Every year, some of the best musicians for historically informed performance practice from the finest early-music ensembles in Europe unite to the Dresden Festival Orchestra as the Dresden Music Festival's very own ensemble. With great joy of discovery, precision and a keen sense for authentic interpretations, the Dresden Festival Orchestra explores the original sound of various epochs and in doing so fills a void in the musical life of the city. The musicians play original instruments, varying with the era and historical background of its repertoire, which means that the strings use gut strings and the winds offer a completely new sound.
The artists, all virtuosos and specialists on their instruments, are giftet with variety of styles and playing techniques, wich they bring to Dresden from orchestras such as the Academy of Ancient Music, the Orchestera of the18th Century, the Balthasar-Neumann-Ensemble, the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, the Concentus Musicus Wien, Il Giardino Armonico or Le Cercle de l'Harmonie.
Already at its celebrated premiere during the 2012 Music Festival the ensemble thrilled both audiences and critics. During the 2014 Festival season, the orchestra paid homage to Richard Strauss in his anniversary year, offering a brilliant rediscovery of his opera »Feuersnot« (a coproduction with the Sächsische Staatsoper Dresden), that was nominated for the 2015 »International Opera Award«. In October 2016 the first recording was released with Schumann’s second symphony and his cello concerto featuring Jan Vogler as solist. Renowned soloists that performed with the orchestra inculde Simone Kermes, Giuliano Carmignola, Isabelle Faust, Bejun Mehta and Waltraud Meier.
Since 2012 Ivor Bolton has been chief conductor of the Dresden Festival Orchestra.