La Petite Bande was founded in 1972 by Sigiswald Kuijken at the request of the record company Harmonia Mundi (DE) in order to record Lully's 'Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme', under the direction of Gustav Leonhardt. The orchestra takes its name and constitution from Lully's own orchestra at the court of Louis XIV. All members are internationally renowned specialists in the early music field.
Having initially concentrated mainly on French music, the orchestra's repertoire has expanded over the years to include music of the Italian masters and of music by Bach, Handel, Gluck, Haydn and Mozart. La Petite Bande has recorded instrumental as well as vocal music, including operas and oratorios from the Baroque and Classical periods. It currently makes recordings for Deutsche Harmonia Mundi, Denon, Accent and Hyperion. It has performed in a multitude of international festivals and concert series, in Europe, Japan, Australia, South America and China. Since 1997, La Petite Bande has been orchestra-in-residence in Leuven.