Bach in Excelsis: The Mass in B Minor

Page 1


Sunday 19 March

Royal Festival Hall


Welcome to our 2022 / 23 season, Songs of Travel. It is the final instalment of our ‘Six Chapters of Enlightenment’ series here at the Southbank Centre.

The idea of a journey excites us all. Whether it is a new adventure or one we have made dozens of times before. Travel and the idea of leaving home left a deep impression on the British and European mindset in the 17th and 18th centuries. And, of course, it is one of the great literary metaphors with the promise of discovering something about ourselves on the way to our destination.

The 18th century was a whirlwind of correspondences. International navigation was leaping forward with Captain James Cook’s maritime expeditions whilst newspapers, novels and engravings were distributing ideas and images in a manner previously unparalleled. As a result, the intellectual aspiration of the common man gained a wholly new stride. One which would reach beyond the bounds of the immediate and conventional into new realms of existence: far off lands, radical political thought, belief beyond convention and transports of the artistic soul which would make the desperate leap into the passions and turmoil of romanticism. The song of travel eventually becomes the realisation of self as hero in the flight from non-social space to the strange and wonderful of the 19th century: exoticism, opiate dreams, mesmerism, madness and the supernatural.

The music we’ve selected for the season reflects journeys that are physical and of the mind. It is the work of creative thinkers that were able to imagine unknown places through the descriptions of others, to put the fantastical to use to satirise the contemporary, to reimagine the past in new ways, to explore our individual freedom, our sense of collective belonging, and the need to travel to find their own place in the world, a journey many of us still make today.

Thank you for joining us today and supporting not just the OAE but live performance by the whole cultural community. Music by its very existence is about community and shared journeys, an adventure that looks beyond that which divides us to seek joy in common belief.



Václav Luks

The name of few baroque composers can be associated with such a long and venerable tradition as the name of JS Bach, and few works in music history have been as affected by this kind of tradition to such a degree as the Mass in B minor. For today’s performers, this situation is a great inspiration on the one hand, but on the other hand we are faced with ingrained ideas about the work that have been shaped by the aesthetics of the 19th Century and by the impassioned discourse about the interpretation of Bach’s works during the 20th Century.

The Mass in B minor is an extraordinarily complex work, in which Bach touched upon widely divergent musical genres and compositional techniques. The flattened impression of his music that we have inherited from the 19th Century and a romanticized fascination with symbolism are reflected in the interpretation of Bach’s music to this day.

Performance traditions and the habits of musicians in the 20th and 21st Centuries have become blinkers, preventing us from taking an unbiased view of the music of the past and from ridding ourselves of centuries worth of layers of thoughtlessly repeated clichés and of aesthetic norms passed from one generation to the next. In the case of the Mass in B minor, what is involved is not the discovery of some sort of universal, historically-based interpretive truth, but rather the courage to examine one of the greatest works of music history without being intimidated by its monumentality, and with eagerness to discover its lovely colours in their natural beauty as revealed when the layers of performance tradition are removed.

This introduction is taken from Václav Luks’ note to accompany his recording of the Mass in B minor on Accent (ACC 24283). Translation by Mark Newkirk. You can read the full article on the OAE’s blog.

There will be a pre-concert talk with Václav Luks in conversation with Tommy Pearson at 6.00pm in the Level 5 Function Room, Green Side, Royal Festival Hall.



Sunday 19 March 2023

7.00pm at the Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall


Mass in B minor, BWV 232

I Missa





Et in terra pax

Laudamus te

Gratias agimus tibi

Domine Deus

Qui tollis

Qui sedes

Quoniam tu solus sanctus

Cum Sancto Spiritu

II Symbolum Nicenum

Credo in unum Deum

Patrem omnipotentem

Et in unum Dominum

Et incarnatus est Crucifixus

Et resurrexit

Et in Spiritum sanctum


Et exspecto

III Sanctus


Pleni sunt coeli

IV Osanna, Benedictus, Agnus Dei et Dona nobis pacem

Osanna in excelsis


Osanna repetatur

Agnus Dei

Dona nobis pacem

There will not be an interval.

Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

Choir of the Enlightenment

Václav Luks director

Julia Doyle soprano

Anna Devin soprano

Hugh Cutting countertenor

Hugo Hymas tenor

Roderick Williams baritone

This concert is supported by Sir Martin & Lady Smith OBE, Nigel Jones & Françoise Valat-Jones, Ian S Ferguson CBE and Dr Susan Tranter


Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

Violins I

Huw Daniel

Daniel Edgar

Rebecca Livermore

Sophie Simpson

Henry Tong

Iona Davies

Violins II

Kati Debretzeni

Rachel Isserlis

Stephen Rouse

Rebecca Harris

Alice Evans


Max Mandel

Annette Isserlis

Martin Kelly

Kate Heller


Catherine Rimer

Mark Walkem

Daisy Vatalaro


Christine Sticher

Cecelia Bruggemeyer


Lisa Beznosiuk

Neil McLaren

Oboe / Oboe d’amore

James Eastaway

Alexandra Bellamy


Bethan White


Györgyi Farkas

Damian Brasington


Roger Montgomery


David Blackadder

Phillip Bainbridge

Matthew Wells


Adrian Bending


Steven Devine


James Johnstone

Choir of the Enlightenment

Sopranos 1

Emilia Bertolini

Fiona Fraser

Charlotte Mobbs

Daisy Walford

Clover Willis

Sopranos 2

Emily Dickens

Hannah Ely

Daisy Livesey

Bethany Partridge

Amy Wood


Luthien Brackett

Rebekah Jones

Ruth Kiang

Kim Porter


Michael Bell

John Bowen

Jeremy Budd

Oscar Golden-Lee


Jack Comerford

Michael Lafferty

Greg Skidmore

Philip Tebb


Journey’s End JS Bach’s Mass in B minor

JS Bach’s life was bookended by two great journeys that framed the relative stability of his career: in his youth, an eyewatering walk of 280 miles to Lübeck to see Buxtehude playing the organ in 1706; and in 1747 a gruelling trip from Leipzig to Frederick the Great’s court at Potsdam for a meeting that would result in the magnificent Musical Offering. Both events are illustrative of Bach’s character, and of how it evolved over time, so that by the end of his life he was able to create the Mass in B minor – some of it from much earlier material – as a sort of compendium of his achievements.

Bach’s son CPE Bach wrote of the Lübeck journey in his father’s obituary: ‘At a certain moment here in Arnstadt he had so strong an urge to hear as many good organists as he could that he set out for Lübeck, on foot, in order to hear the famous organist of St Mary’s, Dietrich Buxtehude.’ The journey was retraced and beautifully described by Horatio Clare in his radio broadcast and book, Something of His Art – Walking to Lübeck with JS Bach. Clare writes of features that seem virtually unchanged: ‘In the distance are villages with onion-domed churches; we hear bells at midday from Catholic spires, while the Protestant churches are quiet; in both, the architecture of the ages of faith are perfectly maintained’. The two Churches would find common ground in Bach’s B minor Mass, but at the time he would have been preoccupied by more immediate concerns. Clare wonders: ‘Did he fall into conversation, or hold himself apart? He must have been asked where he was going – on any foot journey someone is bound to enquire. To Lübeck, he surely said, but did he ever say why? Perhaps only another musician would have understood… His youth, purpose and ambition would have given him containment and confidence that did not need conversation to bolster it, but towards the end of the days and at his night stops he would have been ready for some human exchange. No one walks so far in silence.’

