The pianist, composer and orchestra conductor Mathias Rüegg was born in Zurich in 1952. At the age of 25 he set up the Vienna Art Orchestra, an ensemble that quickly gained fame throughout Europe. Exploring the repertoires of both the jazz greats and classical music, the orchestra was anything from big band to small ensemble, depending on the project. In 1992, Mathias Rüegg founded the jazz club Porgy & Bess. Since the breakup of the Vienna Art Orchestra, he has continued his exploration of genres including classical music and jazz with the Austrian singer Lia Piale.