Concerto Armonico Budapest
Miklós Spányi - Artistic director
Márta Ábrahám - Leader
Concerto Armonico, the early keyboard player Miklós Spányi and the music of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach are generally connected around the world. Indeed, Spányi Concerto Armonico began their ground breaking complete recording of C.P.E.Bach's Keyboard Concertos for the innovative Swedish label BIS Records in 1994. Since then quite many cd's of the series were recorded and released. Vol. 18 were recorded in November 2011 and will be issued during the first half of 2012.
Concerto Armonico Budapest, was founded around 1983 by young musicians, at that time still studying at the Budapest F.Liszt Music Academy. As the second orchestra playing on period instruments in Hungary, the ensemble soon became very popular under the artistic direction of harpsichordist Miklós Spányi and violinist Péter Szüts. After initial successes in its home country the ensemble was soon invited to play concerts around Europe and featuring on outstanding festivals as Festival Estival de Paris, Baroque en Avignon, Festival de La Roque d'Anteron, Festival de La Chaise Dieu, Festival van Vlaanderen, Holland Festival Oude Muziek, Tage der Alten Musik Regensburg, Kuhmo Chamber Music, Finland, Styriarte Graz, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, De Singel Antwerpen, etc . The first recordings on the label Hungaroton were following, becoming gradually a renown baroque ensemble internationally. Concerto Armonico was often invited to perform with most outstanding singers and instrumentalists of the European baroque scene as James Bowman, Jill Feldman, Michael Chance, Anneke Boeke, Jan Boeke, Jos van Immerseel, Malcolm Bilson, Barthold Kuijken, Alfredo Bernardini and others . A summit in the orchestra's career was marked in the 1990's by the huge recording project mentioned above.
In the 1990's and 2000's Concerto Armonico repeatedly toured around Europe mainly performing C.P.E.Bach's music. In January 2011 Concerto Armonico also recorded a cd containing four flute concertos of Johann Joachim Quantz with Mary Oleskiewicz who is regarded worldwide as the most important Quantz specialist.
Following its established traditions Concerto Armonico focuses on C.P.E.Bach's music and on other members of the Berlin school around Frederick the Great. Basically the ensemble works as a small string group similar to the small court orchestras of the 18th century, occasionally completed with some wind instruments according to the requirements of the works. Concerto Armonico also functions in a minimal formation of 3-5 string players performing chamber music as well as violin and keyboard concertos in simple scoring. The present leader of the orchestra is the internationally acknowledged outstanding Hungarian violin virtuoso Márta Ábrahám.