In 1981, Frans Brüggen and his friends founded THE ORCHESTRA OF THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY, which now consists of some fifty-five members from more than twenty different countries. Five times a year, the orchestra assembles to go on tour. The musicians, who are all specialists in eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century music, play on period instruments or contemporary copies. The wide-ranging repertoire recorded by the Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century for Philips Classics and more recently for The Grand Tour / Glossa includes works by Purcell, Bach, Rameau, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert and Mendelssohn. The Fryderyk Chopin Institute in Warsaw has released an impressive series of Chopin recordings by the Orchestra. Once the world’s most famous recorder player, Frans Brüggen became one of the leading experts in the performance of eighteenth-century music. He was born in Amsterdam and studied musicology at the university there. He was appointed professor at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague at the age of twenty-one and later held the positions of Erasmus Professor at Harvard University and Regents Professor at Berkeley. Yet, as Luciano Berio wrote, he was ‘a musician who is not an archaeologist but a great artist’. In August 2014, the Orchestra had to say farewell to Brüggen. His death brought an end to the Orchestra’s inspired collaboration with its founding father, but Brüggen’s inspiration will continue to lead the Orchestra over the years to come. The Orchestra has decided to continue the tradition of realising five projects a year, now working with guest performers and conductors.