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November's concerts by MUSICA ANTIQUA KÖLN will mark the ensemble's last. For over 30 years, Musica Antiqua under the leadership of Reinhard Goebel has performed in virtually every known musical center and festival for early music, and has become the quintessence of a lively and virtuosic interpretation of the music of the 17th and 18th centuries, and of an ingenious and imaginative engagement in historical performance practice. For health reasons, Goebel will unfortunately not appear in the ensemble's final tour.

Founded in 1973 by Reinhard Goebel and fellow students from the Conservatory of Music in Cologne, Musica Antiqua Köln initially devoted itself to the performance of chamber and sacred music of the Baroque. In 1979, Musica Antiqua Köln attained its international breakthrough with the ensemble's debut at London's Queen Elizabeth Hall, and with five concerts at the Holland Festival. On the occasion of its 10th anniversary, the ensemble broadened its forces and for the first time made appearances as a full orchestra, establishing itself in both concerts and recordings with works for the orchestral repertoire. Since 1981, the ensemble, with Reinhard Goebel as their concertmaster, has regularly made concert tours of the USA, as well as several appearances in Australia and South America, and in 1985 on the occasion of the "Bach Year" even traveled to the People's Republic of China. Musica Antiqua Köln received the Buxtehude Prize from the City of Lübeck and has also received awards from Siemens and the State of Nordrhein-Westfalen. In 1981, the ensemble was elected "Artists of the Year" by the Deutsche Phonoakademie.

A hand injury in the early 1990s forced Reinhard Goebel to stop playing for a period and, though he did resume playing, since that time, he was acting as music director while the role of first violin was taken up by his proteges. November's concerts will be lead by Ilia Korol, who has been a member of the ensemble since 2001.

Musica Antiqua Köln and Reinhard Goebel have been under exclusive recording contract with Archiv Produktion since 1978. The exquisiteness and uniqueness of the choice of repertoire have been emphasized by the recording prizes received by the ensemble, presented many times with the Grand Prix International du Disque and the Gramophone Award. The recording of Heinichen's Dresden Concerti became a sensational world success and promptly received five coveted honors: the Jahrespreis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik, the Gramophone Award, the Prix Caecilia, the Schallplattenpreis Echo-Klassik, and the CD Compact Award.

Reckoned among the most successful of the ensemble's recordings is the release of Handel's Marian Cantatas and Arias with Anne Sofie von Otter, which was distinguished with the CD Compact Award in the category "Barock Vocal," as well as a CD with orchestral works of Heinichen, Veracini, Quantz, Dieupart, and Pisendel entitled "Concerti per l'orchestra di Dresda," in addition to a recording of Johann Adolf Hasse's Salve Regina compositions with Bernarda Fink and Barbara Bonney.

More recent releases for Deutsche Grammophon Archiv Produktion are the joint recording with the Gabrieli Consort & Players of the Missa Salisburgensis, presumably composed by Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber in 1682 on the occasion of the 1100th anniversary of the Salzburg Cathedral (re-released as an SACD in 2003), as well as an album with Anne Sofie von Otter entitled Lamenti, which was distinguished with the Diapason d'or. One CD series, by now comprising two releases, is dedicated to yet unrecorded compositions by Georg Philipp Telemann, certainly one of Germany's most prolific and wittiest Baroque composers. The first recording of this series was nominated for a Grammy; for the same recording, Reinhard Goebel received the Telemann-Preis der Stadt Magdeburg. Another equally successful project is a series of CDs entitled Bachiana, which explores the works of J. S. Bach's lesser-known relatives. The Biber Harmonia Artificiosa recording released in 2004 was nominated for a Grammy and received the Japanese Record Academy Award.

10/06