From 1983 to 1986 he was the harpsichord soloist for the ensemble Musica Antiqua Köln, touring frequently. At the same time he continued his studies in interpretation of classical and post-classical music on the fortepiano. He resigned from the ensemble in 1986 to embark on his solo career on both harpsichord and fortepiano. He became a touring fortepiano soloist, an accompanist for lieder, and a piano soloist for the ensemble Les Adieux. Between 1987 and 1996 he was Dozent for Cembalo at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis in Basel.
Staier has gained a reputation as a distinguished harpsichordist, fortepiano soloist, and chamber music performer. His repertoire includes the music of the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. As soloist he has performed with Concerto Köln, the Freiburg Barockorchester, the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, and the Orchestre des Champs-Elysées Paris.
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