Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century

© Annelies van der Vegt
© Annelies van der Vegt
© Annelies van der Vegt

In 1981, Frans Brüggen, Lucy van Dael and friends founded the Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century, consisting of fifty members from twenty different countries. Six or more times a year the orchestra assembles to go on tour. The musicians, all specialists in eighteenth and early nineteenth century music, play on period instruments or on contemporary copies.

The wide-ranging repertoire this orchestra performs includes works by Purcell, Bach, Rameau, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Mendelssohn and Chopin, and has been recorded for Philips Classics and nowadays for The Grand Tour / Glossa.

In August 2014, the Orchestra had to say farewell to Brüggen. While the collaboration between the orchestra and its founding father came to an end with his death, Brüggen’s inspiration remains and will guide the Orchestra for years to come. The Orchestra continues the tradition of six or more projects a year, now by inviting guests and guest conductors to lead.




Trouw, 9th October 2021

„The other starry performance of the evening came from the Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century.“

Bachtrack, 16th October 2019


July, August, September 2023

J. Haydn: The Seven Last Words of Christ (original orchestral version)
J. Haydn: Scena di Berenice (mit Ilse Eerens, soprano)

Credits: Annelies van der Vegt

22 – 29 March 2024

with Daniel Reuss, direction // Cappella Amsterdan
J. S. Bach: St John Passion, BWV 245




25 MAY 2022 Elbphilharmonie Hamburg
J. Haydn: The Seasons
Nicolas Altstaedt, Dirigent / Christina Landhamer (Hanne) / Ian Bostridge (Lukas) / Florian Boesch (Simon) Capella Amsterdam