In 1986 a group of the finest exponents of period instruments in the UK pooled their talents to found a self-governing orchestra: the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment (OAE). The name reflected both the period of much of the new orchestra’s repertoire – though boundaries now extend to post-Enlightenment Verdi – and its ethos of discovery. From the beginning, there was no single conductor. Instead, conductors or directors from violin or keyboard were invited on a concert-by-concert basis. The OAE was quickly recognized as special, its playing charged with an energy coming from its entire body, not from one inspirational figurehead. Nearly twenty years later the OAE, now associate orchestra at London’s South Bank Centre and at Glyndebourne, flourishes. Two great men, Frans Brüggen and Sir Simon Rattle, are principal guest conductors. Alison Bury, Margaret Faultless and Catherine Mackintosh share the leader’s desk. And the OAE continues to thrill through its dynamic, refined, extraordinary playing.
Visit the official website of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment