Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

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Joseph Haydn (1732 – 1809)



His times: The central change in Joseph Haydn’s career prophesised the big transformation in store for composers in the 19th century. He spent nearly three decades in the service of one aristocratic Austro-Hungarian family, while building a reputation abroad via the distribution of published works. When his services at court were suddenly dispensed with, Haydn found himself working freelance – and it turned out rather well.

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Martin Lawrence



Martin Lawrence has been the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment’s second horn since 1995.

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C.P.E Bach



His Times: Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach is the full name of the second surviving son of one of history’s most influential composers: Johannes Sebastian Bach

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Max Mandel



“One of the challenges of our art is that it happens over a given period of time and then disappears. That’s one of the reasons it’s so magical”

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Nicholas Ormrod



The origins of Nick’s percussion career can be traced back to when he was just 8 years old and pestering his parents about his dream to be Ringo Starr.

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Robert Howarth



Rob was already studying piano at age 6 when he first encountered a harpsichord.

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Chevalier de Saint-Georges (1745 – 1799)



His Times: Owing to the Abolitionist Movement and the French Revolution, France in the late 18th century was not a particularly stable place to be living. This was however where Joseph Bologne (better known as Le Chevalier de Saint-Georges) plied his trade.

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Gustav Mahler (1860 – 1911)



His Times: Mahler said, ‘I am hitting my head against the walls, but the walls are giving way,’ a quote that aptly captures the musical world that Mahler and his contemporaries were creating in 19th century Austria and-Germany.

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Claudio Monteverdi (1567 –1643)



His times: Monteverdi set in motion the development of what we’ve come to know as opera.

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Robert Schumann (1810 – 1856)



His times: Schumann composed whilst the Romantic Movement was in full swing, when the popularity of virtuoso performers had become very widespread, and as a result much of his music requires a mastery of piano technique.

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Francesco Cavalli (1602 – 1676)



His Times: One of the most notable students of the famous Monteverdi, Francesco Cavalli found himself pumping out operas in 17th century Venice, responding to the rising popularity of the genre (thanks largely to Monteverdi himself) and the appearance of more and more public opera houses.

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Margaret Faultless



The violinist Margaret Faultless is one of the OAE’s four leaders and regularly directs the orchestra.

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Chi-chi Nwanoku

Double Bass


Chi-chi Nwanoku is half the size of her double bass, yet has gained a reputation as one of the finest exponents of her instrument today. The eldest of five children from Nigerian and Irish parents, she was seven years old when she discovered the piano at a neighbour’s, who taught her to play a 12-bar blues. She returned to their house every day until the neighbour got so fed up that they wheeled the piano up the road and gave it to her as a gift!

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Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)



His times: In Beethoven’s late twenties, France overthrew its monarchy and a wave of rebellion spread through Europe. The composer, a devout Republican, was presented with an opportunity not only to change music, but to change the social standing of ‘the artist’. He did both: from the early 1800s, music would never be the same again, and historians increasingly concur that with Beethoven an era of the artist-hero was born that arguably still holds sway today.

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Dan Bates



Dan was first invited to play with the OAE for a European tour with Simon Rattle performing Mozart Symphonies.

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Andrew Watts


Andy Watts with bassoon

Andy Watts began his music career playing medieval and renaissance instruments and clarinet at primary school in Knaresborough, North Yorkshire, then took up the modern bassoon at the age of sixteen.

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Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)  


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His times: Beethoven might have died six years before Brahms was born, but in a musical sense the former composer still dominated the landscape of the German-speaking world and beyond – and got inside Brahms’s head to quite a remarkable degree.

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Anton Bruckner (1824 – 1896)



His Times: By the time Bruckner had moved to Vienna for a post at the University in about 1868, a fierce stylistic rivalry known as “The War of the Romantics” was going on.

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John Holmes

Director of Marketing & Audience Development

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Hi, I’m John and I’m Director of Marketing & Audience Development at the OAE (saying all that is a mouthful I’m not sure I’ll ever get used to…)

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Ivan Rockey

Director of Finance & Operations


I’m Ivan Rockey and I joined the OAE in 2014 as Director of Finance & Operations. I have a degree in Music from Oxford University, an MBA from the Open University, and I’ve worked in classical music for almost 20 years, including as Concert Manager of the English Chamber Orchestra, General Manager of Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra and Executive Director of British Youth Opera.

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