The orchestra l’arte del mondo

The orchestra l'arte del mondo, founded in 2004 by its artistic director Werner Ehrhardt, sees itself in the tradition of so-called early music on historical instruments. At the same time, it is also dedicated to playing on modern instruments and a repertoire that extends to contemporary music. One of l'arte del mondo's trademarks are its unusual programmes, including musical-intercultural encounters, opera projects and excavations of forgotten works. In addition, l'arte del mondo regularly collaborates with renowned soloists. Of its thirty CD recordings, quite a number have won prizes.


Werner Ehrhardt's wish - arisen during a holiday in Italy - to think increasingly outside the usual concert canon, to find new synergies between early music and other genres, and to work towards building musical-intercultural bridges took shape in 2004 with his founding of the ensemble l'arte del mondo. Musical comrades-in-arms were quickly found; some of them are still an integral part of the ensemble today, which Werner Ehrhardt heads as artistic director. Among the first projects realized were Harem - La Fête du Sérail with the Turkish Pera Ensemble, and the joint production of Gluck's opera "Le Cinesi" with actors from the Chinese National Peking Opera Company.


Historical performance practice is the foundation of the ensemble and its work. One of the trademarks of l'arte del mondo are unusual, highly innovative programmes, looking far beyond the usual concert business and thus into its future. These include cross-genre projects with the Turkish Pera Ensemble (Carneval Oriental, Entführung alla Turca), with artists of the Beijing Opera (Gluck’s “Le Cinesi”) or Israeli and Palestinian musicians (Israel in Egypt, Night in the Desert). With Daniel Hope and “The Four Seasons Recomposed”, Max Richter's sensationally successful reconsideration of Vivaldi's "Four Seasons", l'arte del mondo has been a guest all over the world. Another highlight was the sensational dance performance of St. Matthew Passion-2727 with the Israeli Kamea Dance Company, which was performed in Germany and Israel, including at the Jerusalem Theatre. Further performances are planned for the 2022 passiontide.

Guest soloists

l'arte del mondo regularly works with renowned soloists such as Daniel Hope, Nils Mönkemeyer, Daniel Müller-Schott, Dorothee Oberlinger, Avi Avital and Xavier de Maistre.

Guest performances

In past seasons, l'arte del mondo performaned at the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, Munich's Herkulessaal, with its own residency at the Festival Montréal Baroque, with Salieri's rediscovered opera “La Fiera di Venezia” at the SWR Schwetzinger Festspiele, at the MDR Musiksommer, Grundton-D concerts of Deutschlandfunk, Beethovenfest Bonn, Mosel Musikfestival, in the theatres of Winterthur and Darmstadt and in Dresden's Frauenkirche, among others. In 2019-20, the ensemble presented Mozart's “Magic Flute” in Goethe’s version and the world's first complete performance of the opera “Scherz, List und Rache” by P.C. Kayser based on a libretto by Goethe, and toured South America with Avi Avital. l'arte del mondo also performed at the Alte Oper Frankfurt, Liederhalle Stuttgart, Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, Essen Philharmonie, Schiffbau Zurich, Rheingau Musik Festival, Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Dubai Opera.


Since the founding of l'arte del mondo, the extraordinary work of this ensemble has been documented on thirty albums among others in collaboration with the Capriccio CD label, including many world premieres and rediscoveries - both in the symphonic field and in opera and oratorio. For example, the recording of Etienne Nicolas Méhul's Opéra Comique “L'Irato ou l'Emporté” (Capriccio, 2006) and the album Liaisons (Onyx Classics, 2011) with the Israeli soprano Chen Reiss, featuring works by Mozart, Salieri and Joseph Haydn, were awarded the prestigious French Diapason d'Or.

Since the 2010/11 season, l'arte del mondo’s recordings have been released by Sony/deutsche harmonia mundi, starting with the album Amor Oriental and followed by world premiere recordings such as Pasquale Anfossi's “La finta giardiniera” with Nuria Rial and Krystian Adam, the funeral cantata of Joseph Martin Kraus with the RIAS Chamber Choir, or Christoph Willibald Gluck's “La Clemenza di Tito”, which also received the Diapason d'Or in 2014. In autumn 2016 the sensational rediscovery and world premiere recording of Antonio Salieri's opera “La Scuola de' Gelosi” was released; in 2018 Sony/dhm published the very well reviewed world premiere recording of three symphonies by Anton Zimmermann. In summer 2019 Sony/dhm released the world premiere recording of Salieri's “La Fiera di Venezia”, and Berlin Classics released Bach's Oboe Concertos with Céline Moinet. In 2020 Sony/dhm will release the recording of the opera “Scherz, List und Rache” by P.C. Kayser based on a libretto by J.W. von Goethe.


l'arte del mondo has been supported by Bayer Arts & Culture as permanent orchestra in residence since the 2010/11 season. The ensemble rehearses and works in the Erholungshaus Leverkusen and develops unusual concepts in cooperation with Bayer Arts & Culture, including children programs and the series "Operas from the archives of the world". Selected opera and concert projects are supported by the Ministry of Culture and Science of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia or the Arts Foundation NRW.

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