York Early Music Festival 2013 Celebrates Corelli Tercentenary

March 16, 2013

York Early Music Festival 2013 Celebrates Corelli Tercentenary

The 2013 York Early Music Festival (5 – 13 July) focuses on the unrivalled musical heritage of Rome – The Eternal City – from the time of the medieval Popes, through the Renaissance polyphony of Palestrina, to the exuberant baroque of Handel. Central to this theme is the 300th anniversary of the iconic Italian composer and violinist Arcangelo Corelli who devoted his entire career to Rome and became a pivotal figure in the development of classical music. Guest artists in the 2013 Festival include three ensembles led by some of Italy’s present day superstars – Riccardo Minasi (Musica Antiqua Roma); Fabio Bonizzoni (La Risonanza) and Patrizia Bovi (Ensemble Medusa).

Another anniversary to be celebrated in 2013 is the 450th anniversary of the birth of the English composer John Dowland. York offers a celebrity series of events involving countertenor Iestyn Davies; lutenists Thomas Dunford, Jakob Lindberg and Elizabeth Kenny; the Rose Consort of Viols and American virtuoso lutenist Paul O’Dette (Sat 6 – Sun 7 July).

Delma Tomlin, Administrative Director, says: “In the year which has seen the appointment of a new Pope in Rome, the Festival’s celebration of the music of the Eternal City seems all the more pertinent. We are delighted that a host of today’s finest international performers on lutes, viols and voices will join us in York to perform some of the most glorious works in the repertory from Palestrina to Handel.

International guests include the acclaimed viol player Wieland Kuijken; The Sixteen directed by Harry Christophers and Stevie Wishart’s Sinfoyne presenting a contemporary reflection on the music of Hildegard of Bingen – unveiled at the Vatican earlier in the season. Not to mention a unique collaboration, or rather ‘staged battle’, between members of the Theatre of the Ayre and the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain as they explore the music of two composers both named Robert Johnson – one a Shakespearean lute player, the second a 20th-century blues singer-guitarist!

“This year’s Festival culminates with the 2013 International Young Artists Competition. We are thrilled to welcome such a wealth of international talent to York as young musicians from 16 different countries join us for what promises to be an extremely exciting three days.

“The 29 events which make up the Festival include concerts, illustrated lectures and workshops from the earliest chant, found in medieval libraries across Europe, to Handel’s sublime music for Vespers from his triumphant stay in Rome in 1707. Our events are presented in some of the City’s most beautiful historic venues, and we hope this year’s Festival will provide a treasure trove of musical offerings to our audiences and visitors to York.”

Highlights include Dowland Celebration(Saturday 6 July – Sunday 7 July); Iestyn Davies countertenor and Thomas Dunford (lute): The Art of Melancholy; Rose Consort of Viols: Teares of Sorrowe and Gladnesse; ▪ Musica Antiqua Roma directed by Riccardo Minasi: Approaching Corelli; La Risonanza directed by Fabio Bonizzoni; Ensemble Medusa directed by Patrizia Bovi; The Sixteen with Harry Christophers (director); The Choir of York Minster with Robert Sharpe (director)

Full programme details are available at: www.ncem.co.uk/yemf

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