Ever since its foundation in 1963, the ensemble ARS CAMERALIS has had a reputation for dedicated performances of unknown or lesser known vocal and instrumental music. ARS CAMERALIS is famous at home and abroad for its interest in both 13th to 15th centuries music (Real Audio) and contemporary music (Real Audio). Zuzana Matoušková (1944 – 1966), a solo singer for many years, was responsible for the creation of the profile and repertoire of ARS CAMERALIS. Its extensive repertoire is being broadened constantly, not only by new transcriptions of historic music mostly from the original sources (mediaeval manuscripts), but by new original compositions as well, often written especially for ARS CAMERALIS. It has taken part in many important musical festivals (Prague Spring, International Festival in Brno, Warszawska jesień, Timişoara muzikala, Händelfest Halle, Pendeli Festival Athens, Musica antiqua Bydgoszcz, Flanderen Festival, Tage alter Musik Herne, Musica antiqua Jerez, Early Music Festival Prague, Visegrad Festival, St.Venceslaus Festival etc.). ARS CAMERALIS has performed in famous concert halls as well as worked for radio and television studios both at home and abroad (Belgium, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Rumania, Slovakia, Spain).
The ensemble ARS CAMERALIS has recorded a number of CDs of medieval, renaissance and contemporary music mainly for the Studio MATOUŠ (see Discography).
Ensemble ARS CAMERALIS collaborates with other singers and musicians.
Artistic director of the ARS CAMERALIS, composer and clarinetist Lukáš MATOUŠEK studied at the Conservatoire in Prague and at the Janáček Academy of Performing Arts in Brno. Having received a scholarship from British Council he studied music of the Middle Ages and mediaeval musical instruments in London. He worked as music director and programme director with Czechoslovak (later Czech) radio, Studio Matouš and as programme director for the Prague Symphony Orchestra FOK. Lukáš Matoušek teaches at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague and has given lectures on mediaeval musical instruments and on the interpretation of mediaeval music at international musicological conferences. Hence the knowledge with which the ensemble ARS CAMERALIS approaches the interpretation of mediaeval music.
Mezzo-soprano Oldřiška MUSILOVÁ studied at the Conservatoire in Prague and took part in masterclasses at the Hochschule in Weimar (Germany). She is known both as an opera and concert soloist (with orchestras as well as with chamber ensembles). She became a member of ARS CAMERALIS in 1996 (after the death of founding member of ensembele, mezzo-soprano Zuzana Matoušková), when she begun to learn wide-ranging reperotry of ARS CAMERALIS. Several composers wrote their new pieces for the voice of Mrs. Musilová. She has done a number of recordings for the Czech radio and collaborated on several CDs (historical and contemporary music).
Composer and pianist Hanuš BARTOŇ teaches at the composition department of the Academy of Perfoming Arts in Prague whre he studied after graduating at the Conservatoire in Prague. He is saught after as a soloist and chamber musician, frequently invited to perform new pieces of both Czech and foreign music. He is a member of other ensembles Dussek Piano Duet and MoENS Ensemble. He has recorded several CDs with compositions by Jan Ladislav Dusík (Dussek), Leoš Janáček, Miloslav Ištvan, Svatopluk Havelka and other composers.
Viola player Jiří RICHTER studied at the Consevatoire and later at the Academay of Perfoming Arts in Prague. For many years he played in chamber orchestras and was a section leader in the State Opera Orchestra in Prague. He now werks with a number of chamber ensemblas and has taken up teaching as well. Jiři Richter has frequently performed in Europe, Asia and both Americas. He has widely recorded for the Czechoslovak (later Czech) radio and TV and collaborated on many CDs(Baroque and Classical music, Johannes Brahms, Miloslav Ištvan, Milan Slavický and other composers.
Each of the members of the ARS CAMERALIS ensemble can play a number of historic instruments.