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Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

Thirty-odd years ago a group of intrepid musicians – Southbank Centre’s Resident Orchestra, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment (OAE) – broke away from the classical music establishment.

The OAE makes old music new, playing instruments from the period the music was written. In its hands, you hear as close as possible to what Bach or Beethoven envisaged. 

Craft beer for the ears

But 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.

The OAE plays on instruments from the period the music was written. Each concert needs hours of research to understand centuries of performance tradition, making old music new. Every performance is remarkable, and nothing is routine.

In 2016/17 The OAE plays music by many of the composers it has become famous for performing, including Mozart, Haydn and Bach. So if you’re new to the Orchestra, or if you’ve been coming for 30 years, we hope to see you at a concert soon!

Highlights include all of Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos, Steven Isserlis performing Haydn’s lost cello concerto, Sarah Connolly singing songs by Berlioz and all of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, performed over two nights with the orchestra conducted for the very first time by Masaaki Suzuki.

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Thu, 04/27/2017 - 15:18
Journalist Arwa Haider introduces the hip-hop artists involved in our Beats Without Boundaries event
Orchestra
Classical music
Fri, 04/21/2017 - 12:50
A closer look at Georg Friedrich Haas‘ in vain with the Royal Academy of Music's Head of Composition
Orchestra
Classical music
Fri, 04/21/2017 - 11:52
Hear about the creative decisions behind in vain, and its political significance, from the composer
Orchestra
Classical music
Fri, 04/21/2017 - 11:08
Listen to a specially created Spotify playlist, giving a glimpse into the composer's eclectic taste
Electronic
Folk & World
Fri, 04/21/2017 - 09:59
Yep, change your life. Here's your guide to what promises to be an unforgettable 10 days
Electronic
Rock & Pop
Wed, 04/19/2017 - 10:39
Soulwax and grime superstar Giggs are among the newly added acts
Wed, 04/12/2017 - 16:55
Experience Nordic children’s storytelling our Swedish-inspired Room for Children
Tue, 04/11/2017 - 13:18
The award-winning pianist speaks to us ahead of his debut Southbank Centre performance
Thu, 04/06/2017 - 17:34
Belief and Beyond Belief festival panellist Canon Rosie Harper considers the topic of assisted dying
Thu, 04/06/2017 - 12:20
Hear the two artists discuss different approaches to Reich’s composition

30 Apr 2017

Classical music
Orchestra
10:15 am, 30 Apr 2017
Join us for a morning of events for youngsters, from the musicians of the OAE.

2 May 2017

Classical music
Orchestra
7:00 pm, 2 May 2017
Hear the Brandenburg Concertos, six Baroque masterpieces that need no introduction, at this concert

4 Jul 2017

Classical music
Orchestra
7:00 pm, 4 Jul 2017
Hear a concert of works by Bach and his contemporaries Rameau, JCF Fischer and Campra

25 Sep 2017

Classical music
Choral
7:00 pm, 25 Sep 2017
Can the ultimate betrayal ever be forgiven? The OAE explores Judas and Christ’s last days

18 Oct 2017

Classical music
Opera
7:00 pm, 18 Oct 2017
The OAE performs Handel’s steamy, shocking opera Semele

27 Nov 2017

Classical music
Chamber & Recital
7:00 pm, 27 Nov 2017
Violinist Rachel Podger joins the OAE to show there’s more to Mozart than meets the eye.

4 Feb 2018

Classical music
Orchestra
7:00 pm, 4 Feb 2018
Violinist Nicola Benedetti performs with the OAE for the first time ever

27 Feb 2018

Classical music
Opera
7:00 pm, 27 Feb 2018
What wins out, love or duty? Find out as the OAE tells a classic story set to music by Haydn

26 Mar 2018

Classical music
Choral
7:00 pm, 26 Mar 2018
Mark Padmore and the OAE mark Easter with a performance of Bach’s St Matthew Passion

11 Apr 2018

Classical music
Chamber & Recital
7:00 pm, 11 Apr 2018
Sir Roger Norrington conducts the OAE in an all-Mozart concert.

17 May 2018

Classical music
Opera
7:00 pm, 17 May 2018
The OAE recreates an historic moment in cinema at this performance of Der Rosenkavalier.

26 Jun 2018

Classical music
Orchestra
7:00 pm, 26 Jun 2018
The OAE and dancers recreate the sounds and sights of Versailles

4 Jul 2018

Classical music
Choral
7:00 pm, 4 Jul 2018
Sir András Schiff and the OAE perform magical and playful works by Haydn.

Series discounts are available for a number of our selected Orchestra for the Age of Enlightenment concerts, receiving between 15% - 25% discount depending on the number of concerts being booked. 

To receive your series discount, tickets to all the applicable concerts must be purchased in the same transaction - just add more events to your basket to get the discounts below.

  • Save 15%: Book 2 - 3 Concerts
  • Save 20%: Book 4 - 7 Concerts
  • Save 25%: Book 8+ Concerts

OAE Stories

video
Horn player Martin Lawrence of the OAE demonstrates some DIY instrument-making
video
Hear musicians of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment talk about pitch ahead of their concert

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