Joanna Wyld Johann Sebastian Bach in 1746, with riddle canon

Skip to the 1747 journey to Potsdam, and Bach cuts a rather different figure. In contrast with the flamboyant Frederick, who employed CPE Bach at his court, the 62-year-old JS Bach by now represented the old order: sacred music, Germanic precision, learned counterpoint drawing upon recondite traditions. After being buffeted about on his trip from Leipzig, he was announced with the solemn declaration: ‘Gentlemen, old Bach is here.’ The meeting between this rather stubborn composer and the achingly fashionable king was politically charged, too; JS Bach’s patron, the Elector of Saxony, was Frederick’s opponent. Bach was behind enemy lines. Frederick liked to tease his guests and made the mistake of trying to humiliate Bach by setting him an apparently impossible task: to improvise a fugue based on a theme contrived to be unworkable, its intervals too awkward to weave into contrapuntal layers. Bach improvised a three-part fugue on the theme – ‘all those present were seized with astonishment’ – so Frederick pushed further by demanding a six-part fugue, something Bach had never composed let alone improvised. This piqued Bach into going away and writing his unprecedented six-part Ricercar, and the Musical Offering’s feats did not end there: in the canon per tonos the music modulates almost imperceptibly

up a tone each time, creating what Douglas Hofstadter, in Gödel, Escher, Bach, called an ‘Endlessly Rising Canon’ or a ‘Strange Loop’, ending up where it started.

In between these two significant journeys, Bach’s life was fairly neatly divided into long-term positions. In 1708 he was made court organist at Weimar, remaining there for nine years. In 1717, the musical Prince Leopold of Cöthen invited Bach to become his Kappellmeister, and then in 1722 the cantor at St Thomas’s School in Leipzig died; after conducting his St John Passion there, Bach was appointed to the position. He remained in Leipzig for the rest of his life. How could such a man summarise such a career? What could do justice to a figure so determined that he ran his feet ragged seeking musical inspiration from a mentor, or tore-up the rule book to prove a king wrong? Perhaps a great Mass was the only solution. Bach was a Lutheran, for whom a mass usually consisted of just a ‘Kyrie’ and a ‘Gloria’. He had written five Lutheran masses, but needed something grander as a final statement of his prowess in this field. Perhaps the rebellious spirit that defied Frederick’s goading also enjoyed the idea of beating Catholics at their own game. The work was not written to fulfil a patron’s commission, nor for any specific occasion;

Illustration for Dresden in Bildern with photographs by Franz Fiedler (Dr Hans Epstein, 1930). Photo credit: © Look and Learn / Bridgeman Images

it is a reflection of Bach’s devout Christian faith, but is also a portfolio compiled at the end of his life to showcase his range as a composer.

The earliest of Bach’s Lutheran masses, the Missa dating from 1733, forms the basis of the Mass in B minor, which includes the more intricate sections of the Catholic liturgy. Following a troubled time in Leipzig, Bach had dedicated the 1733 Missa to Augustus III or Elector Friedrich August II of Saxony – a recent convert to Catholicism – hoping for patronage at the Dresden court. He referred to the Missa as an ‘insignificant example of my musical skill’, but clearly held the music in high esteem: he hung on to the score, sending only the parts to the Elector, and later reworked elements of the Missa’s ‘Gloria’ into his Christmas cantata, Gloria in excelsis Deo, BWV 191. Then, towards the end of the 1740s, Bach returned to the 1733 Missa, augmenting the original with further movements to create the Mass in B minor. This title was never used by Bach, however. Some time after his death it became known as a ‘Missa Catholica’; CPE Bach archived the work as the Great Catholic Mass; and the title of Mass in B minor became established in the 19th Century. The work was almost certainly not performed in its entirety in Bach’s lifetime, and it was first published in 1845. Curiously, Bach organised the manuscript of his Mass into four folders; ever-practical, he may have thought it wise to divide this vast work into manageable portions suitable for separate performances. Part 1, ‘Missa’, comprises the ‘Kyrie’ and ‘Gloria’; Part 2, ‘Symbolum Nicenum’, contains the ‘Credo’; Part 3, ‘Sanctus’, is devoted to just that movement; and the remaining movements are in a folder called ‘Osanna – Benedictus –Agnus Dei et – Dona nobis pacem’.

The Mass begins with a powerful fourbar declaration, followed by a fugal ‘Kyrie

eleison’ scored for five-part chorus, pairs of flutes and oboes d’amore, bassoon and strings. This imposing opening is contrasted with a graceful ‘Christe eleison’ for soprano duet and strings, before we hear the second ‘Kyrie’, again in an intricately layered fugal texture and in keeping with the austere ‘stile antico’ (when Baroque composers emulated the purity of Renaissance music).

The largest section of the work, the ‘Gloria’, is structured symmetrically. It opens with a five-part chorus for which the woodwinds, strings and continuo are joined by trumpets and drums. This concise opening is contrasted with the rich and stately ‘Et in terra pax’, after which comes a soprano aria, ‘Laudamus te’, decorated by an ornate violin line. The ‘Gratias agimus tibi’ is another ‘stile antico’ four-part chorus, the music of which may date back to Bach’s cantata Wir danken dir, Gott, wir danken dir (BWV 29, 1731). The central point of the ‘Gloria’ is occupied by the ‘Domine Deus’, a duet for soprano and tenor, with muted violins and violas and a flute melody interlaced with the vocal lines. For the exquisite ‘Qui tollis peccata

Portrait of Friedrich Augustus II of Saxony (1797 – 1854) by Carl Christian Vogel von Vogelstein (1788 – 1868).

mundi’ Bach adapted music from his cantata Schauet doch und sehet, ob irgendein Schmerz sei (BWV 46, 1723). The beautiful aria ‘Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris’ is for mezzo-soprano and oboe d’amore, and a bass solo follows at ‘Quoniam’, with colourful orchestration including independent writing for bassoons and solo horn. This leads seamlessly into the exultant chorus, ‘Cum Sancto Spiritu, in Gloria Dei Patris, Amen’, scored for the same forces as the opening chorus of the ‘Gloria’ in order to unify this section of the Mass.

Two of the choruses in the ‘Credo’ include quotes from Gregorian chant, the first appearing in the tenor line before being developed into a brilliant five-part choral texture. The perky four-part chorus ‘Patrem omnipotentem’ derives from Bach’s cantata Gott, wie dein Name, BWV 171 (1729). It is followed by an intricate duet for soprano and alto (countertenor), ‘Et in unum Dominum’, in which the pair of oboes d’amore add colour, preceding the sombre, long-breathed ‘Et incarnus est’. Another early cantata, Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen (BWV 12, 1714), forms the basis of the poignant four-part ‘Crucifixus’, its mournful tone accentuated by the addition of flutes. There may have been a (now lost) instrumental precedent for the heavily instrumental ‘Et resurrexit’, its triumphant five-part chorus reinforced by a powerful ensemble including oboes, flutes, trumpets and drums. The oboe d’amores are again to the fore in the bass aria ‘Et in Spiritum Sanctum’, intertwining with the solo part. The majestic ‘Confiteor’

is a tour de force of ‘stile antico’ writing in five-part counterpoint, in which Bach again quotes plainchant. This section culminates dramatically in the final chorus of the ‘Credo’, ‘Et exspecto resurrectionem mortuorem’, which includes material from Bach’s cantata, Gott, man lobet dich in der Stille, BWV 120, written before 1730.

The music of the ‘Sanctus’ dates back as far as Christmas 1724, and is generously scored for six-part chorus with three trumpets, three oboes, drums, strings and continuo. The ‘Osanna’ includes music from Bach’s cantata Preise dein Glücke (BWV 215, 1734), and is the only section in the whole Mass for which Bach employs a double choir. This passage is articulated twice, sandwiching a lyrical ‘Benedictus’ for solo tenor introduced by an elaborate flute solo (sometimes played on the violin).

The ‘Agnus Dei’ represents one of the pinnacles of the Mass, its haunting alto (countertenor) solo based on an aria from Bach’s Ascension Oratorio, BWV 11 of 1735. The Mass culminates in the joyful four-part ‘Dona nobis pacem’, which echoes music used in the ‘Gratias agimus tibi’ section of the ‘Gloria’ – a repetition that creates a sense of wholeness and resolution at the end of the work. Bach was blind by the time he finished his Mass and his travelling days were behind him, but his mind’s extraordinary capacity for seeking out musical pathways that connected past and present, Catholic and Protestant, remained unmatched.

Johann Sebastian Bach’s handwritten manuscript score for his ‘Mass in B minor’-end of Kyrie and beginning of Gloria. BWV 232. For choir and orchestra. Lebrecht Music Arts / Bridgeman Images

Text and Translation

I Missa


Kyrie, eleison.

Duet (Soprano 1 / Soprano 2)

Christe, eleison.

Chorus Kyrie, eleison.


Gloria in excelsis Deo.


Et in terra pax hominibus bonae voluntatis.

Aria (Soprano)

Laudamus te, benedicimus te, adoramus te, glorificamus te.


Gratias agimus tibi propter magam gloriam tuam.

Duet (Soprano / Tenor)

Domine Deus, Rex coelestis, Deus Pater omnipotens.

Domine Fili unigenite, Jesu Christe, altissime.

Domine Deus, Agnus Dei, Filius Patris.


Qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis.

Qui tollis peccata mundi, suscipe deprecationem nostram.

Aria (Countertenor)

Qui sedes ad dextram Patris, miserere nobis.

Aria (Baritone)

Quoniam tu solus sanctus, tu solus Dominus, tu solas altissiumus, Jesu Christe.

Lord, have mercy.

Christ, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.

Glory to God in the highest.

And on earth peace to men of good will.

We praise thee, we bless thee, we adore thee, we glorify thee.

We give thee thanks for thy great glory.

O Lord God, heavenly King, God the Father almighty. O Lord, the only-begotten son, Jesus Christ, the most high. Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father.

Who takest away the sins of the world, have mercy on us. Who takest away the sins of the world, receive our prayer.

Who sittest at the right hand of the Father, have mercy on us.

For thou alone art holy, thou alone art the Lord, thou alone, O Jesus Christ, art most high.



Cum Sancto Spiritu in gloria Dei Patris, Amen.

II Symbolum Nicenum


Credo in unum Deum.


Credo in unum Deum, Patrem omnipotentem, factorum coeli et terrae, visibilium omnium et invisibilium.

Duet (Soprano 1 / Soprano 2)

Et in unum Dominum, Jesum Christum, Filium Dei unigenitum et ex Patre natum ante omnia secula. Deum de Deo, lumen de lumine, Deum verum de Deo vero, genitum, non factum, consubstantialem Patri, per quem omnia facta sunt. Qui propter nos homines et propter nostram salutem descendit de coelis.


Et incarnatus est de Spiritu sancto ex Maria virgine, et homo factus est.


Crucifixus etiam pro nobis sub Pontio Pilato, passus et sepultus est.


Et resurrexit tertia die secundum scripturas; et ascendit in coelum, sedet ad dextram Dei Patris, et iterum venturus est cum gloria judicare vivos et mortuos, cujus regni non erit finis.

Aria (Baritone)

Et in Spiritum sanctum, Dominum et vivificantem, qui ex Patre Filioque procedit; qui cum Patre et Filio simul adoratur et

Together with the Holy Ghost, in the glory of God the Father, Amen.

I believe in one God.

I believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.

And in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all ages. God of God, light of light, true God of true God, begotten, not made, of one being with the Father, by whom all things were made. Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven.

And was made flesh by the Holy Ghost, of the Virgin Mary, and was made man.

He was crucified also for us, under Pontius Pilate, he suffered and was buried.

And on the third day he rose again according to the scriptures; and ascended into heaven, he sitteth at the right hand of God the Father, and he shall come again with glory to judge the living and the dead, whose kingdom shall have no end.

And in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and giver of life, who proceedeth from the Father and the Son; who with the Father and the Son


conglorificatur; qui locutus est per Prophetas. Et unam sanctam catholicam et apostolicam ecclesiam.


Confiteor unum baptisma in remissionem peccatorum. Et exspecto resurrectionem mortuorum.


Et exspecto resurrectionem mortuorum. et vitam venturi seculi.


III Sanctus


Sanctus, sanctus, sanctus, Dominus Deus Sabaoth.

Pleni sunt coeli et terra gloria ejus.

IV Osanna, Benedictus, Agnus Dei et Dona nobis pacem


Osanna in excelsis.

Aria (Tenor)

Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini.


Osanna in excelsis.

Aria (Countertenor)

Agnus Dei qui tollis peccata mundi: miserere nobis.

Agnus Dei qui tollis peccata mundi: miserere nobis.


Dona nobis pacem.

together is worshipped and glorified; who spoke by the prophets. And in the one holy catholic and apostolic church.

I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins. And I look for the resurrection of the dead.

And I look for the resurrection of the dead. and the life of the world to come. Amen.

Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of hosts.

Heaven and earth are full with his glory.

Hosanna in the highest.

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.

Hosanna in the highest.

Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world: have mercy on us.

Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world: have mercy on us.

Grant us peace.



the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment; Bach’s Geist und Seele with the Oxford Bach Soloists; Handel’s Messiah with Instruments of Time and Truth and Edward Higginbottom; Purcell Odes for a Queen with The English Concert and Kristian Bezuidenhout, and a performance of Bach and Handel arias with the Hanover Band and Laurence Cummings.

Hugh Cutting

A former choral scholar at St John’s College, Cambridge, Hugh Cutting is a recent graduate of the Royal College of Music where he was a member of the International Opera Studio. On graduating, he was awarded the Tagore Gold Medal, presented by King Charles III. In the autumn of 2021, Hugh became the first countertenor to win the Kathleen Ferrier Award and is the first countertenor to become a BBC New Generation Artist (2022 – 24).

In the 2021 / 22 season Hugh was a member of Les Arts Florissants 10th Jardin des Voix and received critical acclaim for his portrayal of Arsace in Handel’s Partenope conducted by William Christie. Further highlights included his Carnegie Hall debut singing Bach’s St Matthew Passion with the Orchestra of St Luke’s and Bernard Labadie; Refugee in Dove’s Flight and Bertarido in Handel’s Rodelinda with the RCM International Opera Studio, Vivaldi’s Stabat Mater at the London Handel Festival with Adrian Butterfield; Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater with the Southbank Sinfonia; Tavener’s The Hidden Face with the City of London Sinfonia; Bach’s St Matthew Passion with

This season Hugh makes his debut at Opernhaus Zürich singing Monteverdi madrigals in Christian Spuck’s ballet setting. Upcoming concert engagements include multiple appearances at the Wigmore Hall alongside Iestyn Davies and Ensemble Guadagni, La Nuova Musica, The English Concert, and The Sixteen; a world premiere with the BBC Philharmonic and an appearance at the Oxford Lieder Festival; Handel’s Messiah with The Sixteen and Harry Christophers and with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Adrian Lucas; Bach’s Christmas Oratorio with Monteverdi Choir & Orchestras and John Eliot Gardiner; Bach’s B minor Mass with The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and Vaclav Luks; Bach’s St Matthew Passion with the Finnish Radio Orchestra and Nick Collon and in a European tour with Collegium Vocale Gent and Philippe Herreweghe, as well as multiple projects with Les Arts Florissants and William Christie including Polinesso in Handel’s Ariodante and Arsace Partenope.

Song is central to Hugh’s ambition, and he seeks to expand the possibilities of countertenor repertoire in this sphere. In 2022 / 23 he appears in recital at the Wigmore Hall, Ryedale Festival, and at the Thames Recital Series with ‘Untethered’, a programme based on Michael A. Singer’s


book ‘The Untethered Soul’, which centres around the concept of liberation, namely from the thoughts and perspectives that disturb our daily lives. Many of these works will be recorded as part of Hugh’s involvement in the BBC New Generation Artist scheme for later broadcast on Radio 3. He frequently collaborates with pianist George Ireland, lutenist Danny Murphy and composer Piers Connor Kennedy both in recital and concert.

Hugh works regularly with SoundVoice UK and composer Hannah Conway, most recently performing at Snape Maltings and King’s Place alongside Roderick Williams and Lucy Crowe in a project exploring identity and voice loss in terminal health conditions.

He has recorded Purcell Royal Odes and Birthday Odes for Queen Mary with The King’s Consort and Robert King alongside Iestyn Davies and Carolyn Sampson, and Lamento with Iestyn Davies and Fretwork for Signum Classics.

In 2022 / 23, Anna Devin will perform the title role in Lucia di Lammermoor in Hamburg as well as Fiordiligi in Cosi fan tutte with the Irish National Opera.

In recent years, Anna Devin’s successes have included Elisabetta in Maria Stuarda with the Irish National Opera; Almirena in Rinaldo with Glyndebourne on tour and Michal in Saul in Paris Théâtre du Châtelet; Melissa in Amadigi with Garsington Opera; Celia in Lucio Silla in Madrid; the title role of Semele with the Händel-Festspiele; Tusnelda in Arminio at the International Handel Festival in Göttingen; Michal in Saul at Glyndebourne and Cleopatra in Giulio Cesare for the Early Opera Company, in which her Cleopatra was described as: ‘one of the finest London has heard’ (Opera Magazine). She has sung Galatea in Acis and Galatea for Mozartwoche Salzburg; the title role in Handel’s Rodelinda with the Moscow Philharmonic; Nannetta in Falstaff and Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi for Covent Garden; Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro for Welsh National Opera, Glyndebourne Tour and Scottish Opera; Sophie in Werther and Zerlina in Don Giovanni for Scottish Opera; la bergère Louis XV and la chauve-souris in L’enfant et les sortilèges for La Scala; Poppea in Agrippina for Opera Collective, Ireland; and Clotilde in Faramondo for Brisbane Baroque, which earned her the Best Supporting Singer in an Opera at the 2015 Helpmann Awards, Australia.

Anna Devin

Irish soprano Anna Devin is widely admired for her “vocal control, artistry and musicodramatic intelligence” (Opera News). An alumna of the Royal Opera House’s Jette Parker Young Artist programme, the Royal Irish Academy of Music, Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and the National Opera Studio, Ms Devin has gained recognition across the world for her work in the Baroque and Bel Canto repertoire.

Other roles have included Governess in Turn of the Screw, la Comtesse Adèle in Le Comte Ory, Marie in La fille du Régiment, Morgana in Alcina, Gretel in Hänsel und Gretel and Ilia in Idomeneo.

A frequent concert performer throughout Europe and the USA, Ms Devin’s repertoire encompasses a vast range of sacred and secular works and she has appeared at the London Handel, Göttingen Handel, Lausanne Bach, Brighton Early Music and Belfast festivals, the BBC Proms


and Carnegie Hall. She has worked with the Vienna Philharmonic, Hallé, RTÉ NSO, Ulster and Minnesota orchestras and Houston, Charlotte and Seattle symphonies, among others. Recent season highlights, Mozart Concert Arias with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra conducted by Harry Bicket; and a concert tour performing Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater and Mozart’s Exsultate Jubilate with frequent collaborator Marc Minkowski and Les Musiciens du Louvre. Other conductors she has worked with include Sir William Christie, Laurence Cummings, Christian Curnyn, Ottavio Dantone, Ivor Bolton, Sir Colin Davis, Yannick Nézet-Séguin and Sir Antonio Pappano.

Anna Devin’s recordings include Arminio and Faramondo for Accent from the International Händel Festspiele Gottingen; Mozart in London, Il re Pastore and Mitridate, Re di Ponto with Classical Opera for Signum Classics; and ‘Arias for Benucci’ with Arcangelo for Hyperion. She was also an Associate Artist with Classical Opera, with whom she records and performs regularly.

In addition to her work on stage, Ms Devin is proud to be an Ambassador for the British Dyslexia Association. She has also been open with the public through the media and events about growing up with dyslexia, saying: “Being different is not a bad thing. Not fitting in with the crowd is a blessing as we all have our own journey, and being forced to find your own path brings originality.” She is passionate about nurturing new talent and gives masterclasses at the Royal Irish Academy of Music, Dublin, as well as coaching at the Royal Academy Opera Course, London.

When not on stage, Ms Devin is a keen runner and enjoys keeping fit and relaxing with her husband, young children and Norwegian Forest cat in their Bedfordshire, UK home.

Born and educated in Lancaster, Julia read Social and Political Sciences alongside a Choral Scholarship at Cambridge. She made her professional debuts singing Messiah with The King’s Consort at the Cadogan Hall and with the Britten Sinfonia / Polyphony at St John’s Smith Square and continues strong relationships with both. Since then she has performed all over the world and become established as a specialist soprano in Baroque repertoire.

She has worked with conductors including Frieder Bernius, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Matthew Halls, Philippe Hereweghe, Richard Tognetti, Alfredo Bernadini, Györgi Vashegyi, Robert King, Nicholas Kraemer, Juanjo Mena, Sir Roger Norrington, Arsys Bourgogne, Gianandrea Noseda and Trevor Pinnock.

Highlights include performances with the BBC Philharmonic, Monteverdi Choir and Orchestra, Britten Sinfonia, Royal Philharmonic, RTE Symphony, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, London Handel Orchestra, The English Concert, The King’s Consort, London Bach Society, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, The Sixteen, Collegium Vocale, Netherlands Bach Society, Le Concert Lorrain, Bayerische Rundfunk, Kammerchor Stuttgart, Australian Chamber Orchestra, Seville Baroque Orchestra, B’Rock, J.S. Bach Stiftung, Tafelmusik, Music of the Baroque


and at the Wigmore Hall and Cadogan Hall, London and Concertgebouw, Amsterdam.

Recent and future engagements include Mozart Mass in C minor in Toronto, Vivaldi Juditha Triumphans at the Concertgebouw, Palace of Versailles and Theater an der Wien, Handel Aci, Galatea e Polifemo at Halle Handel Festival, recordings of Bach St John Passion with J.S. Bach Stiftung, tours of Europe with The Monteverdi Choir and Orchestra, concerts with the OAE, English Concert and La Serenissima at the early music festival in Valetta, a tour and recording of Messiah with the Rias Kammerchor, concerts at the Halle Handel Festival with the MDR Chor, Tisbe at the Buxton Festival, Handel Occasional Oratorio and Alexander’s Feast both with Bayerische Rundfunk and Ensemble Cantatio, concerts in the UK and Scotland with the Dunedin Consort, recitals in London and at the York Early Music Festival as well as an appearance at the 2021 BBC Proms with the Monteverdi Choir and Orchestra and performances at the Wigmore Hall with La Nuova Musica and the London Handel Orchestra.

She recently released her first solo recording of Purcell with the lutenist, Matthew Wadsworth.

baroque and renaissance repertoire enjoying collaborations with the foremost practitioners of the genre.

Recent performances include Purcell and Handel with the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra directed by Kristian Bezuidenhout; Handel La Resurrezione with The English Consort and Harry Bicket; Monteverdi Vespers and Bach St Matthew Passion with Dunedin Consort and John Butt; Handel Il Trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno with the Croatian Barokk Ensemble (Lawrence Cummings) and Haydn Die Schöpfung with Les Arts Florissants (William Christie) in New York.

Amongst Hugo’s opera roles to date are Indian Boy and Fame in Purcell The Indian Queen with Opera de Lille as well as concert performances of the composer’s King Arthur with The Gabrieli Consort and at the Teatro Real, Madrid; Eurimaco Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino and Servus in the premiere of Georgio Battistelli Julius Caesar at the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma. He also took part in a tour of a semi-staged Handel Semele with the Monteverdi Choir under Sir John Eliot Gardiner which included his début at Teatro alla Scala, Milan.

Hugo studied Music at the University of Durham. He is a former Britten-Pears Young Artist and was a member of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

‘Rising Stars’ scheme, appearing with the group on many occasions.

British tenor Hugo Hymas is much in demand for his interpretations of the

Amongst his 2022 / 23 season highlights are Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and Tempere Philharmonic débuts singing the St Matthew Passion; a tour of the B minor Mass with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and Václav Luks and performing and recording Purcell with Arcangelo and Jonathan Cohen.

Hugo Hymas

Václav Luks

Václav Luks studied at the Pilsen Conservatoire, the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, and crowned his training with the specialised study of early music at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis in Switzerland in the studios of Jörg-Andreas Bötticher and Jesper Christensen in the fields of historical keyboard instruments and historical performance practice. During his studies in Basel and in the years that followed, he gave concerts all over Europe and overseas as the principal horn player of the Akademie für Alte Musik in Berlin.

After returning from abroad in 2005, he transformed the chamber ensemble Collegium 1704, which he had already established during his studies, into a baroque orchestra, and he founded the vocal ensemble Collegium Vocale 1704. Under his leadership, the ensembles perform at prestigious festivals and at renowned concert halls. Their recordings have earned both public success and critical acclaim, including awards such as Trophées, Diapason d’Or, Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik or Edison Klassiek.

In addition to his intensive work with Collegium 1704, Václav Luks also collaborates with other distinguished ensembles including the Netherlands Bach Society, Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo, Camerata Salzburg, the Akademie für Alte Musik in Berlin and La

Cetra Barockorchester Basel, from 2022 also with Händel & Haydn Society Boston. At a benefit concert for the restoration of the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris, Václav Luks conducted the Orchestre nationale de France. The French radio station France Musique devoted five episodes of the programme Grands interpretes de la musique classique to Václav Luks in 2021. In May 2021, he conducted Collegium 1704 in the opening concert of the international festival Prague Spring.

He has worked with internationally renowned soloists including Karina Gauvin, Vivica Genaux, Ann Hallenberg, Martina Janková, Philippe Jaroussky, Magdalena Kožená, Bejun Mehta, Sarah Mingardo, Adam Plachetka, and Andreas Schöll.

Václav Luks has collaborated on operatic and theatrical performances with such stage directors as Willi Decker, Ondřej Havelka, Ursel Herrmann, Louise Moaty, J. A. Pitínský, and David Radok. Recently, he participates on the international co-production of Händel’s opera Alcina directed by Jiří Heřman. Under his direction, Collegium 1704 recorded the music for Petr Václav’s documentary Zpověď zapomenutého (Confession of the Vanished) and for his upcoming feature film Il Boemo about the life of Josef Mysliveček, where Václav Luks also serves as chief music advisor.

His activities have played an important part in the revival of interest in the works of Czech composers such as Jan Dismas Zelenka and Josef Mysliveček, and in strengthening CzechGerman cultural links through rediscovery of the two countries’ shared musical heritage.

In June 2022, he received the Order of Arts and Letters (Ordre des Arts et des Lettres) from Ambassador Alexis Duterteur at a ceremony at the French Embassy in Prague. The Order is awarded by the French Minister of Culture for significant merits in the field of art and literature.


Roderick Williams

Roderick Williams is one of the most sought after baritones of his generation. He performs a wide repertoire from baroque to contemporary music, in the opera house, on the concert platform and is in demand as a recitalist worldwide.

He enjoys relationships with all the major UK opera houses and has sung opera world premieres by David Sawer, Sally Beamish, Michael van der Aa, Robert Saxton and Alexander Knaifel. Recent and future engagements include the title role in Eugene Onegin for Garsington, the title role in Billy Budd with Opera North, Papageno for Covent Garden, and productions with Cologne Opera, English National Opera and Netherlands Opera.

Roderick sings regularly with all the BBC orchestras and all the major UK orchestras, as well as the Berlin, London and New York Philharmonic Orchestras,

Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome, Cincinnati Symphony, London Symphony and Bach Collegium Japan amongst others. His many festival appearances include the BBC Proms (including the Last Night in 2014), Edinburgh, Cheltenham, Bath, Aldeburgh and Melbourne Festivals.

Roderick Williams has an extensive discography. He is a composer and has had works premiered at the Wigmore and Barbican Halls, the Purcell Room and live on national radio. In December 2016 he won the prize for best choral composition at the British Composer Awards. From 2022 / 23 season he takes the position of Composer in Association of the BBC Singers.

