The Tonkünstler-Orchester Niederösterreich, the State Orchestra of Lower Austria, is one of the most important institutions of Austrian musical culture, but has also been pursuing unconventional paths into the orchestral future. On the one hand, the orchestra’s repertoire and tonal culture are based on a hundred years of history and a solid interpretative tradition. On the other, under the leadership of its dynamic current principal conductor, Kristjan Järvi, the orchestra has taken a number of new initiatives. It maintains residences in three highly varied but at the same time high-calibre venues: the Goldener Saal of the Wiener Musikverein, the Festspielhaus in St Pölten and, since summer 2007, the new festival location at the estate of Grafenegg Castle. The orchestra counts Kurt Wöss, Heinz Wallberg, Walter Weller, Miltiades Caridis, Isaac Karabtchevsky and Fabio Luisi among its former principal conductors, and attracts the most distinguished guest conductors as well as soloists of the first rank. In 1913 a forerunner of the present orchestra gave the world premiere of Schoenberg’s Gurrelieder, and the Tonkünstler-Orchester continues to expand its repertoire by exploring new or unfamiliar works of the past three centuries. It became the first orchestra in Austria to establish a department of music education, which stages workshops that prepare classes of school children to attend concerts and musical theatre performances and also stimulate the children’s musical sensibilities. The orchestra has made numerous recordings and tours regularly throughout the musical world.