Concentus Musicus Wien
The orchestra was founded in 1953 by Nikolaus Harnoncourt who directed the orchestra until 1987 from the cello and was the artistic director of the Ensemble till his retirement from the stage in December 2015. “The music of every period can best be brought to life and is most convincingly realized using the resources of the time”, is Harnoncourt’s credo. The musicians of the ensemble spent more than four years rehearsing and perfecting the sound of their ensemble and their authentic interpretation of Baroque and pre-Baroque musical works before they finally gave their first public concert in the Schwarzenberg Palace in Vienna. An event that marked the start of an annual concert series in Vienna, musical tours (starting in 1960) and a wealth of recordings – beginning with the Brandenburg Concertos by Johann Sebastian Bach.
Among the many brilliant projects of Concentus Musicus Wien is the complete recording of all the Bach cantatas between 1970 and 1990, for which they were awarded the Gramophone Award. The ensemble is also famous for its opera recordings: for instance, at Theater an der Wien, styriarte Graz or Salzburg Festival. At last the ensemble recorded a double DVD with music by Mozart, Lanner and Strauß: “Walzer Revolution”, as well as the recording “Timotheus oder Die Gewalt der Musik”(Handel/Mozart) for the 200-year-celebration of Musikverein Vienna. They are also a part of the DVD production “Idomeneo” at styriarte Festival 2008.
The successor of Alice Harnoncourt, who left the Concentus together with her husband in December 2015, in the function of the concertmaster is Erich Höbarth.
Till now there does not exist a definitive decision of how and under who’s direction the Concentus will go into the future.