He recently completed a three year odyssey of the Schubert song cycles culminating in performances at the Wigmore Hall and has subsequently recorded them for Chandos. Future releases include more Schubert, Schumann in English as well as works by Vaughan Williams.

He was Artistic Director of Leeds Lieder in April 2016, is Artist in Residence for the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra from 2020/21 for two seasons and won the RPS Singer of the Year award in May 2016. He was awarded an OBE in June 2017.


In 1986, a group of inquisitive London musicians took a long hard look at that curious institution we call the Orchestra, and decided to start again from scratch. They began by throwing out the rulebook. Put a single conductor in charge? No way. Specialise in repertoire of a particular era? Too restricting. Perfect a work and then move on? Too lazy. The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment was born.

And as this distinctive ensemble playing on period-specific instruments began to get a foothold, it made a promise to itself. It vowed to keep questioning, adapting and inventing as long as it lived. Residencies at the Southbank Centre and the Glyndebourne Festival didn’t numb its experimentalist bent. A major record deal didn’t iron out its quirks. Instead, the OAE examined musical notes with ever more freedom and resolve.

That creative thirst remains unquenched. The Night Shift series of informal performances are redefining concert formats. Its former home at London’s Kings Place has fostered further diversity of planning and music-making. The ensemble has formed the bedrock for some of Glyndebourne’s most groundbreaking recent productions.

In keeping with its values of always questioning, challenging and trailblazing, in September 2020, the OAE became the resident orchestra of Acland Burghley School, Camden. The residency – a first for a British orchestra – allows the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment to live, work and play amongst the students of the school.

Now more than thirty years old, the OAE is part of our musical furniture. It has even graced the outstanding conducting talents of Elder, Rattle, Jurowski, Iván Fischer and John Butt with a joint title of Principal Artist. But don’t ever think the ensemble has lost sight of its founding vow. Not all orchestras are the same. And there’s nothing quite like this one.


The OAE Team

Chief Executive

Crispin Woodhead

Chief Operating Officer

Edward Shaw

Finance & Governance Director

Pascale Nicholls

Projects Director

Jo Perry

Education Director

Cherry Forbes

Marketing Director

Doug Buist

Acting Development Director

Natalie Docherty

Education Officer

Andrew Thomson Projects Manager

Sophie Adams

Finance Manager

Fabio Lodato

Head of Digital Content

Zen Grisdale

Head of Individual Giving

Alisdair Ashman

Box Office & Data Manager

Paola Rossi

Development Manager

Kiki Betts-Dean

Development Officer

Luka Lah

Projects Officer

Ed Ault

Marketing Officer

Dora Tsang

Development Officer

Sabrina Pui Yee Chin

Accounts Officer

Chloe Tsang

Social Media & Digital Content Officer

Shyala Smith

Orchestra Consultant

Philippa Brownsword

Choir Manager

David Clegg


Roy Mowatt


Huw Daniel

Kati Debretzeni

Margaret Faultless

Matthew Truscott

Players’ Artistic Committee

Adrian Bending

Steven Devine

Andrew Roberts

Katharina Spreckelsen

Christine Sticher

Principal Artists

John Butt

Sir Mark Elder

Ádám Fischer

Iván Fischer

Vladimir Jurowski

Sir Simon Rattle

Sir András Schiff

Emeritus Conductors

William Christie

Sir Roger Norrington

Life President

Sir Martin Smith

Board of Directors

Imogen Overli [Chair]

Adrian Bending

Daniel Alexander

Steven Devine

Denys Firth

Adrian Frost

Alison McFadyen

David Marks

Rebecca Miller

Andrew Roberts

Katharina Spreckelsen

Matthew Shorter

Christine Sticher

Dr. Susan Tranter

Crispin Woodhead

OAE Trust

Adrian Frost [Chair]

Mark Allen

Paul Forman

Steven Larcombe

Imogen Overli

Rupert Sebag-Montefiore

Maarten Slendebroek

Sir Martin Smith

Caroline Steane

Jessica Kemp

Honorary Council

Sir Martin Smith [Chair]

