• Life & Work

Statement of Concentus Musicus on the Occasion of Nikolaus Harnoncourt’s Retirement from the Stage

After more than 60 years in which Alice and Nikolaus Harnoncourt have shaped musical history together with the Concentus Musicus ensemble, with their retirement from stage Concentus Musicus Vienna loses their last founding members and, with Nikolaus Harnoncourt, its indisputable spiritus rector.

With Harnoncourt’s retirement an era has come to an end. The rediscovery of early music, and a lively and distinct performance practice will always be inextricably linked with Harnoncourt’s name. Hundreds of concerts, records, videos and CD recordings bear witness to the amazing development and history of Concentus Musicus.

The musicians of the Concentus, who have been greatly influenced by Alice and Nikolaus Harnoncourt, will now have to reposition themselves to be able to face the challenge of exploring new avenues and shaping a new future which will have to look back onto Harnoncourt’s heritage, but at the same time will not restrict itself to the past. As Nikolaus Harnoncourt has always pointed out, the essence of an historically informed performance practice is not the reconstruction of the past but its interpretation by taking into consideration the origins of a musical piece and adjusting it to today’s world.

This will be one of the major challenges for Concentus Musicus who will now have to define their artistic future.

In endless gratitude for the wealth of experience Harnoncourt has brought to the ensemble, Concentus Musicus will now set out to shape its future together with its organising partners.

The programme for the ongoing season 2015/16 will be continued as planned, together with our organising partners and in the manner and at the dates that have already been fixed, in the spirit and with the support of Nikolaus and Alice Harnoncourt. As from the season 2016/17 Concentus Musicus will explore new avenues, always bearing in mind however its rich musical heritage.

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