Michi Gaigg

was born in Schörfling at the Attersee, Austria (Salzkammergut). She was strongly influenced by Nikolaus Harnoncourt during her violin studies at the Salzburg Mozarteum and subsequently continued studies of the Baroque violin with Ingrid Seifert and Sigiswald Kuijken. Michi Gaigg was a member of internationally acclaimed ensembles and worked together with Frans Brüggen, Alan Curtis, Christopher Hogwood, René Jacobs, Ton Koopman and Hermann Max. She founded the Baroque orchestra L’Arpa Festante Munich in 1983 (direction until 1995). After having lived in London, The Hague, Munich, Cologne, Strasbourg and Tübingen she returned to Austria.

In 1996 she founded the L’Orfeo Barockorchester together with the recorder and oboe player Carin van Heerden. Under Michi Gaigg’s direction the orchestra has established itself as one of the leading ensembles in historically informed performance practice and has repeatedly been awarded various prizes for its CD recordings by BBC Music Magazine, Diapason, Gramophone, Pizzicato (“Supersonic Award”), Le Monde de la Musique, Fono Forum, Radio Österreich 1 (“Pasticcio Prize”) as well as the German Music Award “Echo Klassik”.

Opera productions are becoming increasingly important in Michi Gaigg’s work. Recently staged works are: Handel’s first opera Almira, Queen of Castille, Georg Philipp Telemann’s Orpheus and Miriways, two Actes de ballet by Jean-Philippe Rameau, Gluck’s Orpheus & Eurydike, Die verstellte Gärtnerin, Zaide and Betulia Liberata by W. A. Mozart, Romeo und Julie by Georg Anton Benda, Joseph Haydn’s The desert Insel and a trilogy of early operas by Gioachino Rossini (Il signor Bruschino, La scala di seta and La cambiale di matrimonio).

Michi Gaigg’s pedagogical career started in 1987 at the Conservatoire National de Strasbourg amid extensive activities as instrumentalist and conductor. She has been teaching at the Institute for Early Music at the Anton Bruckner Private University in Linz since 1994. In 2003 she took on the position of artistic director of the donauFESTWOCHEN im Strudengau, a festival for Early and Contemporary music, for which she has been awarded the “Grosser Bühnenkunstpreis” (Artists’ Award for Stage Performance) and the “Kulturmedaille” (Medal for Cultural Achievements) of the province of Upper Austria. Michi Gaigg was awarded the Heinrich-Gleissner-Prize in 2016.