Ars Antiqua Austria is the final word when it comes to authentically interpreting Austrian music of the Baroque era. The acclaimed ensemble was founded in Linz in 1995 by Gunar Letzbor and Michael Oman. The collective uses original instruments of the period and gives life to works that have otherwise been neglected. Ars Antiqua Austria's sound embraces the plurality of cultures that helped shape Austrian music during the centuries of the Baroque style when the physical and political boundaries of the country were larger. As Letzbor says, the ensemble's performances benefit from "the joie de vivre of the South, the Slav melancholy, French formality, Spanish pomp and the Alpine character of the German-speaking regions." Ars Antiqua Austria has toured Austria, France, Germany, Slovakia and the Ukraine, in addition to playing several festivals of Baroque music. A U.S. tour took place in 2001.