Since its founding by Bernhard Paumgartner in 1951 and the subsequent leadership of Sándor Végh from 1978-1997, the Camerata Academica Salzburg (or Camerata Salzburg = CAS) has developed a signature "Camerata Klang" (or "Camerata Sound") through a dedication to the repertoire of the Viennese Classics, by fostering a multicultural family of musicians representing over 24 nationalities, and by developing a rehearsal discipline unlike any other ensemble. Sandór Végh candidly characterized the CAS's niché as performing as an "enlarged string quartet". In September 1997 Sir Roger Norrington was appointed chief conductor of the orchestra.
The CAS draws many internationally acclaimed guest artists, including conductors Franz Welser-Möst, Trevor Pinnock and Sir Neville Marriner and soloists Murray Perahia, Mitsuko Uchida, Joshua Bell, Steven Isserlis and Anne-Sophie Mutter. To further the CAS's artistic priorities, Leonidas Kavakos was installed as principal guest artist beginning in 2001-2002 for a four-year term. He is charged with intensifying the work of Camerata Salzburg in the area of soloist-lead concerts.
Celebrating their 50th anniversary season in 2001-2002, the Camerata Salzburg under chief conductor Sir Roger Norrington has an established reputation as one of Europe's foremost chamber ensembles. The CAS performs over 80 concerts per season and is funded mainly through private initiatives. Regular invitations to the Salzburger Festspiele, the Salzburg "Mozartwoche" and Camerata Salzburg´s own "Festival Begegnung" (in collaboration with the International Mozarteum Foundation) round-out performance activities.
Highlights in the 2001-2002 season include subscription concerts in Salzburg's Mozarteum and in Vienna's Konzerthaus, guest appearances in New York´s Carnegie Hall, the Cologne Philharmonie, the Luzern Festival and in Madrid, Istanbul, Pittsburgh, Paris and a concert tour of Italy.
Historic recordings under the supervision of Sándor Végh with the core Viennese repertoire are available on Capriccio, Decca and Philips. More recently, the W.A. Mozart's violin concerti with Augustin Dumay were recorded for Deutsche Grammophon, HK Gruber´s Frankenstein with Franz Welser-Möst for EMI, and the Bach Cantatas with Matthias Goerne and Sir Roger Norrington for Decca.