Founded in Florence in 1980, at the initiative of the Regione Toscana, the Province and the Municipality of Florence, the ORT is considered one of the best orchestras in Italy.
In 1983, under the artistic direction of Luciano Berio, it was recognised by the Ministry of Tourism and Entertainment as an Orchestral Concert Institution. The average staff consists of 44 musicians who are also divided into agile chamber music ensembles. The Orchestra is based in Florence in the historic Teatro Verdi, where it puts on its seasonal concerts. It has also been a guest of the most important italian concert companies, including the Teatro alla Scala, the Lingotto Auditorium of Turin, the Academy of Santa Cecilia in Rome, as well as in the most important european and overseas halls, from Carnegie Hall in New York to the Teatro Coliseo in Buenos Aires, and also in Hong Kong and Japan.
Its artistic history is marked by the presence and collaboration with famous musicians such as Salvatore Accardo, Martha Argerich, Rudolf Barshai, Yuri Bashmet, Frans Brüggen, Myung-Whun Chung, Gianluigi Gelmetti, Daniel Harding, Eliahu Inbal, Yo-Yo Ma and Uto Ughi. The ORT is a versatile interpreter of a wide repertoire and is distinguished by the excellence of the musicians that compose it. Precisely this artistic quality allows the orchestra to interpret music from the baroque to romantic classic, to the historical Twentieth Century, with particular focus on contemporary music, participating in important events such as the Venice Biennale Musica and the “Festival Musica” in Strasbourg. The ORT has conceived and created the “Play It!” Festival dedicated to italian music of our times, which in 2014 received the “Franco Abbiati” Music Critics’ Award as the best initiative.
Its concerts are broadcast on RadioRai Tre and Rete Toscana Classica and it has recorded for Emi, Ricordi, Agorà, VDM Records, Sony Classical, Warner Music Italia and NovAntiqua Records.