Ars Antiqua Austria
This renowned ensemble was founded in Linz in 1995 by Gunar Letzbor and Michael Oman with a core group of eight musicians dedicated to the task of authentically interpreting Austrian music of the Baroque era. To this end, the group performed on original instruments of the period and devoted much energy to researching and uncovering works that had been neglected until being performed by the group. The ensemble takes account of the wide diversity of cultures that have influenced and contributed to Austrian music during the centuries of the Baroque style when the physical and political boundaries of the country were more extensive. The ensemble infuses its performances with "the joie de vivre of the South, the Slav melancholy, French formality, Spanish pomp, and the Alpine character of the German-speaking regions" (Letzbor), typical constituents of the court, and folk and dance music of that time in Austria. The Ars Antiqua Austria has toured Austria, France, Germany, Slovakia, and the Ukraine, played several festivals of Baroque music, and toured the United States in 2001. The group won a Cannes Classical Award in 2002 for its recording of Viviani's Capricci armonici and continued to release albums, including Antonio Bertali: Promithia Suavissima, Parte Seconda (2005), and Benedikt Anton Aufschnaiter: Dulcia Fidium Harmonia (2009).