The core of Ensemble Orion comprises the violinist Noëlle-Anne Darbellay and her brother, french horn player Olivier Darbellay. The siblings play in various configurations: from solos and duos, to octets and nonets – augmenting the ensemble with outstanding guest musicians.
The repertoire of Ensemble Orion includes works from the baroque – played on period instruments - up until to the music of our time.

The possibilities opened up by the rich instrumentation of the core duo (alphorn, natural horn, modern horn, baroque and modern violin, viola) are enhanced by the unique combinations of the full ensemble. Noëlle-Anne’s interest in cross-disciplinary projects adds a theatrical nature to the group, enlisting singing and reciting elements into their unconventional and wide-spread repertoire.
The family ties are completed by the composer Jean-Luc Darbellay, Noëlle-Anne and Olivier’s father, whose work plays a central role in the programmes of Ensemble Orion.

The Ensemble has given concerts throughout Europe, North America and Asia, and performed at renowned concert series including at Tokyo (Goethe-Institut), New York (Julliard School), Washington (Swiss embassy), of the universities New Jersey, Louisville and Montréal, Angers (Grand Théâtre), Amsterdam, Bonn (in Deutschlandfunk’s concert series “Concerto discreto” at the Arithmeum), Bruxelles, Dessau (70 Years Bauhaus Celebration with MDR), Düsseldorf (Tonhalle), Halle (Händel Haus, with MDR), Kazan, Kaunas (Is Arti), Lausanne (SMC, with Espace2), London (Swiss embassy), Leipzig, Lyon, Luxembourg (Philharmonie), Madrid, Moscow, München (Tonkünstlerkonzerte), Prag, Saragossa (World exhibition), Riga, Turin (Fondazione Merz), Thessaloniki, Wels and significant Museums such as the Albertina Vienna and Museum der Moderne Salzburg.

Furthermore, Ensemble Orion received invitations by festivals such as Sion Festival, Swiss Chamber Music Festival, Hirzenberg Festival, Murten Classics, Rencontres musicales de Champéry, Schubertiade d’Espace2, Aspekte Salzburg, World New Music days, International Music Festival Odessa, Nuits Musicales en Armagnac, Ete Musicale de Roisin, Festival Albert Roussel Cassel, Festival Franco-Anglais de Poésie Paris, Festival du Jura and the Torshavn Summer Festival on the Faroe Islands.

The projects are often supplemented by mediating elements such as pre-concert talks, master classes, education projects and cultural exchange with foreign ensembles.
A special collaboration connects the siblings with the pianist Benjamin Engeli, one of the leading interpreters of his generation. In 2018 a recording of the trios by Brahms and Koechlin was made for the Challenge Records label, which has received enthusiastic critical acclaim.
The contributors in the Season 20/21 are: Lisa Tatin (voice), Susanna Fini, Matthias Müller and Joakim Cumont-Vioque (violin), Julie Le Gac and Javier López Sanz (viola), René Camacaro and Eric Abeijon (cello), Jim Vanderspar (double bass), Marc Sieffert (saxophone), Benjamin Engeli (piano).



Selection press excerpts

SHuge applause for a fascinating evening - Ensemble Orion inspires at Deutschlandfunk’s concert series ‘Concerto discreto’ in the Arithmeum in Bonn.  (General-Anzeiger Bonn)

How beautifully the wind textures caressed each other - and how ghostly the string sounds died away... An evening of high aesthetics and arresting depth of expression by the promising Ensemble Orion.  (Der Bund)
With their colourful and flawlessly intoned playing, siblings Noëlle-Anne Darbellay (violin) and Olivier Darbellay (horn), guaranteed a captivating concert of the highest musical intensity.  (Mindener Tagblatt)

[...] The fact that all the protagonists are also at home in the classical-traditional field is proven by their enormously colourful and sometimes playful, sometimes lost-in-musing interpretation of the Brahms trio. Charles Koechlin's early miniatures breathe the Parisian air on the threshold of the fin de siècle, and cautiously approach modernity. An exemplary programme that harmoniously combines old and new.  (Musik&Theater)
With the humorous "Frog-Parthia" by Leopold Mozart, Noëlle-Anne Darbellay, René Camacaro and Jim Vanderspar drew fascinating, virtuosic pictures of a resting landscape, radiating life and beauty.  (Der Murtenbieter)
The interpretation of the thoughtful trio for piano, violin and horn Opus 40 by Johannes Brahms is a stroke of luck: the two Darbellay siblings are joined by the excellent Swiss pianist Benjamin Engeli – The three abound in powerful, subtle and technically flawless interplay.  (Schweizer Musikzeitung)