Capriccio Stravagante is world-renowned for their memorable interpretations of Renaissance and Baroque music. Founded in 1986 by Skip Sempé, the ensemble of 4-40 performers now incorporates Capriccio Stravagante, the Capriccio Stravagante Orchestra, the Capriccio Stravagante Renaissance Orchestra and Capriccio Stravagante Opera. The diverse vocal and instrumental formations feature the finest European, American and Canadian musicians. Their extensive discography includes music by Byrd, Monteverdi, Purcell, Bach, Buxtehude, Handel, Telemann, Lully and Couperin, as well as “Versailles – L’Ile Enchante”, “Venezia Stravagantissima” (Alpha) and “Paradizo” (Paradizo). These recordings have made a considerable contribution to Capriccio Stravagante’s acceptance as the foremost interpretive force in Renaissance and Baroque repertoire to have emerged in decades.
Capriccio Stravagante’s calendar of several dozen concerts per season have included débuts and returns to London’s Wigmore Hall, the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, BOZAR Music in Brussels, the Versailles Opéra Royal, the Teatro Olimpico in Vicenza, the Villa Medici in Rome, the Charlottenburg Palace in Berlin; the Festivals of Aldeburgh, Aranjuez, Barcelona, Montpellier, Nimes, Printemps des Arts / Nantes, La Folle Journee in Nantes, Bilbao and Lisbon, Montreux, Schleswig-Holstein, Bremen, Berkeley, Boston, Utrecht, Bruges, Regensburg, Lufthansa / London, Zermatt, the Leipzig Bach Festival and Nikolaus Harononcourt’s Styriarte Festival in Graz; the Konzerthaus Berlin, the Cite de la Musique, the Théâtre de la Ville in Paris, the Theatre du Capitole / Toulouse, the Athens Concert Hall, and tours of France, Great Britain, Germany, Belgium, Austria, Italy, Holland, Scandinavia, the United States and Canada.
Since the very beginning, the combination of nonchalance and power which are the trademarks of Skip Sempé and Capriccio Stravagante’s live performances and recordings have been rewarded with outstanding critical praise worldwide.
Since the very beginning, the musicians have shared an individual and collective dedication to unlimited liberty of expression, outstanding power of instrumental sonority and vocal excellence. Their success is the result of the selection of superb, one-of-a-kind artists chosen and catalyzed by Skip Sempé. Their qualities encourage the daring virtuosity, audience contact, charm and spontaneity of Latin temperament essential to all that is Renaissance and Baroque. Capriccio Stravagante’s two dozen recordings on the Deutsche Harmonia Mundi, Astree, Alpha, Teldec and Paradizo labels have received over forty international awards. Together, their concert appearances and recordings affirm Skip Sempe’s dedication to the strategic planning of repertoire, artists and programming, having featured Julien Martin, Josh Cheatham, Olivier Fortin, Sophie Gent, Doron Sherwin, Guillemette Laurens, Judith van Wanroij, Philippe Jaroussky, Karina Gauvin, Maria Bayo, Jay Bernfeld, Manfredo Kraemer, the Collegium Vocale Gent, Chanticleer with Joseph Jennings, Les Voix Humaines, the Studio de Musique Ancienne de Montreal, The Helsinki Baroque Orchestra, B’Rock and the Akademie fur Alte Musik Berlin.
Capriccio Stravagante has expanded their kaleidoscopic variety of sound and programming with the long-awaited concerts and debut recording of the Capriccio Stravagante Renaissance Orchestra. This group is the largest and most luxurious gathering yet assembled for the performance of masterpieces from this Golden Age of musical creativity. The Renaissance Orchestra offers virtuoso performers on highly distinctive musical instruments whose playing techniques are completely unknown to classically trained instrumentalists and audiences. Complete with Renaissance violins, viols, recorders, cornetti, sackbuts, lutes, harps, harpsichords, virginals, organs, regals and percussion, the Capriccio Stravagante Renaissance Orchestra also features glamorous voices and consort singers with a focus on dramatic intent yet to be fully experienced in this repertoire.
Following fifteen years of prizes and awards with three prestigious labels, Skip Sempé founded the Paradizo label in 2006. The label will release all of Capriccio Stravagante and Skip Sempe’s new recordings, assuring Capriccio Stravagante’s own tradition of presenting important new instrumental and vocal soloists.
Capriccio Stravagante presented a series of concerts for BOZAR Music in Brussels, as part of Skip Sempe’s Artist-in-Residence project for 2006/07. The programs included music of Purcell, the French Baroque, Marais, Buxtehude, and “La Pellegrina” with the Capriccio Stravagante Renaissance Orchestra and Collegium Vocale Gent.