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 early music.
After an initial focus on French music, the orchestra's repertoire expanded to include Italian music as well as that of Bach, Handel, Gluck, Haydn, and Mozart. The series of 19 CDs of Cantatas by J.S. Bach was completed in February 2013. La Petite Bande has recorded instrumental as well as vocal music, including operas and oratorios from the Baroque and Classical periods. La Petite Bande has performed in a multitude of international festivals and concert series, in Europe, Australia, South America, China, Korea and Japan.