Early Music Ensemble
• Founded 1991
Often appears with
Concerto Copenhagen is among Scandinavia's leading historical-performance Baroque ensembles, specializing in regional repertory as well as the music of familiar Baroque composers. The orchestra also accompanies opera and has attracted an unusual number of top-notch international vocal collaborators.
Often dubbed CoCo, Concerto Copenhagen was formed in 1991. A turning point in its history was the appointment of harpsichordist Lars Ulrik Mortensen as director in 1999. Mortensen forged programs that combined music by continental European composers with the underexposed repertories of the Scandinavian countries, exposing new musical and political currents. By the 2010s, Concerto Copenhagen was giving concerts not only in its home city (often at Garnisons Church) and around Denmark, but also abroad. The group has toured the Americas, East Asia, and Australia as well as many European countries. Both in collaboration with Copenhagen's Royal Theatre, with which the orchestra usually presents an opera annually, and independent concerts, Concerto Copenhagen has collaborated with some of the biggest names in Baroque opera and vocal music, including countertenor Andreas Scholl, soprano Vivica Genaux, and ensemble leader Jordi Savall. The ensemble has mostly performed and recorded Baroque music but has also essayed works of the contemporary era; Danish composer Karl Aage Rasmussen served as composer-in-residence from 2015 to 2017.
Concerto Copenhagen enjoyed a prestigious recording career even before the arrival of Mortensen, releasing several albums on the Chandos label in the mid-1990s. In 2004, the orchestra moved to the CPO label for a recording of symphonies by composer Johann Ernest Hartmann, and it has remained on CPO, issuing music by Bach and Handel as well as by Scandinavian composers. A 2006 release was devoted to the music of Georg Gerson and Friedrich Ludwig Aemilius Kunzen. In 2019, Concerto Copenhagen was heard on a recording of Handel's Brockes-Passion, HWV 48.