resident

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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festival

7:00 pm | 25 Sep 2017
Classical music
Choral
Can the ultimate betrayal ever be forgiven? The OAE explores Judas and Christ’s last days
Various times | 15 Oct 2017
Classical music
Children & Young people
Introduce your little ones to the magic of the orchestra
7:00 pm | 18 Oct 2017
Classical music
Orchestra
The OAE performs Handel’s steamy, shocking opera Semele
7:00 pm | 27 Nov 2017
Classical music
Chamber & Recital
Violinist Rachel Podger joins the OAE to show there’s more to Mozart than meets the eye.
Various times | 14 Jan 2018
Classical music
Children & Young people
Keep your youngest music lovers captivated with OAE TOTS
7:00 pm | 4 Feb 2018
Classical music
Orchestra
Violinist Nicola Benedetti performs with the OAE for the first time ever
7:00 pm | 27 Feb 2018
Classical music
Opera
What wins out, love or duty? Find out as the OAE tells a classic story set to music by Haydn
7:00 pm | 26 Mar 2018
Classical music
Choral
Mark Padmore and the OAE mark Easter with a performance of Bach’s St Matthew Passion
7:00 pm | 11 Apr 2018
Classical music
Chamber & Recital
Sir Roger Norrington conducts the OAE in an all-Mozart concert.
7:00 pm | 17 May 2018
Classical music
Opera
The OAE recreates an historic moment in cinema at this performance of Der Rosenkavalier.

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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
Peter Whelan, principal bassoonist with the OAE, introduces the Baroque bassoon.
video
Horn player Martin Lawrence of the OAE demonstrates some DIY instrument-making

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