The ensemble is named after the austrian violist and conducter Alma Rosé.
Her uncle was the composer Gustav Mahler. Alma Rosé was deported by the Nazis to the infamous concentration camp at Auschwitz‐Birkenau. There she directed an orchestra of terrified prisoners who played to their captors in order that they should stay alive.
In 1932 she founded the woman’s orchestra Die Wiener Walzermädeln (The Waltzing Girls of Vienna). The ensemble played to a very high standard, undertaking concert tours throughout Europe. Her program included mainly popular songs and melodies from the viennese operetta.