The first concerts were given in the autumn of 1993, and since then the ensemble has often held concerts and appeared at a long succession of festivals, with the result that they have developed into a mature, professional, flexible ensemble where the 15 or so members can perform in many different groupings, from one to 15 musicians.
In 2004 they changed the name to the present Zagros, but the standard and goals have remained unchanged: to perform contemporary composition music and modern classics from the twentieth century. Occasionally, Zagros play chamber music going all the way back to Classicism and Romanticism, for example works by Haydn, Beethoven and Brahms.
The repertoire also ranges from works by Debussy and Ravel through Crumb, Berio and Gubaidulina to the young Finnish generation: Veli-Matti Puumala, Seppo Pohjola, Kimmo Hakola, Jukka Tiensuu and Lotta Wennäkoski.
However, the primary focus is on recent and brand new music, and as we have seen with well nigh all the nominees, Zagros also collaborate closely with contemporary composers. Many works have been written especially for the ensemble.
In 2003 Zagros, who won a competition for new ensembles at the Tampere Biennale in 1996, embarked on an annual concert series where each concert includes a work specifically written for the ensemble.
Among the conductors who have worked with Zagros are Dmitri Slobodeniouk, Susanne Mälkki, John Storgårds and Hannu Lintu.
Zagros has concentrated so much on playing live that to date there have only been a few CD recordings. Hopefully this outstanding ensemble will make more recordings in the future.