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The Cappella Andrea Barca, which was founded in 1999 by András Schiff to perform the complete piano concertos of Mozart, comprises internationally renowned soloists and chamber musicians who are not tied to a particular orchestra. Their goal is to perform compositions written for various configurations – from pieces for small ensemble to the symphonic repertoire – in the spirit of chamber music camaraderie. Since its launch, the Cappella Andrea Barca has been a regular guest at Salzburg’s Mozart Festival and additionally organizes the Omaggio a Palladio Festival held in Vicenza. The ensemble has toured the major cities of Europe and the United States, giving concerts at Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, and the Kennedy Center. Regarding the ensemble’s namesake, András Schiff explains: “We know very little about Andrea Barca’s life, despite the most zealous efforts of modern musicology. He was probably born between 1730 and 1735 in the Marignolle hills near Florence, and his parents and ancestors were peasants. He had a close connection to Mozart, for whose private concert of 2 April 1770 at the Villa Poggio Imperiale in Florence he was said to have served as page turner. On that very day he decided to devote his life above all to performing Mozart’s keyboard works. His enthusiasm even took him to Salzburg, where his efforts were greeted by the famous local press with mixed success …. Of his numerous compositions, the opera La ribollita bruciata (The Burnt-Bred Soup) should be mentioned, as it can be considered a pinnacle of Tuscan music history. The death of Andrea Barca – when, where, and under what circumstances he died (or whether he even has died) – remains a mysterious enigma.”
LUCERNE FESTIVAL debut in August 2006 with three Mozart programs led by András Schiff.