cultural landmark in Tenerife and an ambassador for the island on national and international tours, with stellar performances in Austria, China, Germany and the United Kingdom, among others.
The OST faces all the challenges of an orchestra of this size, offering an annual subscription season of 18 programmes, as well as educational concerts for schoolchildren, chamber music series, regular appearances at the Festival Internacional de Música de Canarias and the Festival de Ópera de Tenerife, special concerts, recordings and international tours.
The most prestigious conductors and soloists have featured in the OST’s annual subscription programme. The orchestra was a pioneer in educational concerts for children and has performed before more than 15,000 people in the last twenty years.
The great artists appearing alongside the OST have appreciated the sound and excellent cohesion of the different sections of instruments. Such qualities have been publically praised by exceptional performers, including Krystian Zimerman, Kyung Wha Chung, Mischa Maisky, Schlomo Mintz, Gil Shaham, Grigorij Sokolov, Frank P. Zimmermann and Dimitri Bashkirov.
For twenty years now, internationally renowned figures have participated in the OST’s annual programmes and include Plácido Domingo, Alfredo Kraus, María Bayo, Barbara Bonney, Nathalie Stutzmann, Brigitte Fassbaender, Arleen Auger, Frederica von Stade, Elena Obraztsova, Barbara Hendricks, Simon Estes, Ian Bostridge, Marjana Lipovšek, Ainhoa Arteta, Katia and Marielle Labèque, Olli Mustonen, Bella Davidovich, Philippe Entremont, Andrei Gavrilov, Ivo Pogorelich, Emanuel Ax, Viktoria Mullova, Vladimir Spivakov, Silvia Marcovici, Nikolaj Znaider, Leonidas Kavakos, Steven Isserlis, Manuel Barrueco, Christian Lindberg, Simon Trpceski and Alexei Volodin.
An equally dazzling line-up of great conductors have left their mark on the OST, including Jesús López Cobos, Raymond Leppard, Alberto Zedda, Vasily Petrenko, Vassily Sinaisky, Emmanuel Krivine, Leopold Hager, Giovanni Antonini, Fabio Biondi, Marc Minkowski, Eliahu Inbal, Günther Herbig, Josep Pons, Krzysztof Penderecki, Christian Badea, Claus Peter Flor, Jean Jacques Kantorow, Gianandrea Noseda, Libor Pešek, Ton Koopman and Dmitry Sitkovetsky.
Armed with the precious legacy left by these leading figures of musical interpretation on a global scale, the OST has appeared at the most important concert venues in Spain (Madrid, Bilbao, Valencia, Barcelona, San Sebastián, Peralada, Seville, Granada, Santander, Zaragoza, A Coruña and Murcia), Germany (Schleswig Holstein and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Musik Festivals) and the UK (for the orchestra’s presentation in London as a guest of the BBC). In December 2004, the OST enjoyed a tremendously successful tour of the main concert venues of Cologne, Düsseldorf, Karlsruhe, Ulm, Stuttgart and Salzburg, and in June 2008 gave outstanding performances at the II Festival America-Spain of the Spanish National Orchestra and Choir at the Auditorio Nacional de Música in Madrid. In July 2009, the OST appeared at the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing.
Many of the orchestra’s more than thirty recordings for labels such as Auvidis, Decca, Bis and Deutsche Grammophon have received outstanding national and international acclaim, including the Cannes Classical Awards, Grand Prix de l’Academie française du disque lyrique, Premio Ondas (in 1992 and 1996), Le Monde de la Musique ‘Choc’ award, the Diapason d’Or (in 1994 and 1995) and Record of the Year from the magazines CD Compact and Ritmo.
The OST is a member of AEOS (Spanish Association of Symphony Orchestras; www.aeos.es).