The Trickster Orchestra was founded in 2013 by Cymin Samawatie, Ketan Bhatti, and Philip Geisler. The orchestra was born out of a collaboration of Cymin Samawatie with members of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, which prompted her to create an ensemble that unites outstanding soloists of various musical traditions in a new form of collectively created contemporary music, bringing Berlin’s free and independent music scenes together with members of institutionalized ensembles.
In the following years, the Trickster Orchestra performed its approach of a trans-traditional contemporary music born out of radical diversity and musical multiperspectivity at Tonhalle and Asphalt Festival Düsseldorf, Silk Road Festival Baku, Tonlagen Festival Hellerau, Borusan Istanbul, Bundeskunsthalle Bonn, Radialsystem Berlin, Komische Oper, Staatsoper Mannheim, at Elbphilharmonie Hamburg as well as at Kontraklang and Konzerthaus Berlin. It explores new formats for trans-traditional music through radio plays (SWR2 Jetztmusik), interdisciplinary collaborations, and its own Trickster Podcast.
In 2021, the ensemble released its first album recording with the label ECM. In 2022, the Trickster Orchestra received the German Jazz Award as Best Large Ensemble and the TONALi Award for Courageous Pathways in contemporary classical music.