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Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

‘Not all orchestras are the same.’ That’s been the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment’s calling card since a pioneering group of musicians formed the ensemble just over 30 years ago.

Playing instruments from the time the music was written, they continue to make old music new.

So what makes an OAE performance special? Think of it like drinking a lovingly-made craft beer over a mass-produced lager, or a Highland single malt over a supermarket-own brand. There’s an element of craft in everything it does.

Each concert needs hours of research to understand centuries of performance tradition. In its hands, you hear as close as possible to what Bach or Beethoven envisaged when they were writing. And because they don’t perform every day of the year, every performance is remarkable and nothing is routine. They’re fired up, excited, and love what they do. Join them at a concert and you can see that on stage.

From now until 2023, the OAE is going back to its roots with Six Chapters of Enlightenment, six special seasons exploring the golden age of science and philosophy that gave the Orchestra its name.

Britain’s indisputably best period instrument ensemble
The Independent

Multi-buy discount

Book multiple Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment events in the same transaction and receive a discount.

    •    Save 15%: Book 2 – 3 events
    •    Save 20%: Book 4 – 6 events
    •    Save 25%: Book 7 – 8 events

Not available on Premium seats. Discounts only apply to events within one season. 

Members get more

Enjoy stunning river views in an exclusive Members’ Cafe-Bar on the top floor of royal Festival Hall before or after your concert. 

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all stories

Annette Isserlis and Kati Debretzeni explain the history behind the orchestra’s name in this video
The OAE’s Roger Montgomery introduces his new 19th-century style horn
The OAE’s principal clarinetist Antony Pay talks us through a staple instrument of its time
The OAE’s Chief Executive, Crispin Woodhead, tells us everything we need to know about chamber music
The OAE’s Simone Jandl compare the instrument to its modern counterpart
Find out why Haydn is the ‘King of Symphonies’, in this video
The OAE’s Cecelia Bruggemeyer introduces this remarkable instrument
Watch the trailer for the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment’s 2018/19 season
Exploring Handel’s provocative opera Semele on the illusions and delusions of love

all events

OAE Tots at Southbank Centre
Various times
Sun 12 Jan 2020
Various times | Sun 12 Jan 2020
classical music
family & young people
The OAE’s interactive music-making session for ages two to five introduces Telemann’s noble steed
The OAE’s interactive music-making session for ages two to five introduces Telemann’s noble...
Lisa Beznosiuk, flute

Multi-buy discount

Multi-buy discount

7:00 pm
Tue 28 Jan 2020
7:00 pm | Tue 28 Jan 2020
classical music
The composer’s major-key masterpieces save the day with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
The composer’s major-key masterpieces save the day with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
Cecelia Bruggemeyer, double bass

Multi-buy discount

Multi-buy discount

7:00 pm
Fri 07 Feb 2020
7:00 pm | Fri 07 Feb 2020
classical music
Investigate Mozart’s last three symphonies with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
Investigate Mozart’s last three symphonies with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
OAE Tots: Funharmonics at a school
Various times
Sun 16 Feb 2020
Various times | Sun 16 Feb 2020
classical music
family & young people
An interactive introduction to music-making for children between two and five
An interactive introduction to music-making for children between two and five
Daniel Bates, oboe

Multi-buy discount

Multi-buy discount

7:00 pm
Wed 25 Mar 2020
7:00 pm | Wed 25 Mar 2020
classical music
Strike a dangerous musical pact with performers from the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
Strike a dangerous musical pact with performers from the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
Martin Kelly, viola

Multi-buy discount

Multi-buy discount

7:00 pm
Sun 26 Apr 2020
7:00 pm | Sun 26 Apr 2020
classical music
Tainted love is on the menu with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
Tainted love is on the menu with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
OAE Tots: Funharmonics at Southbank Centre
Various times
Sun 03 May 2020
Various times | Sun 03 May 2020
classical music
family & young people
An interactive introduction to music-making for children between two and five
An interactive introduction to music-making for children between two and five
Margaret Faultless, leader, violin

Multi-buy discount

Multi-buy discount

7:00 pm
Tue 19 May 2020
7:00 pm | Tue 19 May 2020
classical music
Who? The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment explains
Who? The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment explains
OAE Tots at Southbank Centre
Various times
Sun 31 May 2020
Various times | Sun 31 May 2020
classical music
family & young people
Beethoven hid some animals in his Pastoral Symphony: can you find them?
Beethoven hid some animals in his Pastoral Symphony: can you find them?
Philip Dale, trombone

Multi-buy discount

Multi-buy discount

7:00 pm
Fri 26 Jun 2020
7:00 pm | Fri 26 Jun 2020
classical music
The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment performs works by the bad boys of 19th-century music
The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment performs works by the bad boys of 19th-century music

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OAE Stories

video
The OAE’s principal clarinetist Antony Pay talks us through a staple instrument of its time
video
The OAE’s Roger Montgomery introduces his new 19th-century style horn

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