A court ensemble is a musical group that plays for the aristocracy. Court ensembles of one sort or another have existed in many cultures throughout history.

Specifically, during the Renaissance in Czechoslovakia, the Czech court ensemble was the central musical institution, unlike most other European nations where the Church was central to music. The Czech court ensemble was founded under Ferdinand I (1526-1564) with two organs and a choir--populated mostly by foreign musicians. The group grew under Maximilian and reached its height under Rudolph II, by which time there were many prominent ensembles established by other nobles such as Lord Krystof Harant of Polzice (1564-1621). Its most important conductor and composer of 35 years was Philippe de Monte (1521-1603).

Various sources, including http://www.radio.cz/hudba/renais.html

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