The ensemble was established in 1990 by Agata Sapiecha and has been led by her since. The core of the group are two violins (Agata Sapiecha, Maria Dudzik), viola da gamba (Marcin Zalewski) and harpsichord (Lilianna Stawarz). 'Il Tempo' performs instrumental and vocal music from the early Baroque to the Classical period in formations of varying size (from two to a dozen players). It collaborates with Polish and foreign musicians who play on historical instruments and continue the performance practices of early music. This work together has led to regular concerts and recordings with Simon Standage.
'Il Tempo' is interested in Polish music and its relics surviving in Polish libraries. The group also appears in programs featuring combination of early music and dance.
'Il Tempo' has appeared at major early music festivals in Europe and North America. The group has participated in numerous CD, radio and television recordings and broadcasts. It has also had the honour of performing for Queen Elizabeth II during her visit to Poland.
The name of the group is not derived from the historical tradition, as is often the case with similar ensembles. Each meaning of this ambiguous Italian word ('time', 'moment', 'tempo', 'weather') refers to the character of the ensemble and its activity. One may say: we are but a moment in the present while art is timeless. We try to convey its aura, which to us exists al tempo dei tempi.