Le Chardon was formed in 1995 by Hajo Wienroth to perform French
Baroque music on period instruments. Following the success of their first concerts, the ensemble soon found their interests developing towards music of the 18th and 19th centuries and towards music for larger ensembles. Now a chamber orchestra, they regularly perform larger scale Oratorios, Masses and Passions, working with many famous singers and choirs in churches, for festivals (including the
"Musikalischen Sommer in Ostfriesland und Groningen", the "MUSE" in Seelze, the Barockfestival in Bad Arolsen and the NDR and WDR) as well as for radio.
Le Chardon's musicians come together from across Europe including Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, the Czech Rep., France Sweden and the UK. Their working brief is to ensure that their performances are as closely guided by original sources, and scores as possible. Exploration of little played or undiscovered works are also important to the group which has resulted in many first performances of largely unknown works since the
Le Chardon now has a number of recordings to its name. In 2007 Hajo Wienroth founded "Lunaris CD Produktion" which has released unknown music, first editions as well as more mainstream repertoire in collaboration with leading singers.
Le Chardon (the thistle) was chosen as the groups name because although it is a beautiful flower that characterizes the beauty of the music on the one hand, it is also a flower that has thorns. Le Chardon not only wants to bring beauty, it also wants to bring about thinking and to express both joy and sadness in its musical output.
Hajo Wienroth is Le Chardon's musical director and Ute Schildt is the groups manager.