Orchester Wiener Akademie was founded in 1985 by its artistic director Martin Haselböck. It has gained an international reputation as one of the most important period-instrument orchestras in the world through its lively interpretations and virtuosity. Profound expertise in the innovative and original preparation of historical concert programmes and formats has given the orchestra the status of a globally sought after ensemble.
Performing on period instruments in a repertoire that ranges from the Baroque to the Romantic eras, attention is given not only to the great masterpieces but also to rediscovered rarities and musical treasures. Alongside international touring and nearly three decades of concerts in Vienna's Musikverein, the orchestra's main focus is, above all, on its own concert format RESOUND. This series - for the first time - brings back the experience of hearing musical works performed in the magnificent theatres and concert halls of their premieres, and on the instruments of the time. On its many tours, the orchestra can transport the knowledge about an evolved musical culture, acquired over centuries, throughout the world.
A further focus of the orchestra is on the world of multimedia music-theatre. With the American actor John Malkovich and Austrian director Michael Sturminger, Martin Haselböck developed the music dramas The Internal Comedy and The Giacomo Variations; and with director Frank Hoffmann and multimedia artist Virgil Widrich staged the theatre piece Black Cat. To date these productions have received over 180 performances combined, in nearly 100 cities including London, Paris, Hamburg, Budapest, Prague, Warsaw, Moscow, Istanbul, Tel Aviv, Buenos Aires, Toronto, Chicago, New York and Rio de Janeiro.
Orchester Wiener Akademie is invited regularly to international festivals and concert series throughout the world. Guest performances have included appearances at Kissinger Sommer, St. Prex Classics Festival, Budapest Spring Festival, Grafenegg Festival, Mozartfest Augsburg, Prague Spring Festival, Schleswig-Holstein Festival, Wiener Festwochen, Halle Handel Festival, Rheingau Music Festival, Liszt Festival Raiding and the Beethoven festivals of Bonn, Warsaw and Krakow, among many others. Invitations to the most important concert halls of Europe and the rest of the world have taken the orchestra to many cities including Munich, Frankfurt, New York, Chicago, Peking, Seoul, Barcelona, Madrid, Amsterdam, Luxembourg, Osaka, Tokyo, Tel Aviv, Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo, Santiago de Chile and Bogota.
From its earliest days, Orchester Wiener Akademie has set new standards in the field of opera, with performances in the Salzburg Whitsun Festival, Wiener Festwochen, Vienna Konzerthaus, and numerous tours of staged productions of operas such as Handel's 'Acis and Galatea' and 'Radamisto', Beethoven's 'Fidelio', Humperdinck's 'Hänsel & Gretel', Mozart’s 'Il Sogno di Scipione' and 'Il re pastore', Gassmanns 'La Contessina', Bendas 'Il buonmarito', Haydns 'Die Feuersbrunst' and Webers 'der Freischütz'.