Sir Victor Blank

Edward Bonham Carter

Cecelia Bruggemeyer

Nigel Jones

Max Mandel

Marshall Marcus

Julian Mash

Greg Melgaard

Roger Montgomery

Susan Palmer OBE

Jan Schlapp

Diane Segalen

Susannah Simons

Lady Smith OBE

Emily Stubbs

Rosalyn Wikinson

Mark Williams


Principal Patrons

John Armitage Charitable Trust

Denys and Vicki Firth

Adrian Frost

Imogen Overli

Sir Martin and Lady Smith OBE

Season Patrons

Julian and Annette Armstrong

Nigel Jones and Françoise Valat-Jones

Philip and Rosalyn Wilkinson

Mark and Rosamund Williams

Project Patrons

Ian S Ferguson CBE and Dr Susan Tranter

Bruce Harris

Selina and David Marks

ABS Circle

Sir Victor and Lady Blank

Peter Cundill Foundation

Sir Martin and Lady Smith OBE

Aria Patrons

Steven Larcombe

Peter and Veronica Lofthouse

Stanley Lowy

Gary and Nina Moss

Rupert Sebag-Montefiore

Maarten and Taina Slendebroek

Caroline Steane

Eric Tomsett

Chair Patrons

Mrs Nicola Armitage

– Education Director

Victoria and Edward Bonham Carter

– Principal Trumpet

Katharine Campbell

– Violin

Anthony and Celia Edwards

– Principal Oboe

Thank you

James Flynn KC

– Co-Principal Lute / Theorbo

Paul Forman

– Co-Principal Cello / Violin /

Co-Principal Horn

Jonathan Gaisman

– Viola

Michael and Harriet Maunsell

– Principal Keyboard


– Flute

Jenny and Tim Morrison

– Second Violin

Andrew Nurnberg

– Co-Principal Oboe

Professor Richard Portes


– Co-Principal Bassoon

John and Rosemary Shannon

– Principal Horn

Sue Sheridan OBE

– Education

Crispin Woodhead and Christine Rice

– Principal Timpani

Education Patrons

Stephen and Patricia Crew

Sir Timothy and Lady Lloyd

Susan Palmer OBE

Andrew and Cindy Peck

Professor Richard Portes


Associate Patrons

Charles and Julia Abel Smith

Damaris Albarrán

Noël and Caroline Annesley

Sir Richard Arnold and Mary Elford

Hugh and Michelle Arthur

George and Kay Brock

Catherine and Barney Burgess

David and Marilyn Clark

David Emmerson

Claire Espiner

Jonathan Parker Charitable Trust

Roger Heath MBE and Alison Heath MBE

Peter and Sally Hilliar

Madeleine Hodgkin

Kristin Konschnik

Moira and Robert Latham

Sir Timothy and Lady Lloyd

Roger Mears and Joanie Speers

David Mildon

In Memory Of Lesley Mildon

John Nickson and Simon Rew

Andrew and Cindy Peck

Stephen and Penny Pickles

Peter Rosenthal

Michael Spagat

Roger and Pam Stubbs

Emily Stubbs and Stephen McCrum

Paul Tarrant and Jenny Haxell

Simon and Karen Taube

Shelley Von Strunckel

Mr J Westwood

Young Ambassador


Jessica Kemp and Alex Kemp

Breandán Knowlton

Young Associate

Natalie Docherty

Young Patrons

Marina Abel Smith

Marianne and William Cartwright-Hignett

David Gillbe

Sam Hucklebridge

Peter Yardley-Jones

Gold Friends

Michael Brecknell

Gerard Cleary

Mr and Mrs C Cochin De Billy

Chris Gould

Alison and Ian Lowdon


Silver Friends

Dennis and Sheila Baldry

Haylee and Michael Bowsher

Tony Burt

Christopher Campbell

Sir Anthony and Lady Cleaver

David Cox

Stephen and Cristina Goldring

Rachel and Charles Henderson

Malcolm Herring

Patricia Herrmann

Rupert and Alice King

Anthony and Carol Rentoul

Stephen and Roberta Rosefield

Bridget Rosewell

David and Ruth Samuels

Her Honour Suzanne Stewart

Susannah Simons

Bronze Friends

Tony Baines

Penny and Robin Broadhurst

Graham and Claire Buckland

Dan Burt

Michael A Conlon

Mrs SM Edge

Mrs Mary Fysh

Mr Simon Gates

Martin and Helen Haddon

Ray and Liz Harsant

The Lady Heseltine

Mrs Auriel Hill

Rose and Dudley Leigh

Julian Markson

Stuart Martin

Richard I Morris Jr

Mike Raggett

Hugh Raven

Alan Sainer

Matthew and Sarah Shorter

Mr and Mrs Tony Timms

Mrs Joy Whitby

David Wilson

OAE Experience Supporters

Harold Hyam Wingate Foundation

Henocq Law Trust

The 29th May 1961 Charity

Stanley Picker Trust

Thriplow Charitable Trust

Rising Stars Supporters

Julian and Annette Armstrong

Old Possum’s Practical Trust

The 29th May 1961 Charity

Fenton Arts Trust

The Garrick Charitable Trust

The Michael Marks

Charitable Trust

Thriplow Charitable Trust

Trusts & Foundations

Albert and Eugenie Frost Music Trust

Apax Foundation

Arts Council England

Dreamchasing Foundation

Esmee Fairbairn Foundation

The John Lyon’s Charity

National Foundation For Youth Music

Orchestras Live

Paul Hamlyn Foundation

Peter Cundill Foundation

The Brian Mitchell Charitable Settlement

The Britford Bridge Trust

The Charles Peel

Charitable Trust

The Geoffrey Watling Charity

The Linbury Trust

The Patrick Rowland Foundation

Steel Charitable Trust

Corporate Supporters

Mark Allen Group

Champagne Deutz

Swan Turton

Paper sculptures by Justin Rowe

OAE Education 2022 / 23

A programme to involve, empower and inspire

OAE Experience scheme

The Ann and Peter Law OAE Experience gives gifted period instrument musicians the chance to work alongside our orchestral players. The year-long scheme is aimed at players who have already finished or are finishing their studies and allows participants to be mentored by our musicians as they participate in a variety of events across the year. This important work in career development ensures that the scholarship of historically informed practice is passed on from generation to generation.

In February this year, we ran our annual OAE Academy, a crucial part of our Experience scheme where musicians

are mentored intensively by OAE players. In a three-day programme at St John’s Smith Square and Acland Burghley School, Margaret Faultless, Leo Duarte and Roger Montgomery worked intensively with our new cohort on a rich programme of classical repertoire including Haydn Symphonies Nos 31, 39 and 72 as well as works by Gossec, JC Bach and Wanhal.

In addition to the OAE Academy programme, the OAE Experience scheme also offers participants lessons with OAE principals, professional engagement with the OAE Experience ensemble and OAE Education, access to rehearsals, and discounted tickets for events.

‘The way the orchestra members worked with us in the rehearsal made me notice even more what makes the difference between good musicians and brilliant musicians.’

– OAE Experience violinist 2023

OAE Experience Participants (2023)


Aleksandra Kwiatkowska, Alexandra

López Arca, Elana Cooper, Emma Williams, Guillermo Santonja di Fonzo, Guo Yu, JennieMarie Wszolek, Rebecca Kohler Baratto


Angel Munoz-Vella, Helena Reguera


Majella Münz, Matylda Adamus, Samuel Ng

Double Bass

Giuseppe Ciraso-Calì


Beth Stone


Maria Jesus Moreno Ciudad


Javier Sánchez Castillo


Nivanthi Karunaratne, Peter McNeill

OAE Young Associates

This year we are pleased to announce the expansion of this scheme with a new initiative, OAE Young Associates. These students receive coaching or masterclass sessions, lessons with OAE principals as well as access to rehearsals and discounted tickets for events.

OAE Young Associates (2023)


Brenda Lopez, Carolina Guiducci, Hugo Lau, Sergio Sánchez Martin

Keyboard Continuo

Apolline Khou, Dominika Maszczynska, Jorge Silva, Matthew Brown


Lewis Blee

OAE Educational Activity in 2023

Principal Residency at Acland Burghley School

Acland Burghley School is a home for our players, staff and governance. It is also a crucial hub for our educational programme. Here we engage students in a range of different programmes that support curricular and extra-curricular activity from dance projects to our own unique jamming sessions, Musical Connections, and our Dreamchasing Young Producers programme. We bring the school community into our musical world through workshops, access to rehearsals and concerts and carefully curated Encounter Sessions where students have their own unique introduction to the OAE.

National Residencies

For many years, the OAE has been committed to a national programme of engagement in underserved communities. In 2023, that work continues in key residencies in North Walsham, Ipswich, York, Durham and King’s Lynn with community concerts, workshops, programmes for early years (TOTS), and specially curated programmes for schools (The Magic Flute and The Life of the Sea) based on the core repertoire of the OAE.

In London Schools

The OAE has long-established relationships with many schools across London. In harmony with the national plan, the OAE will offer The Magic of Mozart and The Life of the Sea to young people from Camden, Brent, Merton, Wandsworth and Ealing.


Special Needs

A key priority for the OAE Education team is to respond meaningfully to the additional educational needs of young people. We are proud to be working with students at Swiss Cottage Special School, Camden, and Thomas Worsley Special School, Ipswich, as part of the Musical Connections project that is also a crucial component of our residency at Acland Burghley School.

Alongside a choir of 1,500 in a musical spectacular (Something Special) at the Royal Albert Hall, we will be sharing music created by young people from Great Ormond Street and University College Hospital Schools as well as students from Swiss Cottage Special School.

For Families

Throughout the year, we present specially curated events for families. These include OAE TOTS concerts at the Southbank Centre (Pack Your Bags), OAE TOTS FUNharmonics workshops with the LPO and The Magic Flute at the York Rise Street Party in our home borough of Camden.

Developing Young Talent

The OAE is committed to developing the next generation of talent in the following programmes: OAE Experience scheme to help aspiring young professional musicians develop in historically informed performance practice.

OAE Rising Stars is a biennial competitive programme for debutant singers, offering high-profile opportunities with the OAE on the international stage.

