He has been celebrated as the "the Paganini of the recorder" by music critics and been succinctly described as "the world’s leading recorder virtuoso" (the Independent) – today Maurice Steger is one of the most fascinating recorder players, conductors and musical professors working in the sphere of Early music. In these different capacities, he thrills audiences around the world with a variety of concert formats.
Maurice Steger is an incredibly charismatic musician: spontaneous, captivating and full of energy. With his vibrant manner, intense and full instrumental sound and amazing technique, this "recorder wizard" has managed to bring to prominence the recorder as an instrument in all its fascinating forms. The 2015 ECHO Classic Award which he received as "Instrumentalist of the Year" is testimony to his success.
As a soloist, conductor or both at once, he regularly performs with the top period instrument ensembles, such as the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, the Venice Baroque Orchestra, the English Concert and I Barocchisti. He also performs with leading modern orchestras such as the Zurich Chamber Orchestra, the hr-Sinfonieorchester Frankfurt, the Musikkollegium Winterthur, the Berlin Baroque Soloists (Berlin Philharmonic), the Canadian Violons du Roy or the NDR Radiophilharmonie.
Chamber music plays a notable role in the richly varied spectrum of Maurice Steger's artistic endeavours. With fellow musicians and friends such as Hille Perl, Daniele Caminiti, Naoki Kitaya, Mauro Valli, Sebastian Wienand, Fiorenza de Donatis, Diego Fasolis, Sol Gabetta or the young French harpsichordist Jean Rondeau, he dedicates himself to a continuously updated repertoire of Early music. Along with early music, Maurice Steger also engages with new concert formats and contemporary compositions.
Tours of Asia and Australia have led to performances with the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, the Malaysia Philharmonic Orchestra, the Taipei Symphony among others. He was the first recorder player from the West to perform with the Traditional Taipei Chinese Orchestra. He also regularly performs in North and South America.
His commitment to musical education is also extremely important to him: besides the directorship of the Gstaad Baroque Academy at the Menuhin Festival Gstaad which he took over in 2013 in addition to diversemaster classes he invented the character of "Tino Flautino" in order to encourage young children to playfully engage with classical music. For his latest musical fairytale, he invented "Pinocchio and the recorder player".
'Mr. Corelli in London', 'Una Follia di Napoli', 'Vivaldi: Concerti per flauto' and 'Telemann: Recorder Works' with The English Concert, I Barocchisti and the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin: numerous award-winning CD recordings published by harmonia mundi, most of them with highly imaginative thematic concepts, are a long-standing testament to the unique prominence achieved by this artist. In autumn 2016 his newest project “Souvenirs d’Italie” will be released with various works from manuscripts of Earl of Harrach. In spring 2018, a duo album with Nuria Rial with accompaniment by the Basel Chamber Orchestra will be released featuring Italian. The program will also be presented in chamber music concerts.
La Cetra Barockorchester
was founded in 1999 at the initiative of Dr. Peter Reidemeister, then Director of the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis and rapidly became recognized internationally as one of the leading ensembles in historically informed performance practice. The name La Cetra is taken from the title of Antonio Vivaldi’s collection of 12 violin concertos op. 9 first published in Amsterdam in 1727. La Cetra refers to the ancient lyre or zither.
Most of the musicians are graduates of the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, the Swiss elite training centre for early music. The ensemble collaborates with the research department of the Schola Cantorum offering the possibility for musical programming and preparation supported by the most recent musicological findings. The discovery of works of composers such as Brescianello, Venturini or Paisiello has enriched the orchestra’s repertoire. This ranges from the early seventeenth century works of Monteverdi through to symphonies of the classical and early romantic periods.
La Cetra’s Artistic Director since 2009 is Andrea Marcon, internationally known as one of the preeminent conductors of Baroque and early Classical repertoire. He has brought new impulses and a fresh approach to the rich and often rediscovered repertoire of the period. Most recently, for example, Antonio Caldara’s La Concordia de’ pianeti was brought to life for the first time in nearly 300 years and recorded for the Deutsche Grammophon label.
Over the years, La Cetra has worked regularly with a number of well-known guest conductors, among them Jordi Savall, René Jacobs, Attilio Cremonesi or Gustav Leonhard, as well as soloists such as Andreas Scholl, Vivica Genaux, Magdalena Kožená, Patricia Petibon or Giuliano Carmignola, to name a few. The repertoire and the occasion determine the size of the orchestra which can go from a smaller Consort to a full-fledged orchestra with chorus and soloists. The La Cetra Vokalensemble was established in 2012 at the initiative of Andrea Marcon and appears regularly with the orchestra in opera and oratorio, as well as on its own.
La Cetra’s mission is to bring to life the music of the past with a fresh, dynamic and contemporary approach. Resounding public and critical acclaim in the major international festivals, in Europe’s leading concert halls and through a wide range of broadcast and CD productions give testimony to the orchestra’s brilliance.