What put the enlightenment, in the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment?

There’s no disputing that our Resident Orchestra, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, has a more unorthodox name than most classical ensembles. What, and indeed when, was the Age of Enlightenment? What might the term ‘enlightenment’ mean now? And indeed what has any of this got to do with a group of people performing classical music?

Well, prepare to have all these questions, and possibly more, answered by two of the Orchestra’s current members; Annette Isserlis (viola) and Kati Debretzeni (leader, violin). In this video, produced by the OAE the pair explore the remarkable 18th century explosion of science, philosophy and the arts from which the Orchestra takes its name.


What is Enlightenment?

Just as the Enlightenment gave birth to parliamentary democracy, we have an elected players committee who decide what music to play, where to play it, and who plays in our Orchestra.
Kati Debretzeni, leader and violin, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment


Discover the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment’s new season, Salvation and Damnation, starting with Mendelssohn’s Elijah on Thursday 3 October, 2019 at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall.

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