The orchestra was founded in 1988 to give the best music students in Trondheim an opportunity to play together and to gain concert experience. It has since established itself as one of the most distinguished ensembles in Norway, and has won international recognition for its own distinctively open and clear orchestral sound, described by the British music magazine Classic FM as "The Trondheim Sound".
Teamwork and a lively musical inquisitiveness are core values, and under the direction of cellist and music teacher Øyvind Gimse, who has been artistic director since 2002, the orchestra’s musicians have continued to develop the virtuosity and confidence that allow them to play what they want, when they want, and to take chances rather than play safe.
The orchestra’s energetic musicality and sheer joy in music-making are infectious. In 1999 a fruitful association with the violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter was begun that has spanned many years and has included concerts, tours and recordings, and this has contributed to the orchestra’s growing reputation at home and abroad, leading to an increasing number of engagements. The orchestra has performed with leading artists not only in classical music, but also in jazz, folk music, rock and pop.
TrondheimSolistene has been featured on more than 50 albums. Its recordings for the 2L label have won great acclaim, earning not only two Spellemannpriser (Norwegian music awards), but also, for the albums Divertimenti, In Folk Style, Souvenirand Reflections, a total of 10 Grammy nominations, as well as glowing international reviews. The orchestra's best-selling release to date has been Vivaldi's The Four Seasonswith Mutter as soloist, on the Deutsche Grammophon label (with approximately 700,000 records sold).
The development of musical talent and the fostering of an enduring musical environment in Trondheim constitute a vital part of this orchestra’s work. It has close ties with the Department of Music at NTNU (the Norwegian University of Science and Technology). The promotion of Norwegian music and of contemporary music is also a strong commitment. The ensemble never travels abroad without Norwegian music on its programme, and it has premiered about 50 works specially written for the orchestra.