Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century

18C. Credits: Eduardus Lee, 2022
18C. Credits: Eduardus Lee, 2022
18C. Credits: MR Photo, Simon van Boxtel

The Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century is one of the most prominent early music orchestras in the world. The musicians play internationally in leading (chamber) music ensembles and meet several times a year for performances of iconic and lesser-known repertoire. In the early 1980s, the orchestra achieved world fame by performing grand symphonic work on original instruments and in a historically informed manner. A revolution that never really stopped. 

But the uniqueness of the orchestra is not only in the sound or the way of playing. Ever since it was founded by Frans Brüggen more than forty years ago, musicians have never taken a score for granted. The approach is critical, curious, investigative and progressive. Core values from the Enlightenment that all orchestra members hold in high esteem. That is why every performance is a new challenge and the iconic repertoire remains alive and kicking.



„Standing ovation at the end!“

Rhein-Neckar-Zeitung, 8 April 2024

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

Bachtrack, 16th October 2019


January 2026
Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda
with Ian Bostridge, tenor // Anna Prohaska, soprano // 2 Dancers (tbc) // Claire Van Campen, stage direction

Claudio Monteverdi’s motto when creating his madrigal could have been to achieve the greatest possible effect with minimal means. With just three voices and a small string section, it already succeeded in arousing strong emotions in the audience at the first performance in 1624. The programme, directed by Claire van Campen, adds two female dancers to the chamber play-like stage work and also considers works by female composers of the following generation, the Venetian Barbara Strozzi and the Milanese abbess Chiara Margarita Cozzolani.

C. Monterverdi: Il combattimento di Tancredi et Clorinda

Anna Prohaska © Harald Hoffmann / Ian Bostridge © Kalpesh Lathigra

April – 10 May 2026 and on request
with Alena Baeva, violine

Works by Ludwig van Beethoven and/or Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy

Alena Baeva © Andrej Grilc

“…standing ovation at the end.”

Rhein Neckar Zeitung, 08 April 2024



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