The Haydn Sinfonietta Wien, founded by Manfred Huss, is one of the foremost interpreters of music from the Viennese Classical and late baroque periods and of works from the early nineteenth century. The ensemble has performed on period instruments since 1991. Its leader is Simon Standage, the English doyen of historic violin playing, other instrumentalists such as Vincent van Ballegooijen (first oboe) are numbered among its regular performers. The Haydn Sinfonietta Wien scored its first major international success at the Casals Festival in Prades (with Mozart’s Requiem), and since then has undertaken numerous European concert tours, performing for instance in Avignon, Bologna, Bremen, Bruges, Brussels, Budapest, London (Wigmore Hall), Milan, Paris (Châtelet), Rome, Seville, Utrecht and Zurich.
Soloists have included Ronald Brautigam, Christophe Coin, Lynne Dawson, Christoph Genz, Paul Goodwin, Wolfgang Holzmair, Friedemann Immer, Gary Karr, Alexei Lubimov, Christa Ludwig, Miah Persson and Bernard Richter, and the ensemble has collaborated with the Tallis Choir and Kodály Chor Debrecen (under Kálmán Strausz). Its repertoire stretches from large-scale chamber music by way of the symphonic repertoire to operas and oratorios. In the years 1986–94 the Haydn Sinfonietta Wien was orchestra-in-residence of the Wiener Klassik Festival, and from 2006 until 2009 it fulfilled the same function at the Festival Centropalia (Styria/Slovenia). It has also appeared at numerous other international festivals including the Beethovenfest Bonn, Prague Autumn Festival and Flanders Festival.
Its first recording was made as early as 1985, and since then the orchestra has made several dozen CDs, since 2007 exclusively for BIS Records. These recordings have been highly praised in the international music press, for instance the set of Haydn’s music for Prince Esterházy and the King of Naples [BIS-1796/98]: ‘as close to ideal as we’re likely to get in an imperfect world. This is a set destined to make us fall in love with Haydn all over again’ (Early Music Review).