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"A fascinating endeavour to build musical bridges from European jazz towards the sound universe of the Orient. The Chameleon Orchestra celebrates World Music in perhaps its most open and vivid form with a wealth of facets."  (Michael Ternai, mica-music austria)


A get-together of European and Oriental music traditions.


With the foundation of the Chameleon Orchestra, Christian Wirth made a dream come true: the dream of a flexible orchestral ensemble consisting of versatile musicians shaped by a variety of different musical and cultural backgrounds.


The project “Windows to the East” started in cooperation with the Syrian oud-virtuoso Orwa Saleh, who made Linz/Austria his new home in 2012. 

For the members of the orchestra the production of the CD was not only a musical adventure, their cooperation has also led to a number of enriching encounters and sincere friendships. Lucky chance led to two more Syrian artists joining the band – the composer and violinist Maias Alyamani as well as the charming singer Basma Jabr. The ensemble regularly collaborate with guest soloists like the Syrian-American exceptional artist vocalist Dima Orsho (ensemble Hewar).


Last but not least this project is an unmistakable statement for peace, intended to show that music can pave the way towards an open-minded approach marked by mutual respect and appreciation, which is something we often miss sorely in our society – and yet which could be so wonderfully enriching for all – as you can observe in the ideal example of the Chameleon Orchestra.


In this way the Chameleon Orchestra has become a unique, flexible ensemble, which is able to transform itself from a contemporary classical chamber music group into an Oriental Fusion Band as effortlessly as anything.


For many years the violinist Christian Wirth has been exploring various musical worlds. With his Spring String Quartet, which is also integrated in the Chameleon Orchestra, he has been giving concerts all over the world and partnered many nationally and internationally renowned artists.



TRAILER Watch on YouTube

Christian Wirth - violin, conductor, composition



Orwa Saleh - oud, composition

Maias Alyamani - violin, composition

Basma Jabr - vocals


Guest soloists (vocalists):

Macadi Nahhas (2017, Sharjah/UAE)

Dima Orsho (2017, Linz/A, Brucknerhaus)

Manal Samaan (2019, Lucerne/CH)


Orchestra members:

Marcus Wall - violin

Julian Gillesberger - viola

Stephan Punderlitschek - violoncello, composition

Dietmar Hollinetz - double bass

Norbert Girlinger - flutes

Eberhard Reiter - saxophones, clarinets

Matthias Kronsteiner - bassoon

Martina Wirth - trumpet, flugel horn

Marco Palewicz - piano, keyboards, composition

Uygar Cagli - electric bass

Gerhard Reiter - darabukka, frame drum, riqq

Andreas Huber - cajon, congas, djembe, shaker

David Halasz - drum set, vibraphone, composition

ATS Records, CD-0872
ATS Records, CD-0872

ATS Records

Album release: 25/04/2016


Music by Christian Wirth, Orwa Saleh, Maias Alyamani, David Halasz, Marco Palewicz, Stephan Punderlitschek, Mohamed Abdelwahab, Farid Al-Atrash, ...


"Christian Wirth's "Windows to the East" is a crisp mix of various styles: oriental, groovy, playful, boisterous and joyful; it pauses every now and then to allow for a few affectionate dancing steps. Saleh's "+250-" opens up a sentimental view onto his home country.

All arrangements are skillfully done... a fabulous project!"  (Norbert Trawöger, Kulturbericht Upper Austria 06|16)


 "… (the musicians) create a colorful sound by switching playfully between various rhythms and juggling skillfully the most unexpected twists and turns in style."  (bak, Concerto 3|2016)


Info "Windows to the East" ENGLISH
Adobe Acrobat Dokument 1.0 MB