For 26 years now, Musica Antiqua Köln (= MAK) and Reinhard Goebel have been associated with virtually every important musical centre and festival at which early music is performed. The ensemble is renowned for their lively interpretations of 17th- and 18th -century works and for their virtuoso and imaginative historical performance practice.
Founded in 1973 by Reinhard Goebel and fellow students from the Cologne Conservatory, Musica Antiqua Köln initially devoted itself to the performance of Baroque chamber and sacred music. Musica Antiqua Köln's international breakthrough came in 1979, when the ensemble made its debut at London's Queen Elizabeth Hall during the annual
English Bach Festival and gave five concerts at the Holland Festival. On the occasion of their 10th anniversary,
Reinhard Goebel augmented the ensemble's chamber-group nucleus with additional string and wind players to allow the performance of orchestral music as well - both in the concert hall and in the recording studio. Since 1981, Musica Antiqua Köln and
Reinhard Goebel have made regular tours of the USA, visiting Australia and South America several times and touring China in "Bach Year", 1985. Musica Antiqua Köln received the Buxtehude Prize from the City of Lubeck and has also received awards from Siemens and the State of Nordrhein-Westfalen. In 1981 the ensemble was named "Artist of the Year" by the Deutsche Phono-akademie.
Musica Antiqua Köln and Reinhard Goebel have been Archiv Produktion exclusive artists since 1978. Their innovative role in the discovery and realization of unusual early music repertoire has been acknowledged internationally, as is apparent from the group's numerous awards: for example their recording of chamber concertos by Telemann (Deutscher Schallplattenpreis 1981), the collections German Chamber Music before Bach (Deutscher Schallplattenpreis 1982) and The Bach Family before Johann Sebastian (Grand Prix International du Disque 1987),
François Couperin's Les Nations (Grand Prix National du Disque 1984), chamber music by J. S. Bach (Gramophone Award 1984), Telemann's Tafelmusik (CD Compact Award 1990). Their recording of
Johann David Heinichen's Dresden Concerti has won five major awards: the Jahrespreis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik 1993, the Gramophone Award 1993, the Prix Caecilia 1993, the Schallplattenpreis Echo-Klassik 1994 and the CD Compact Award 1994.
Musica Antiqua Köln's recent releases include a recording of Georg Frideric Handel's Marian Cantatas and Arias with
Anne Sofie von Otter, which received the CD Compact Award 1995 in the "Baroque Vocal" category, and a compilation of works with a Parisian emphasis - Rebel's Les Elemens, Gluck's ballet Alessandro and Telemann's Sonata in E minor. In 1995, a collection entitled Concerti per l'orchestra di Dresda was released with works by
J.D. Heinichen, Veracini,
Johann Joachim Quantz, Charles Dieupart,
Johann Georg Pisendel and Fasch. In 1996, the ensemble released a 2-CD set featuring sacred music by
J.D. Heinichen, which includes the complete music for Holy Week, 1724: the oratorio Nicht das Band, das Dich bestricket and the Good Friday Lamentationes, together with short psalm arrangements and two church sonatas. 1996 also marked the release of the group's CD "Chaconne," a collection of varying composers' takes on that popular 17th-century dance form. The recording received rave reviews and was nominated for a Grammy Award. After Hasse's Salve Regina with
Barbara Bonney, their latest productions are a 2-CD set featuring the Secular Cantatas by Johann Sebastian Bach and their spring 1998 release, "Pro tabula," which includes music by Bertali, Schmelzer Biber, Pezel and