Johan Joachim Agrell (1701-1765) was in many ways a traveller between the worlds: in Uppsala, the Swede's great talent was recognized by the Hessian envoy, which resulted in Agrell being summoned to a court near Kassel in Germany. He later went as municipal chapel-master to Nuremberg. Musically, Agrell was a brilliant Baroque composer in whose works many of the new early Classical trends were anticipated.
No opera composer of the Baroque era invested his stage works with more imaginative orchestral music than Jean-Philippe Rameau. The adventurous wind orchestration, rhythmic drive and variety, and complex interplay of voices found in his interludes, dances, and preludes are immediately striking to modern ears in a way that only the dedicated orchestral works of other Baroque masters can match (think Handel's Royal Fireworks Music, for example).
John Eliot Gardiner is one of the leading conductors in the active authentic performances movement in England, performing Baroque music but also extending his range into later repertoire. He first conducted at the age of 15, and after finishing school he studied at King's College, Cambridge. While still an undergraduate, he conducted the combined Oxford and Cambridge Singers on a 1964 tour of the Middle East and founded the Monteverdi Choir, which has consistently performed on his recordings since.