Our Orchestra

The Mozartists have a worldwide reputation for their fresh and dynamic performances of 18th-century and early 19th-century repertoire. Performing on period instruments or modern replicas, and working with an in-depth knowledge of 18th-century performance practice, these masterful players bring the music of Mozart and his contemporaries to vivid and dramatic life.

Our orchestra varies in size depending on repertoire and venue, and comprises some of the leading players in their field. It is widely recognised for its insightful and charismatic performances, and is equally at home in concert halls and opera houses.

The Mozartists play at a standardised ‘Classical’ pitch of A=430 Hz per second (or 415 Hz for baroque repertoire). The instruments of Mozart’s time were generally quieter but with a wider tonal variety across the range of each instrument. They are almost without exception more difficult to play than their modern counterparts, but the rewards of mastering them are immeasurable. Eighteenth-century instruments are very different from their modern counterparts: the sound of the older instruments is more lithe and agile, with a much quicker decay to the sound. Vibrato was in those days used as an occasional effect, with a less homogenous tone across the range of the instrument but with a wider variety of colour. With access to new materials through global trade and advances in technology instruments evolved, and today’s instruments are lighter, more robust and generally louder. Most eighteenth-century instruments are far more exposed and difficult to play than their modern equivalents, but they bring a thrilling vibrancy and immediacy to the music. This is particularly true of vocal repertoire, where the orchestra provides a dynamic subtext and often becomes an extra character in the drama. Like Mozart’s musicians, our players are able to improvise around a given melody or harmonic sequence, bringing their own interpretation to a work and ensuring that audiences never hear the same thing twice.

Sturm und Drang Volume 3


Ian Page

Our soloists