The Cambridge University Collegium Musicum (CUCM) is a vibrant ensemble that invites students to experience historical performance, giving them the rare opportunity to perform on period instruments and learn historical performance techniques.

The ensemble performs on period instruments, or a combination of modern and period instruments, creating a unique musical language and sound-world. Players in the CUCM ensemble have access to copies of baroque instruments from leading makers. They receive coaching in historical performance techniques and perform under the direction of well-known specialists including Margaret Faultless, leader of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and head of Historical Performance at the Royal Academy of Music.

Collegium Musicum aims to push the boundaries of performance expectations, giving daring and energetic performances in some of Cambridge’s most exciting performance spaces.  This year’s projects include Bach’s St John Passion in St John’s College Chapel and Girton College Great Hall with the University Chamber Choir, and a performance of music by composers including Monteverdi and Castello, again with the Chamber Choir.

Recent projects have included a semi-staged performance of John Blow’s Venus and Adonis and a complete Brandenburg Concerto cycle in the Round Church, a performance of Bach’s St John Passion directed by evangelist Nicholas Mulroy,  performances of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio and the Monteverdi Vespers in King’s College Chapel and a semi-staged performance of Handel’s Acis and Galatea. They perform regularly with Cambridge University Chamber Choir in venues such as St John’s College Chapel and Girton College Hall, and CUCM is one of the only student ensembles to perform at Senate House. The group has also collaborated with professional groups and musicians, including His Majesty’s Sagbutts and Cornetts and the Academy of Ancient Music.

Rehearsals for CUCM are on a project by project basis.


CUCM is an auditioned ensemble. Interested instrumentalists should have experience playing at a high standard, but do not need prior experience playing period instruments.

To join Collegium Musicum, you will need to complete an application form. Applicants will be invited to a ‘Come and Play’ workshop on 14 October 2023.

Applications open on 1 September and must be submitted by 12 noon on 5 October.

Find out more about the 2023-24 auditions here:


To enquire about borrowing an instrument or bow from the historic instrument collection, email Maggie Faultless.