NEW! In November Fulham Opera Get the Party Started with Die Fledermaus


Come to Fulham and see Die Fledermaus

Update – For Jim Pritchard’s review click here.

Performance Dates:

November 8th, 11th, 13th, 15th, 18th (Young Artists’ performance), 20th, all at 7.30pm.

Venue: St John’s Church, Fulham, SW6 1PB Read more

NEW! The Mastersingers Celebrate Wagner Past and Present with the Rehearsal Orchestra


Wagner, Götterdämmerung Act II: Soloists; Mastersingers Chorale; Rehearsal Orchestra / David Syrus (conductor), Henry Wood Hall, London, 30.10.2016. (JPr) Read more

NEW! Veteran Trevor Pinnock to Star in Christmas Early Music Festival in York


Christmas Early Music Festival in York


The York Early Music Christmas Festival 2016 (8 – 15 December), a key part of the Christmas calendar in York, features the acclaimed harpsichordist and conductor Trevor Pinnock as a highlight. Trevor celebrates his 70th birthday year, ahead of the 30th anniversary of the Beverley Early Music Festival in May and the 40th anniversary of the York Early Music Festival in July.

The performances are mainly held in the beautiful candlelit surroundings of the NCEM in the heart of York in St Margaret’s Church, Walmgate – and there are mince pies provided at most concerts, offering an additional treat for the audience.

Among the highlights are –

▪ Spiritato! Guts and Glory:  Heroic Music for Strings, Trumpets and Drums

An NCEM debut for the pioneering period musical ensemble, led ‘vivaciously’ by violinist Kinga Ujszaszi. This is a vibrant programme of the best of baroque brass, with no less than five natural trumpets, together with inventive and reflective pieces for strings.

Thursday 8th December at 7:00pm

▪ Gothic Voices: Nowel syng We bothe al and som

A sequence of late medieval English carols, songs and motets for the season, with works ranging from one to four voices. This is a joyous interplay of key celebrations of the season, with small narratives reflected on by larger-scale festive motets and mass movements by English medieval celebrities John Dunstable (c.1390-1453) and Lionel Power (c.1370-1445).

Friday 9th December at 7.30pm

▪ Choral Workshop led by James Weeks

James Weeks is a respected composer and conductor with wide ranging musical interests. This workshop will cover some of the significant works of Heinrich Schutz’s great collection Geistliche Chor-Musik (1648), which contains some of his most memorable and profound music. From the joyous Christmas motet Ein Kind ist uns geboren to the sublime pathos of Selig sind die Toten.

Saturday 10th December from 10.30am – 4pm,

▪ The Goldfinch Ensemble Masters of Baroque: JS Bach and F Couperin

Selected from the best young early music talent in Europe, The Goldfinch Ensemble is part of a eeemerging programme, enjoying a residency at the NCEM in York. Formed in 2014, the musicians met at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague and were first-prize winners at the International Handel Festival in Gottingen earlier in the year. Their programme reflects the European masters of their craft, JS Bach and F Couperin, and how they may have been inspired by each other.

Saturday 10th December at 1.00pm

▪ Yorkshire Bach Choir: Bach at Christmas

A trio of festive works not to be missed. It includes JS Bach’s Magnificat, with its exuberant choruses, and CPE Bach’s 1749 setting of the Magnificat, which energetically reinvigorates his father’s earlier work. The ever-popular BWV 140 Wachat auf (Sleepers, wake) is the ultimate musical wake-up for Advent, featuring some of JS Bach’s most memorable and timeless music

Saturday 10th December at 7.30pm, Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall, University of York

▪ Trevor Pinnock and Friends

A Birthday Celebration

During his 70th birthday year, renowned harpsichordist and conductor, Trevor Pinnock, makes York a vital part of his UK anniversary tour, with highlights including Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto no 5 and Handel’s Sonata in A for violin, with early music virtuoso Rachel Podger.

Sunday 11th December at 7.30pm

▪ Joglaresa

Caroles of Nuns and Roses

Caroles of Nuns and Roses celebrate Yule with the luscious five female voices of Joglaresa, accompanying themselves on fidel, harp, bells, bagpipes and percussion. This is a twinkly and tinkly Christmas programme and will lull you gently into the Christmas spirit.

