What is the Age of Discovery?

The Early Music organisation “Age of Discovery” champions period instrument performances of pre-19th century music in New Zealand. We aim to bring the very best of the vast wealth of repertoire from this period to the attention of audiences throughout the country. Within the AoD 'umbrella' you will find a wide variety of ensemble possibilities; these groupings of specialist performers enable us to present a unique mix of styles, genres and instruments, providing the potential for an unrivalled 'early music experience'.

The Age of Discovery has its roots in the Renaissance - a time where much of Europe was engaged in finding new lands and exploring new ideas. This activity continued right through into the 18th century. We can see the phrase associated with Christopher Columbus and the discovery of the New World. In the Southern Hemisphere the Age of Discovery can be specifically associated with the journeys of Abel Tasman (1642) and James Cook (1769).

There has been interest in ‘re-discovering’ the music of this period since the early decades of the 20th century. The Early Music revival has gained enormous impetus since the mid 1970s, and throughout the world performances of older music on instruments of the period, using appropriate playing styles, have became normal practice. Increasing numbers of New Zealand musicians have made special studies of this repertoire and its performance practice; a number are active in Europe, whilst others are established performers in New Zealand.

Age of Discovery, formed in 2006, provides performers and audiences in New Zealand with the chance to share this experience.

Age of Discovery Trust is a registered charity, CC51770

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