The Kunstorkest was founded in March of 1982 by baroque bassoonist Norbert Kunst and owes her name to him. The orchestra has its origin in a course on at the Cantoraat (now the Cultural Centre Parnassos) . Starting in 1985 the orchestra is independent. It is part of the KOSMU, the umbrella organisation of student music associations in Utrecht.
From 1989 to the start of 1999 the orchestra was led by violinist and conduction Lu van Albada, after which Norbert Kunst reprised his role for a few years.