Academy of Ancient Music (AAM) has announced highlights from its 2024/25 Season, which includes performances in London and Cambridge.  

Entitled Transformation, the season celebrates the transformative power of music through a wide-ranging repertoire, from the familiar to the unexplored. 

Highlights include a rare double bill of Charpentier’s Actéon and Rameau’s Pygmalion, followed by a celebration of Viennese composers with symphonies by Mozart, Haydn, and their contemporaries. December showcases Handel’s Messiah with Louise Alder heading an all-star cast.  

The season continues in February 2025 with an exploration of the influence of the Italian style on Georgian London with Anna Devin, and in March, AAM presents some of the first modern era performances of works by Brazilian composer Jose Mauricio Nunes Garcia. The season concludes in May with Bach’s The Art of Fugue: an intimate, inquisitive piece of music theatre from the artistic mind of Bill Barclay

Speaking about the 24/25 season, Laurence Cummings, AAM Music Director, comments: “Over the last 50 years, AAM has led the way in historically informed performance, fundamentally changing the classical music landscape. Yet, there is still much to explore. Throughout the year, we’ll honour the established masters and their lesser-known contemporaries. I look forward to sharing these transformative experiences with you.” 

John McMunn, AAM Chief Executive, adds: “Music can touch the soul and elevate us above the ordinary through the shared experience of live performance. In these uncertain times, the communal experience of music has never been more crucial. We warmly invite you to join us for our 24/25 season, which celebrates music’s ability to create something magical and change our world.” 

Further performances are planned in London in 2025 and will be announced in October 2024.  

24/25 Season Highlights 

1. Charpentier’s Actéon & Rameau’s Pygmalion   

Tuesday, 8 October 2024 | West Road Concert Hall 

Wednesday 9 October | Milton Court Concert Hall 

AAM presents two of the most imaginative and entertaining masters of the French baroque: Rameau’s Pygmalion and Charpentier’s Actéon. Both baroque operas are rarities on the British stage. With a knockout cast, this double bill of concert performances will spring into sparkling, sensuous life. 

Artists: Anna Dennis & Rachel Redmond (sopranos), Katie Bray (mezzo-soprano), Thomas Walker (tenor), Academy of Ancient Music, Laurence Cummings (director & harpsichord) 

2. Viennese Virtuosity: Symphonies by Mozart, Haydn & Friends   

Wednesday, 13 November 2024 | West Road Concert Hall 

Thursday 14 November | Milton Court Concert Hall 

Laurence Cummings and AAM celebrate a friendship that has transformed music forever. Haydn and Mozart shared many musical friendships, and one day in Vienna in 1784, they came together with two of the finest composers of the age for one of the most extraordinary musical gatherings of all time. Laurence Cummings and AAM celebrate that miraculous occasion with symphonies by all four masters. 

Programme:   

Wanhal – Symphony in D major   

Mozart – Symphony No. 36 in C major ‘Linz’   

Dittersdorf – Symphony No. 4 in F major   

Haydn – Symphony No. 80 in D minor 

Artists: Academy of Ancient Music, Laurence Cummings (director & harpsichord) 

3. Handel’s Messiah   

Monday 16 December | Barbican Hall 

Laurence Cummings and AAM present a seasonal performance of Handel’s Messiah, one of those rare works of art that transcends time, place and even musical genre. With Louise Alder heading an all-star cast, Cummings takes it back to its source, using musical forces Handel himself might have recognised. 

Artists: Louise Alder (soprano), Tim Mead (countertenor), Nick Pritchard (tenor), Cody Quattlebaum (bass), Academy of Ancient Music (chorus & orchestra) and Laurence Cummings (director & harpsichord) 

4. Italian Legacies: Geminiani & His English Contemporaries   

Wednesday, 5 February 2025 | West Road Concert Hall 

Swinging London meets Italian flair, as AAM explores the gloriously colourful world of Georgian England. Linley and Boyce give classic literature a magical makeover, Geminiani brings London a taste of the hottest Italian fashions, plus there’s a whole mini-opera from JC Bach – the so-called ‘English Bach’. 

Programme:   

Arne – Overture in G major No. 3   

Mudge – Concerto No. 1 in D major   

Geminiani – Concerto Grosso Op. 7 No. 3   

Linley – Music for The Tempest   

Boyce – Overture from Peleus and Thetis   

Linley – Violin Concerto in F major   

JC Bach – La Tempesta 

Artists: Anna Devin (soprano), Academy of Ancient Music, Bojan Čičić (director & violin) 

5. Transatlantic: Classical Masters   

Wednesday, 12 March 2025 | West Road Concert Hall 

AAM rediscovers the glorious music of Jose Mauricio Nunes Garcia, one of the brightest stars in 18th-century Brazilian and Portuguese music. It’s an astonishing story, considering the prejudice Nunes Garcia must have faced in colonial society. Inventive, arresting, and frequently sublime, his music is a glorious complement to that of his heroes, Mozart and Haydn, and is performed by AAM for the first time in the modern era. 

Programme:   

Nunes Garcia – Overture in D major   

– Nunes Garcia – Dilexisti justitiam   

– Mozart – Clarinet Concerto in A major   

– Nunes Garcia – Tantum ergo   

– Mozart – Ave verum corpus   

– Haydn – Divertimento in G major   

– Nunes Garcia – Litany of the Sorrows of Our Lady 

Artists: Katherine Spencer (clarinet), Academy of Ancient Music, Laurence Cummings (director & harpsichord) 

6. Bach’s The Art of Fugue   

Wednesday, 14 May 2025 | West Road Concert Hall 

Four actors and four musicians celebrate the unparalleled musical genius of Bach’s astonishing Art of Fugue in an intimate, inquisitive piece of music theatre. No one is better at revealing the imagination behind the music than director Bill Barclay – whose theatrical productions take the music as their script. Four actors create their special counterpoint with the musicians of AAM, but always with one goal: to let us feel the living presence of music’s most beautiful mind. 

Artists: Bill Barclay (producer), Academy of Ancient Music, Laurence Cummings (director & harpsichord) 

AAM is dedicated to fostering the next generation of historically informed performance artists and enthusiasts. Throughout the 2024/25 season, the orchestra will host side-by-side performances and workshops with emerging musicians, and continue its £5 for under 35s ticket scheme, making all AAM-promoted concerts and events more accessible to young audiences. 

For more information about AAM’s 24/25 season, visit aam.co.uk.