Since its foundation in 1996 at the Anton Bruckner Private University, Linz, the L’Orfeo Barockorchester has developed into one of the leading ensembles for historical performance practice today. The synthesis of standard repertoire and pioneering work is a trademark of L’Orfeo’s concert programmes and CD’s. In addition L’Orfeo has also proved itself an outstanding orchestra for stage works (CD releases: Orpheus oder Die wunderbare Beständigkeit der Liebe by Georg Philipp Telemann; Joseph Haydn’s Die wüste Insel/The desert Island).
The orchestra leaves a mark time and again with its discography ranging from French Baroque suites through Sturm und Drang sinfonias to Classical and Early Romantic repertoire. Among its many releases are several premiére recordings. Various prizes have been awarded e.g. by Diapason, Pizzicato (“Supersonic Award”), Le Monde de la Musique, Fono Forum, Radio Österreich 1 (“Pasticcio Prize”), as well as the coveted German music award ECHO Klassik. A high artistic level, colourful playing and an immense sensitivity for sound are aspects confirmed by critics and audiences time and again. Team spirit and a close identification with founder and leader Michi Gaigg form the basis for its artistic success.
Michi Gaigg, conductor The Austrian conductor and leader of the orchestra, Michi Gaigg, was deeply inspired as a student by the lectures given by Nikolaus Harnoncourt at the Salzburg Mozarteum. After completing her violin studies there she commenced learning to play the Baroque violin and studied with Ingrid Seifert and Sigiswald Kuijken.
Michi Gaigg accumulated valuable experience in internationally well-known ensembles such as London Baroque and with conductors such as Frans Brüggen, Alan Curtis, Christopher Hogwood, René Jacobs, Ton Koopman and Hermann Max. Together with Carin van Heerden she founded the L’Orfeo Barockorchester in 1996.
Opera productions are becoming increasingly important in Michi Gaigg’s work. Recently staged works are: Handel’s first opera Almira, Queen of Castille, Georg Philipp Telemann’s Orpheus oder Die wunderbare Beständigkeit der Liebe, Orpheus und Eurydike by Chr. W. Gluck, Zaide by W. A. Mozart, Romeo und Julie by Georg Anton Benda, Joseph Haydn’s Die wüste Insel and a trilogy of early operas by Gioachino Rossini (Il signor Bruschino, La scala di seta und La cambiale di matrimonio).
Michi Gaigg has been teaching at the Institute for Early Music at the Anton Bruckner Private University in Linz since 1993. She is director of the Danube Festival in Strudengau and received two cultural awards by the province of Upper Austria.