Publick Musick was formed in 1995 by Thomas Folan and Steven Zohn to perform music of the seventeenth, eighteenth, and early nineteenth centuries in a historically informed manner, using period instruments and performing techniques. Deriving its name from The Private Musick, the ensemble of instrumentalists and vocalists employed by King James II of England during the late seventeenth century, The Publick Musick was originally most active as a chamber ensemble, but also appeared as an orchestra and/or chorus. In 2000, Steven Zohn and The Publick Musick received the prestigious Noah Greenberg Award of the American Musicological Society for the project: “Music for a Mixed Taste: First recordings of Telemann’s Early Trios.” The resulting CD was released by Centaur Records in 2002, and led to a European tour including a performance at the Magdeburger Telemann-Festtage.
In 2004, Thomas Folan became sole Artistic Director of Publick Musick, and shifted the ensemble’s focus to the choral/orchestral masterpieces of J. S. Bach. Under Folan's direction, Publick Musick recorded for the Musica Omnia label. Two recordings, J.S. Bach: Missae Breves and Cantatas BWV 62, 45, 192, and 140 were released in 2006 and 2007 respectively. The orchestra and choir have been featured on NPR's Performance Today, as well as on With Heart and Voice, and Harmonia. Publick Musick has also been featured on many regional American classical radio stations.
In early 2011 Henry Lebedinsky became Artistic Director and during his short tenure succeeded in revitalizing the organization and infusing it with new energy and ideas. Since the 2011-12 season, the Artistic Directors have been Boel Gidholm and Christopher Haritatos.