The ensemble was founded in 1979 by the Salzburger violinist Luz Leskowitz with the aim of bringing together highly qualified young soloists and chamber-musicians. The seven strings (two violins, two violas, two violoncelli and a doublebass) who either hold leading positions in top European orchestras and/or teach at music conservatories, gave their first concert together with Jeremy Menuhin at the piano in July 1979 at the Harzburger Musiktage (Germany), created by Luz Leskowitz. The ensemble is in so far unique, since all its members, as indicated in the name Salzburger Solisten, are soloists of comparable standard, able to perform the widest range of chamber music in all imaginable combinations – from solo to small orchestral works – guided by the same spirit and achieving a perfect musical dialogue among equals. Permanent members are: Luz Leskowitz (1st violin and artistic director), Elena and Tatjana Issaenkova (violin), Vladimir Mendelssohn and Elena Alexeeva (viola), Ingemar Brantelid and Irina Smirnova (violoncello) and Mette Hanskov (doublebass).
The Salzburger Solisten soon acquired a high reputation, earned during international tours all over the world – London, Vienna, Brussels, Hamburg, Paris, Copenhagen, Sofia, Bologna, Geneva, Barcelona, Lisboa, Roma, Sao Paulo, Budapest, Tokyo, Sasayama (Schubertiade together with Jörg Demus) – among other places. The Salzburger Solisten are the resident ensemble of the Salzburger Schlosskonzerte, the largest concert series in the world with more then 330 concerts a year, which is directed by Luz Leskowitz.
The Salzburger Solisten have performed together with pianists such as Paul Badura Skoda, Jörg Demus, Ingrid Haebler, Detlef Kraus, Jeremy Menuhin, Abdel Rahman El Bacha, Vassily Lobanov, Alexej Lubimov, Peter Rösel, Norman Shetler, Matthias Kirschnereit; with singers like Edith Wiens and Elly Ameling, or the tenor Zeeger Vandersteene; with the harpists Osian Ellis, Giselle Herbert, Chantal Mathieu, Maria Graf and Marie-Pierre Langlamet; with the horn player Hermann Baumann; with the trompet players Hakan Hardenberger and Sergei Nakariakov; with the oboists Hansjörg Schellenberger and Joris Van den Hauwe; with the clarinettists Eduard Brunner and Karl Leister; with the flûtists Michala Petri (recorder), Sharon Bezaly, Wolfgang Schulz and Karlheinz Zöller; and also with Igor and Valery Oistrach, Norbert Brainin, Mstislav Rostropovitch, David Geringas, Martin Lovett, Maria Kliegel, Julius Berger and Pieter Wispelwey; with the Bartok Quartett, the Voces Quartett, the Lark Quartett and many others.
The Salzburger Solisten have recorded numerous programmes for Radio and Television at home and abroad. LP’s and CD’s were recorded with the American glasharmonica player Dennis James under the label of SYRINX; with the Belgian oboist Joris Van den Hauwe (SYRINX); with the pianist Abdel Rahman El Bacha for MIRABELL; „Salzburger Solisten at the castel Udine“ for CETRA; „Schubertiade“ with Jörg Demus (SONY/DEMUSICA); the two Brahms Sextetts for ARTE NOVA. Together with the portuguese pianist Maria-José Morais for EMI-CLASSICS; or on LP the „Transfigured Night“ by Schönberg and Mendelssohns d-minor violinconcerto played by Luz Leskowitz. The flute quartetts by Mozart were produced by BIS (Sweden) together with the Israeli flutist Sharon Bezaly.