The Academy of Ancient Music is renowned for thrilling audiences with its fresh, engaging performances of baroque and classical music. Playing on original instruments and inspired by original soundworlds, the Academy of Ancient Music’s music making takes on the spirit of exploration, innovation and free-thinking which Bach, Handel and Haydn would have known. Founded in 1973 by Christopher Hogwood, the Academy of Ancient Music was at the cutting-edge of a revolution that swept across the musical world. Over the past four decades the orchestra has performed live on every continent except Antarctica, and reached millions with its acclaimed array of over 300 CDs: Brit- and Grammy-Award-winning recordings of Handel operas, pioneering accounts of the Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven symphonies, and revelatory discs which championed forgotten music. Harpsichordist Richard Egarr, who succeeded Hogwood as Music Director in 2006, continues to keep the trailblazing spirit alive. His hundreds of concerts with the Academy of Ancient Music include the first-ever performances in China of Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos, and his recordings with the orchestra have won Edison, Gramophone and MIDEM Awards.
The Choir of the Academy of Ancient Music, which was founded by Egarr in 2007, was recently crowned “Choir of the Year” at the Beijing Classical Elites. Throughout its history the Academy of Ancient Music’s artistic excellence has been fostered by an enviable roster of guest artists. The ongoing collaboration with the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge recently produced the world’s first live classical cinecast, with Handel’s Messiah streamed live into hundreds of cinemas throughout the globe; and current guest artists include the likes of singers Bernarda Fink and Sarah Connolly, violinist Alina Ibragimova and conductor Bernard Labadie. The Academy of Ancient Music is Orchestra-in-Residence at the University of Cambridge, and from September 2012 will be Associate Ensemble at the Barbican Centre in London.