Monday 12th December at 7.30pm

▪ Renaissance

Renaissance is praised as being one of the most exciting a cappella groups in recent years, and they present Un Soir de Neige: A Night of Snow: Music for Advent. Festive lullabies by Byrd alongside Poulenc’s secular Un Soir de Neige, and moving through Tudor Christmas to passionate Italian madrigals by Monteverdi, all drawn together by Ben Rowarth’s new work, A Night of Snow.

Tuesday 13th December at 7.30pm

▪ Red Priest: Winter Baroque Carnival

The highly acclaimed baroque quartet makes a welcome return to add fizz to the season. Led by recorder playing maestro Piers Adams, this is a cheering feast of music for winter, performed in the group’s own high-octane style. Expect Vivaldi, Bach, Handel and a few unsung heroes, all with a modern twist.

Wednesday 14th December at 7.30pm

▪ In Echo: Northern soul: Music in a Cold Climate

The five-piece ensemble presents an engaging story of the sea-faring nations of 17th century Northern Europe. Trading goods, music and ideas, the programme looks at the inspirational music of Buxtehude, Staden, Dowland, Bertali and Dietrich Becker alongside Andrew Keeling’s new composition, Northern Soul.

Thursday 15th December at 7.30pm

For further information see

NEW! Nationwide Choral Tributes to Fallen of the Somme during Remembrance Weekend


Nationwide Choral Tributes to Fallen of the Somme during Remembrance Weekend

small-logo-darkChildren whispering the names of the Fallen, the elegiac sounds of the Black Watch Regiment’s pipers, a silent film backdrop of Irish soldiers in the trenches – these are just some of the imaginative ways in which choirs all over the British Isles are adapting this special choral work, Memorial Ground, created by Pulitzer Prize-winning American composer David Lang. Over the Remembrance weekend in November (11-13) they will perform their tailor-made versions of Memorial Ground in churches, cathedrals, schools, universities – even health centres – from Belfast to Skipton, from Canterbury to Cumbria, from Gosport to Glasgow. David Lang is flying from New York to attend a signature performance of the work at London’s National Portrait Gallery on 12 November. Read more



Martyn Brabbins to take up position as Music Director of English National Opera from 21 October 2016
Martyn Brabbins

Martyn Brabbins (c) Benjamin Ealovega

English National Opera (ENO) has today, 21 October 2016, announced that British conductor Martyn Brabbins will become Music Director of the Company with immediate effect.

Read more

NEW! Grace Bumbry and Xian Zhang Join Jury for Cardiff Singer of the World 2017



BBC Cardiff Singer of the World 2017

Grace Bumbry and Xian Zhang will join Thomas Quasthoff, Sumi Jo and Chair David Pountney as jury members for the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World 2017 competition. Read more





Monica Huggett © Hiroshi Iwaya

If one wanted a broad picture of the evolution of historical performance, with intriguing little nuances revealed along the way, there would be few better musicians to talk to than Monica Huggett. She has been an unremitting force for four decades, well known from her early association with the Academy of Ancient Music and the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, and these days as Artistic Director of the Portland and Irish Baroque Orchestras, and Adviser to the Juilliard Historical Program. This interview traces the violinist’s experiences from the time when the authentic movement was just gathering momentum. Most important are her insights about how historical performance has developed out of a number of contrasting approaches that have cross-fertilized each other. Equally interesting are her ideas on where historical scholarship and performance practice still have room to grow, what she wants to achieve from an orchestra in interpretation, and how she has maintained an undiminished inspiration all this time. The interview took place in conjunction with the Vancouver Bach Festival in August 2016, where Monica Huggett directed the Pacific Baroque Orchestra in the Complete Bach Orchestral Suites (review).    Read more

NEW! Movers Makers Musicians Mingle Part Two



Cremona Musica: Cremonafiere 30.9.2016 to 2.10.2016 Fiere di Cremona.  Part Two of a two-part report. (JB) Read more

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