In 1720, Elector Charles III Phillip moved his court from Heidelberg into the city of Mannheim. There, the Mannheim Court Orchestra became famous for its revolutionary new style and playing techniques, especially under Charles Theodor, Elector of the Palatinate. Throughout the second half of the 18th century, many prominent figures including Charles Burney and W.A. Mozart considered the orchestra in Mannheim to be the finest in Europe. The style of the music written for the orchestra became known as the Mannheim School, and it had a profound influence in the emergence of the Classical style in the late 18th century.
Das Neue Mannheimer Orchester (DNMO) 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 professional early music specialists, some of which play in the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, the Orchestra of the 18th century, and the Academy of Ancient Music. The orchestra is a highly international group, 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, a contingent of the ensemble was awarded the „Hofkapelle Elbe-Elster“ für das Jahr 2019 prize at the „Gebrüder Graun Prize“ 2018 in Bad Liebenwerda, Germany. As the Hofkapelle Elbe-Elster, the ensemble played a series of concerts in the Elbe-Elster region of Germany throughout 2019 and early 2020. DNMO also produced its first opera production - a revival of Johann Christian Bach's opera seria, Carattaco, in February 2020, and will continue with further large-scale opera productions in the future.
DNMO is committed to challenge established boundaries and conventions of the Classical Music world with the goal of rekindling the passion of 18th century performances. DNMO has a number of research initiatives to better understand and reconstruct 18th 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.