“The Sinfonietta and Huss are Haydn experts and can certainly be counted among the best, possibly even the best.”
- Music Web International
Establishing itself in 1991 as a historical performance ensemble, the Haydn Sinfonietta Wien is one of the foremost interpreters of the Late Baroque, Viennese Classical, and the early Nineteenth Century repertoire. The ensemble is well reputed for vibrant, extraordinary interpretations, discovering and captivating audiences with unconventional program choices.
Viennese conductor and pianist Manfred Huss is the lifeblood of the ensemble—through his international successes in historical performance practise, he brings an immense wealth of knowledge and know-how to the podium. Coupled with the longstanding English concertmaster Simon Standage, the “doyen” of historic violin practise and its core players coming from more than 12 European countries, the Haydn Sinfonietta Wien converses a repertoire of rare gems from C.P.E. Bach, Haydn, Mozart to Schubert, supplemented with large-scale symphonic chamber works, operas and oratorios.
Celebrating its first great international success at the Prades Casals Festival, the ensemble has undertaken extensive concert touring throughout all major European musical centres. Soloists have included Ronald Brautigam, Christophe Coin, Lynne Dawson, Paul Goodwin, Wolfgang Holzmair, Alexei Lubimov, Christa Ludwig, Miah Persson, Bernard Richter, Friedemann Immer and Milan Turkovic; collaborations with the Tallis and Kodály Choirs. The ensemble has appeared in festivals, such as the Beethovenfest Bonn, Ascona, Prague Autumn, Evian and Flandern Festivals.
With highly acclaimed recordings of works by Haydn, Mozart and Schubert from the 1990s, a long-term recording contract with BIS Records from 2006 was signed. Since then, the ensemble has reaped many auspicious and unusual Haydn documentations. Its 2009 Haydn bicentenary edition was released with over 12 CDs, and quickly proved their worth through consistently outstanding reviews from major international music journals and magazines.
A many-sided and unorthodox personality - Manfred Huss is a fascinating enigma: both full-blooded musician and perfectionist, conductor and pianist, author and pedagogue. Huss is not only an exponent of a lively historical performance practice, but also a passionate interpreter of the music of the 20th Century - a non-conformist like his teacher Hans Swarowsky, who delved wholly into the worlds of Arnold Schönberg, Gustav Mahler and Richard Strauss. True to the score and with exacting precision, Huss sees every score as the yardstick that can deliver a successful, spontaneous and effective performance.
“It is as if he wants to inherit Friedrich Gulda’s career while he is still alive”, wrote Das Orchester concerning Viennese-born Manfred Huss, who quickly established a formidable early piano career with European-wide concerts, recordings and radio broadcasts. Nowadays he prefers the fortepiano as well as playing chamber music.
As brainchild of Huss, in 1991, the historical-performance ensemble Haydn Sinfonietta Wien further established Huss’s international reputation as a conductor and keyboard player of Baroque, Classical and Romantic music. H.C. Robbins Landon elucidated the ensemble is "currently engaged in a project as important as Antal Dorati’s recordings of all the Haydn symphonies”, after hearing the ensemble’s first complete recordings of Haydn’s Divertimenti and Notturni that spanned twelve CDs.
An ongoing recording contract with BIS records in 2006 has reaped many favourable international press reviews concerning his playing and conducting, especially his Haydn Edition 09. The Mozart Concertos for two and three pianos (2009), where Huss appears as a soloist, has also been highly praised a major contribution to the Mozart discography.
Huss has appeared as a soloist and conductor in all major European musical centres. He has conducted the City of London Sinfonia, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, the Mexico Philharmonic, Vienna Tonkünstler, Polish Chamber and Belgrade Philharmonic orchestras.
Huss has authored the first modern German biography of Joseph Haydn. Furthermore, as editor and compiler of Hans Swarowsky´s treatise Wahrung der Gestalt: Schriften über Dirigieren und Interpretation, Christoph v. Dohnányi writes: “I hardly know anything more essential that an artist could have said or could say concerning the question of interpreting music”.
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