Suffolk Young Strings Project is a project to encourage players to create new compositions inspired by baroque music.

Our participants come from a wide range of backgrounds and we pride ourselves in working flexibly, adapting to the needs of local people and the places where they live. The extensive partnerships we have built up over many years ensure maximum and lasting impact.

We take inspiration from the OAE’s repertoire, instruments and players. This makes for a vibrant, challenging and engaging programme where everyone is involved; players, animateurs, composers, participants, teachers, partners and supporters all have a valued voice.

We do hope you can join us for some of these events! Please contact us if you would like further details on how to attend or support these projects.

Introducing Club OAE...

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Like all the best clubs we want to make it a place where you’ll explore the music you’re a fan of, enjoy special offers, get involved in competitions and other activities, be part of our creative conversation and have plenty of fun.

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Our work at Acland Burghley School

In September 2020, we took up permanent residence at Acland Burghley School in Camden, North London. The residency –a first for a British orchestra – allows us to live, work and play amongst the students of the school.

Three offices have been adapted for our administration team. We use the Grade II-listed school assembly hall as a rehearsal space, with plans to refurbish it under the school’s ‘A Theatre for All’ project. The school isn’t just our landlord or physical home. Instead, it allows us to build on twenty years of work in the borough through OAE’s long-standing partnership with Camden Music. Having already worked in eighteen of the local primary schools that feed into ABS, the plans moving forward are to support music and arts across the school into the wider community. Our move underpins our core enlightenment mission of universal engagement, of access without frontiers.

What do backflips, smoke machines and baroque drums all have in common?

Answer: our first video collaboration with Acland Burghley students. We teamed up with year 10 students who performed a dance that they choreographed for their GCSE exam, accompanied by us performing Rameau’s ‘Danse des

Sauvages’ from Les Indes Galantes. After taking inspiration from baroque dances on YouTube and being drawn to the distinctive rhythmic pulse in the Rameau, the pupils sparked enthusiastic discussion with our players to allow the choreography and music to evolve hand in hand. They also had their say in the direction and recording of the music video, which you can watch on our YouTube channel.

We brought The Moon Hares, an opera for young families which we commissioned in 2019, into the school hall and performed it alongside pupils from ABS as well as Gospel Oak and Kentish Town primary schools. The electrifying performance included music both old and new, with sections from Purcell’s 17th century opera Dioclesian mixed with original, modern music by James Redwood.

There’s also been a bustle of activity away from the camera in our ongoing private classroom education. We’ve delivered numerous interactive workshops for all students in Years 7, 8 and 9, including an exploration of the orchestra’s instruments, illustrated sessions on blues and jazz compositional techniques as part of curriculum studies and a study a day for all GCSE music students on Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No.4.

Dreamchasing Young Producers

The value of our residency in Acland Burghley School can be realised in many ways beyond the immediate practice of orchestral musicianship.

One of the key objectives in our mission is to lift aspirations and broaden horizons for life beyond school. We want to help students leave school with richer CVs and stronger professional prospects.

One great way to do that is to mentor the next generation in all those things we have learned as an organisation. At the start of the 2021 / 2022 school year, we launched our Young Producers’ programme in which we offer mentoring, training and work-placement apprenticeship so that the young people in our new community acquire essential skills in management and production, from budgets, compliance and risk assessment to camera operation and stage design.

We are proud of our first cohort, who have already learned so much and become a key part of our working routine. They will one day graduate as accredited producers

and become the mentors, at our side, for future recruits.

More than just an extra-curricular enterprise, this is a programme that we expect to connect with sixth-form education in the new government T Level examination programme.

Young Producers

Armin Eorsi

Harvey O’Brien

Iremide Onibonoje

Jessica Sexton-Smith

Matas Juskevicius

Michael Hau

Nathan Kilby

Raphael Thornton

Riley Silver

Sidney Crossing

Sophia Vainshtok

Tom Cohen

Daniel Miliband

Jaeden Ferritto

Sacha Cross

Daniel Wilton-Ely

Ines Whitaker


Welcome to the Southbank Centre

We’re the largest arts centre in the UK and one of the nation’s top visitor attractions, showcasing the world’s most exciting artists at our venues in the heart of London. We’re here to present great cultural experiences that bring people together, and open up the arts to everyone.

The Southbank Centre is made up of the Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room, Hayward Gallery, National Poetry Library and Arts Council Collection. We’re one of London’s favourite meeting spots, with lots of free events and places to relax, eat and shop next to the Thames.

We hope you enjoy your visit. If you need any information or help, please ask a member of staff. You can also write to us at Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX, or email

Subscribers to our email updates are the first to hear about new events, offers and competitions. Just head to our website and sign up.


Become a Friend!

Without the generosity of our Friends, the OAE would not exist.

When you become an OAE Friend, you join us in bringing great music to life. We then give you a front-row and behind-the-scenes view of our work, so that you can see the impact that your donation really makes. This includes supporting our ambitious season of concert performances, digital productions on OAE Player, improving access to music through our Education programme, and our community work at Acland Burghley School.

Whether you wish to watch the rehearsals or get to know the players, a Friends membership offers a heightened OAE concert-going experience and allows you to support the orchestra you love. With your help, we can keep the music playing.

Become a Friend for as little as £50 a year and receive the following benefits:

• Priority booking

• Access to open rehearsals

• Get to know the players

• Regular updates from the orchestra.

To become a Friend, scan the QR code, visit or contact us at or 020 8159 9317


SONGS OF TRAVEL at the Southbank Centre

5 April

Mozart on the Road: Part 1 with Kristian Bezuidenhout (fortepiano)

18 May

Mozart on The Road: Part 2 with Jean-Guihen Queyras (cello)

7 & 8 June

Princess Ida, or Castle Adamant with John Wilson (conductor)


Chamber music down a local pub.

25 April, Brixton

The Blues Kitchen


Mission: to explore our place in the cosmos guided by the intergalactic genius of JS Bach. Each monthly event features one of Bach’s cantatas, and other choral and instrumental works, alongside a talk by an eminent astronomer.

Guest speakers include Dr Sheila Kanani (Royal Astronomical Society, 26 March).


COMING UP... Part 1

It’s 1784. Mozart is at the peak of his fame. His Vienna concerts are sell outs while a Mozart premiere is the must have for the modern city. Hear three works from this remarkable year with soloist Kristian Bezuidenhout.

Travel made Mozart an international superstar. As a youngster his incessant touring of Europe’s capitals, from London to Prague, made him the most famous musician in the world. In the 1780s his work was in great demand across the continent. It was Mozart’s success that inspired Haydn – who Mozart first met in 1784 – to leave Eisenstadt after so long.

The story goes that he wrote the ‘Linz’ Symphony in just four days after a request from the mayor of the town who heard Mozart and Constanze had stopped on their way to Vienna.

The Piano Concerto No 17 is likely to have been premiered at one of Mozart’s selfproduced concerts in Vienna, which often took place in unusual locations. The final piece on the programme, the idiosyncratically scored quintet for piano, oboe, clarinet, horn and bassoon, comes from another of those popular Vienna concerts that year.


Wednesday 5 April

Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall

36 orchestraoftheageofenlightenment
oae_photos orchestraenlighten