Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Count Nikolaus de la Fontaine und d'Harnoncourt-Unverzagt (b. 6 Dec.1929). Austrian conductor, particularly known for his historically informed performances of music from the Classical era and earlier. Starting out as a classical cellist, he founded his own period instrument ensemble, the Concentus Musicus Wien, and became a pioneer of the Early Music movement. He started to conduct opera and concert performances, soon leading renowned international symphony orchestras.