Principal Guest Conductors:
Sir Simon Rattle CBE
"Never have I heard an orchestra fizz at such speed, energy or accuracy, utterly in period, smiles radiating as they relished each other 's playing".
In 1986 a group of the finest exponents of period instruments in the UK pooled their talents and expertise to found their own self-governing orchestra: the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment(OAE). Their mission was to bring the very best of the period instrument tradition to modern audiences in performances characterised by commitment, excellence and passion. Rather than appoint a single permanent music director, the newly formed OAE chose to invite world-class musicians to work with them on specific projects.
The Orchestra was quickly recognised as exceptional. After its debut at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in 1986 it established a home at the South Bank Centre,and is now celebrating its thirteenth season as Associate Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall where it has become well known for its innovative annual series.
In 1989 the OAE made its Glyndebourne debut with a much acclaimed series of performances of The Marriage of Figaro conducted by Sir Simon Rattle. In 2002 the OAE's relationship with Glyndebourne was formalised as Associate Orchestra.The OAE made its Royal Opera House, Covent Garden debut in 2003.
The OAE has toured to many countries and continents, including Central and Southern America and the Far East, and frequently performs in Western Europe and the United States.
The Orchestra's discography covers over fifty recordings in music from Purcell to Verdi. The OAE's latest release is an all-Handel aria disc on Decca featuring renowned America soprano Renée Fleming.
Highlights of the previous seasons include a new completion of Schubert's Symphony n.8 by Anton Safronov, under Vladimir Jurowski, a European tour of Shumann's Das Paradies und die Peri under Rattle, Bach's St John Passion with Mark Padmore , Robin Ticciati's debut and a celebration of Andreas Scholl's best repertoire with arias from Handel's operas Rodelinda and Giulio Cesare.