La Petite Bande (Belgium) was founded in 1972 by Sigiswald Kuijken at the request of the record company Deutsche Harmonia Mundi in order to record Lully’s “Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme”, under the direction of Gustav Leonhardt. The orchestra takes its name and constitution from Lully’s own orchestra at the court of Louis XIV. All its members are internationally renowned specialists in the early music field.
Although originally La Petite Bande was not meant to become a permanent orchestra, the success of the recordings was such that they began to give concerts regularly.
La Petite Bande has recorded instrumental as well as vocal music, including operas and oratorios from the Baroque and Classical periods. La Petite Bande currently makes recordings for Deutsche Harmonia Mundi, Denon, Challenge Classics, Accent and Hyperion.
La Petite Bande has performed in a multitude of international festivals and concert series, in Europe, Japan, Australia, South America and China.
La Petite Bande is structurally endowed by the Ministry of the Flemish Community of Belgium and by the Province of Vlaams-Brabant. Since 1997, La Petite Bande has been orchestra-in-residence in Leuven.Sigiswald Kuijken (1944) studied violin at the Conservatories of Bruges and Brussels. Like his brother Wieland he came in touch with early music at a very young age and mastered the specific 17th and 18th century performing techniques and interpretation conventions. He had a decisive influence on the approach to violin music, as his newly introduced technique of playing baroque violin has been adopted by many musicians since the early 1970s. He also performed a lot of avantgarde music until the late 1970s and early music with his brothers Wieland and Barthold, Gustav Leonhardt, Robert Kohnen, Anner Bylsma, Frans Brüggen, René Jacobs a.o.