Founded in 1945, the Stuttgarter Kammerorchester is the oldest and most renowned ensemble of its kind and for over 65 years it has occupied an outstanding position in international orchestra culture. Michael Hofstetter has been the conductor of this ensemble since September 2006. The orchestra had already earned its excellent reputation under its founder and long-time director, Karl Münchinger. Through a completely new and exemplary style of interpretation of the works of Johann Sebastian Bach the Stuttgarter Kammerorchester became a pathfinder in the field of historical performance practice. Dennis Russell Davies, its principal conductor, from 1995 to 2006, expanded the repertoire of the orchestral, especially with works from 20th century. In 2008 the orchestra was awarded the European Chamber Music Award by the European Foundation for Culture.