Welcome

New event 21st October 2020 – lunchtime concert online, see diary page for links.

“Small wonder this chamber orchestra has earned a reputation as one of the finest exponents of baroque music in the country. The musical standard throughout was exceptional, demonstrating enthusiasm, dedication and technical excellence.” – Oxford Times

The 18th Century Concert Orchestra communicates the brilliance and drama of baroque music, combining period instruments, candlelight and resplendent 18th-century attire to present a uniquely atmospheric recreation of 18th-century musical life.

A typical evening: the scene is set by the dedicated Master of Candles, providing illumination before the musicians appear in their strikingly colourful costumes. The assembled band, comprised of fiddlers, hautboys and harpsichordist, bow gracefully and soon launch into a striking overture – perhaps one of Don Antonio Vivaldi’s (designed to arrest the attention of a packed and noisy Venetian opera house).Concertos, arias and dance suites are interspersed with informative and witty anecdotes drawn from 18th-century histories, journals and treatises. Such sources also inform our programming as they often make mention of popular works scarcely known today (e.g. comic overtures). Baroque classics feature alongside these rare items. The authentic 18th-century elements: period instruments, wooden music desks, individually tailored shoes and costumes, mohair wigs, candlelight and readings.