Original sound: Philippe Jaroussky, Christina Pluhar and L’Arpeggiata

Philippe Jaroussky (photo: Michal Nowal)

A good reason to celebrate: countertenor Philippe Jaroussky, lutenist Christina Pluhar and their ensemble L’arpeggiata have been performing successfully together for 20 years. What does Philippe Jaroussky like so much about the collaboration? “The humour. In many concerts with Christina Pluhar I learned that a classical concert has to be serious, but that sometimes you can also offer something different, for example a kind of jazz version.” In their anniversary concert, they guide us through vocal music of the 17th century European.

Ensemble L’Arpeggiata

Christina Pluhar theorbo and conductor

Philippe Jaroussky countertenor

Let's celebrate - 20 years of collaboration

Works by Claudio Monteverdi, Henry Purcell, Étienne Moulinié, Luigi Rossi and others

Dates and Tickets


Ensemble L’Arpeggiata

Baroque jam sessions? “We know that musicians in the 17th century were fantastic improvisers,” says Christina Pluhar, the artistic director of L’Arpeggiata. “In those days, there weren’t any professional musicians who couldn’t do it.” With the declared goal of reviving the freshly improvised music of the 17th century – arresting, scintillating, astonishing – the Graz-born lutenist and harpist founded the period-instrument ensemble L’Arpeggiata, whose mission is exploring the varied music of the little-known Roman, Neapolitan and Spanish early-Baroque repertoires. The ensemble, which took its name from a toccata by Johannes Hieronymus Kapsberger, put its finger on the pulse of the time with multi-genre projects like Händel goes wild, Teatro d’amore and Via crucis. Says Pluhar: “We love inviting musicians from other traditions, dancers, jazz musicians, whomever, and then to improvise with them, to learn from them. Especially in the 17th century, there was a great deal of improvisational freedom and recreative leeway, because the composer provided only sparse indications of instrumentation, timbre and interpretation.” L’Arpeggiata’s success has borne out their approach: the ensemble tours all over the world, appearing at renowned concert halls and festivals and collaborating with outstanding singers.

Christina Pluhar

Early Music? Says Christina Pluhar: “Maybe that term has become passé. It sounds too old-fashioned. Meanwhile Early Music has developed into a musical language of its own. It’s no longer only about performance practice, but about making really good music out of the old material.” In order to do just that, the Austrian lutenist and harpist founded L’Arpeggiata, one of the most successful Early Music ensembles: “Our special field is Italian music of the 17th century. We make use of the findings from our research yet also feel free to depart from this field at times.” Christina Pluhar initially studied concert guitar before becoming aware of her love of Renaissance and Baroque music and changing to the lute. She studied the Baroque instrument with, among others, Hopkinson Smith at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, the famous conservatory for Early Music. At the same time, she also devoted herself to the Baroque harp and was taught by such major figures as Mara Grassi and Andrew Lawrence-King. Since 1999, in addition to her activities as a performer and ensemble director, Pluhar is herself a teacher of Baroque harp at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague and gives regular masterclasses at the university in Graz. As a soloist, she regularly collaborates with conductors like Marc Minkowski, Jordi Savall, René Jacobs and Ivor Bolton.

Philippe Jaroussky

Philippe Jaroussky, “the shining star among countertenors” (Süddeutsche Zeitung), is probably today’s most popular exponent of his vocal category – “the best of the present day” (Der Spiegel). That he would become a singer was not predetermined, however: “My parents weren’t musicians, and it was not until I was eleven that I began to play the violin. That was of course far too late for a career. But I already knew as a teenager that I wanted to do something with music later in my life.” Jaroussky, who made his debut in the Berlin Philharmonie in 2010, first studied the violin, piano and composition in Versailles and Boulogne but then decided to take advantage of the sensuous timbre of his voice and train as a singer, while also pursuing courses in historical performance practice. Today, the countertenor, who founded the period-instrument ensemble Artaserse in 2002, appears with other leading Baroque ensembles and conductors including Andrea Marcon, Fabio Biondi, William Christie, Emmanuelle Haïm, René Jacobs, Marc Minkowski, Jérémie Rhorer and Jean-Christophe Spinosi. Philippe Jaroussky has received many awards. In 2017 he established the Académie Musicale Philippe Jaroussky, which supports culturally disadvantaged young people.

Christina Pluhar (photo: Michal Nowak)