Founded in Philadelphia in 1980, Piffaro performs 15th- through 17th-century music. Under the artistic direction of Joan Kimball and Robert Wiemken, the ensemble has released 16 CDs since 1992, including four on the prestigious Deutsche Grammophon/Archiv Produktion label, as well as on Dorian Recordings and Parma/Navano. In 2011, Piffaro produced Music in New Spain, a Center-funded project that explored the historic music resulting from Spain's encounter with indigenous civilizations in Central and South America during its 16th-century imperial expansion. In 2015, Piffaro received Center support to present The Musical World of Don Quixote, a music and movement performance offering audiences a distinctive interpretation of Miguel de Cervantes' four-century-old classic, Don Quixote.
Piffaro, the Renaissance Band recorded composer Kile Smith's Vespers with The Crossing choir, conducted by Donald Nally. A new composition for Renaissance instruments, Vespers was inspired by the Lutheran Reformation and liturgical traditions. A composer of orchestral, choral, and chamber music, Kile Smith is also classical music radio host for WRTI and the composer in residence for the Church of the Holy Trinity in Philadelphia.