Nikolaus Harnoncourt, photo, 1990
Harnoncourt, Nikolaus, b. Berlin (Germany), Dec. 6, 1929, conductor, expert for early music and historically authentic performances; brother of Philipp Harnoncourt. 1952-1969 cellist with the Vienna Symphonic Orchestra, in 1953 founded the Concentus musicus Wien, with which he set new standards for the performance of early music with original instruments; also wrote a number of theoretical works. Since the 1980s he has devoted himself to the historical performing practice of classical and romantic music; his imaginative interpretations have made him one of the world´s most interesting contemporary conductors. Harnoncourt made an important contribution to the festival styriarte. His wife, the violinist Alice H. (b. Vienna, Sept. 26, 1930), is concertmaster of Concentus musicus and has made a significant contribution to her husband´s success.
Works: Musik als Klangrede, 1982; Der musikalische Dialog, 1984.
Literature: M. Mertl, Vom Denken des Herzens. Alice und N. H., 1999