Under the reign and patronage of Elector Carl Theodor during 1742-78 in Mannheim and 1778-99 in Munich, his court orchestra became the leading centre of musical life in Europe. Not only were its performances of the music of the finest composers of the day considered first rate, but also were its own school of composers, virtuoso players, and innovative style. This school had a profound influence on later composers like Mozart and Haydn, and Mozart notably sought employment there, albeit unsuccessfully.
This served as the inspiration behind Das Neue Mannheimer Orchester (DNMO), which was established in late 2016 in The Hague by Canadian harpsichordist and fortepianist Anders Muskens with the aim of recapturing the spirit of music from the period of the original Mannheim Court Orchestra, including late Baroque, galant, Classical, and early Romantic – especially from composers of the Mannheim School. As an early music ensemble, the DNMO plays on period instruments using historically informed techniques. It is made up of young professional early music specialists, some of which play in the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, the Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century, and the Academy of Ancient Music.
The orchestra is a highly international group of young specialists, playing concerts internationally and featuring talents from the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Austria, France, Italy, Poland, Spain, Japan, Korea, Argentina, Brazil, Australia, Canada, and the United States.
In November 2018, the ensemble was awarded the „Hofkapelle Elbe-Elster“ für das Jahr 2019 prize at the „Gebrüder Graun Prize“ 2018 in Bad Liebenwerda, Germany. DNMO has played at the Utrecht Early Music Festival Fringe in 2018-19; the Wahrenbrücker Graun-Festtage 2019; a revival of Johann Christian Bach's opera seria, Carattaco, in 2020; the Grachtenfestival in Amsterdam in 2020, where it premiered Gian Francesco de Majo’s opera serenata, La gara delle grazie; various projects funded by the Fonds Podiumkunsten (NL) in 2021; and the Schwetzinger SWR Festspiele in 2022. With the support of SENA, the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Adriana Jacoba Fonds, DNMO has produced a number of commercial CD recordings released by Etcetera Records in their "Army of Generals" anthology series.
DNMO is committed to challenge established boundaries and conventions of the Classical Music world with the goal of rekindling the passion of eighteenth century performances. With the collaboration of various musicologists, DNMO has a number of research initiatives to better understand and reconstruct eighteenth century orchestral performance practices. In addition to presenting music from well-known masters, the DNMO seeks to present music of lesser known composers which is equally worthy of performance.