Tonhalle Orchester Zürich is a symphony orchestra founded in 1868 in Zürich Switzerland, where it established its residence in the neue Tonhalle (new concert hall) in 1895.
The Tonhalle Orchestra is conducted by David Zinman who became the music director in 1995 and the orchestra has since come to international attention with a large and growing repertoire of recordings. Zinman's contract was recently extended to 2014. The orchestra of just over 100 musicians now plays all over the world; it has twice performed widely-broadcast BBC Promenade Concerts at Royal Albert Hall. With Zinman, the orchestra has made many recordings, including a cycle of Beethoven and Schumann symphonies and works by Richard Strauss.
Under Friedrich Hegar, its first conductor, it began to have a great influence on music in and around Zürich. His successor, Volkmar Andreae, noted for promoting works of Bruckner, directed the orchestra for forty-three years and gave 1,300 concerts. Rudolf Kempe focused especially on German romantic music. Gerd Albrecht thought of new ways to introduce music to wider audiences, including concerts for children and families and had a considerable role in enhancing the orchestra's role in the musical life of Zürich. The pianist Christoph Eschenbach held his first post as conductor there and, under Zinman, the orchestra is again experimenting with new ways, including a Friday disco night, known as "Tonhalle Late", after concerts designed to attract younger people.