Resident Orchestra

Concentus Musicus Wien

Michael Schade’s first innovative act was to commit Concentus Musicus Wien to the festival. In doing so, he brought to Melk an orchestra which has given its unique mark on the Baroque sound in recent decades. The Melk Baroque Festival also gives the orchestra a platform for new joint ventures and artistic growth. In 2014, for example, Concentus performed under the English conductor Matthew Hall and in 2015 under Daniel Harding. This approach was continued in 2016 with shooting star Pablo Heras-Casado. Since 2015 Concentus Musicus dedicates itself at the “Internationale Barocktage Stift Melk” to baroque chamber music repertoire and thus is returning enthusiastically to its roots. Here too, Concentus Musicus performed a much celebrated matineé in 2016 under its new conductor Stefan Gottfried. 

As one of the first ensembles pioneering the authentic period sound, Concentus Musicus Wien paved the way for the success of the historical performance movement. The orchestra was formed in 1953 by Nikolaus Harnoncourt, who was its artistic director until his death in spring 2016. "The music of every period can best be brought to life and is most convincingly realized using the resources of the time," was Harnoncourt's credo. Concentus Musicus Wien has been involved in many spectacular projects, including the complete recording of all Bach’s cantatas between 1970 and 1990, which earned it a Gramophone Award. The ensemble has also recorded many operas, including Mozart’s Lucio Silla and Il re pastore, Haydn’s Armida , Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas and The Fairy Queen, and Monteverdi’s Orfeo, as well as numerous oratorios by George Frideric Handel. The orchestra’s repertoire today ranges from the Renaissance to Haydn and Mozart, with a balance of sacred and secular music.

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