Margaret Faultless

Head of Historical Performance

MA, FTCL, ARCM, Hon RAM, HonFBC

Historical Performance - Head of Historical Performance
Research Programmes - Head of Historical Performance

Co-leader of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

Director of training programmes for the OAE and European Union Baroque Orchestra

Experienced performer and recording artist

Head of Historical Performance since 2012

Margaret performs music from Monteverdi to the present day, but is best known as an interpreter of eighteenth-century repertoire and specialist in historical performance practice. She is co-leader of The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and regularly directs the orchestra in performances and live broadcasts, including a recent project performing Beethoven Symphonies from early editions. She also plays a significant role in their education programme for young professionals.

For twelve years, Margaret led the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra under Ton Koopman, participating in their ten-year project to perform and record JS Bach’s Cantatas. She is a regular director of the European Union Baroque Orchestra (for whom she is Director of Studies), Philharmonie Merck, and is the Artistic director of Music for Awhile.

A passionate chamber musician, she was a member of the London Haydn Quartet for ten years. Margaret also lectures on performance practice and her special interests are leadership before the age of silent conducting and the particular relationship between notation and the performer.

Margaret is an Artistic Director of the Cambridge University Collegium Musicum and Director of Performance Studies at Cambridge University Faculty of Music.

Personal philosophy of teaching

It is fascinating, stimulating and exciting to be Head of the Historical Performance Department at the Academy! I am constantly reassessing the role of history in performance because each individual student brings inspirational musicianship, challenging questions and astute observations to repertoire familiar and less familiar. The methods by which old music is observed are constantly changing. What seemed to be hard and fast rules about performance practices even a decade ago can be turned on their head with new ideas and scholarly discussions. The challenge is to search for ways of being true to the music and to ourselves as performers. It is necessary to be confident scholars and even more confident, passionate and creative performers to communicate with our audiences and share in our vision of the music we play.

Selected recordings

The complete Bach Cantatas with Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra (22 volumes), for which I was the concertmaster and playing all the obligati for violin, piccolo violin and viola d'amore.

Most recently, I directed the OAE recording of the complete Mozart Horn Concerti with Roger Montgomery as soloist.

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