Ok, it’s a not very snappy name, so we tend to call ourselves the OAE. The OAE is probably one of the top ‘period instrument’ Orchestras in the world. What does this mean? Well, over the years instruments and techniques have changed. We try to be authentic, by using instruments and playing styles similar to those the composer would have been familiar with. You get to hear what Vivaldi actually wrote, not a modern version of it.

You might be wondering what difference this makes to the actual sound. Well, it tends to be a more edgy sound than polished modern orchestras. It’s a gutsy and definitely a less ‘polite’ sound. Plus the OAE is well known for its sheer enthusiasm for music, which comes across at every performance.

Established for 22 years the OAE has become one of the UK’s top Orchestras. We’ve released over 50 albums and have toured the world, from The USA to the Far East, working with some of the biggest names in classical music, including Sir Simon Rattle. We’ve chosen not to have a permanent musical director, which gives us the flexibility to work with a range of soloists and conductors across a wide range of music.

Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

We give around 10 concerts a year here on the South Bank, as well as working at Glyndebourne Opera and touring nationally and internationally, this year we play around 100 dates – around one every 3 and a half days!