Who we are / What we do

At the Academy of Ancient Music, it is our mission to energize baroque and classical music by seeking inspiration from the past – by returning to the style and spirit in which the music was first performed

Our performances explore the soundworlds which inspired Bach, Handel and Haydn. We revel in the expressive power of old instruments — flutes made out of wood, trumpets without valves, strings woven from gut. The size of the orchestra is tailored to the unique character of each piece, and each one of our musicians (“the superstars of the period-instrument world”, as they were recently described) takes a key part in the music-making. Historical knowledge inspires new musical possibilities; artistic creativity makes these possibilities come alive. This golden combination guides everything we do.

The thrill of live performance stands at the heart of our work. In September 2012 we became Associate Ensemble at the Barbican in London, alongside our position as Orchestra-in-Residence at the University of Cambridge. We’re international in our outlook, too; over the past 40 years we’ve played to audiences on six continents, in 2013-14 we visited over 15 countries across the world from Sweden to South Korea, and this season we undertake an extensive tour of the US and Canada in addition to our European touring programme.

Our discography of over 300 CDs features Brit, Gramophone, MIDEM and Edison award-winning recordings of masterworks from Purcell to Mozart and from Bach to Beethoven. In 2013 we launched our own in-house record label, AAM Records, on which we’ve recently released JS Bach’s Orchestral Suites and St Matthew Passion.

Great music performed with conviction and passion: that’s what we get our kicks from. We hope you will too.