The Insula Orchestra was founded in 2012 by French conductor Laurence Equilbey. With financial support from the Conseil départemental des Hauts-de-Seine, the group has landed slots at major French and international venues and leading festivals. Integral to the unique sound world imagined by Equilbey, the Insula Orchestra has also collaborated with other major vocal and instrumental artists.
The orchestra is one of the few large ensembles to regularly play music of the Romantic era on period instruments. As such, the Insula Orchestra has performed orchestral music from the Classical and Romantic periods, with Mozart, Schubert, and Weber often forming the core of its programs. It has also performed and recorded with Equilbey's choir, Accentus, and with other choral ensembles. In its own words, the Insula Orchestra "reconsiders the formats and codes of classical music with the aim of drawing in new audiences." It has specifically tailored its sound to large symphonic spaces, with a self-presentation influenced by opera, and it has also made ample use of new digital media, including Internet series associated with specific projects.