Al Ayre Español was founded in 1988 by Eduardo López Banzo, in an effort to challenge the pervading clichés that often surrounded the performance of Spanish baroque music at that time. The spirit of the ensemble has always been to refute these clichés with musicological rigour, performance excellence and by striving to insufflate new life to music from the past, thus opening them up to contemporary audiences. The name of the ensemble was inspired by the title of a guitar fugue by the Aragonese composer Gaspar Sanz.
With the years, Al Ayre Español has become not only a prestigious ensemble, but also a performance philosophy that Eduardo López Banzo has progressively established with his musicians and which is now recognizable, in demand, and widely acclaimed the world over, as bears witness the 2004 Spanish National Music Award, bestowed upon the group by the Spanish Ministry of Culture.
The fact that Al Ayre Español has not settled for becoming a specialised early music ensemble, but chosen instead to create a musical philosophy “al ayre español” (à la espagnole), has allowed the project to be flexible enough to adapt itself to different formats; as a baroque orchestra –internationally acclaimed by its performances of Handel and Bachand lately, as a classical-romantic orchestra -with opera and concert performances of Haydn and Mozart.