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York Early Music Christmas Festival 2013

29 August 2013

York Early Music Christmas Festival 2013

The 2013 York Early Music Christmas Festival (6 - 15 December 2013) brings together a stunning line-up of musicians including: the dynamic Brecon Baroque, directed by violinist Rachel Podger; one of the world's finest vocal consorts, Alamire directed by David Skinner; the unique European Union Baroque Orchestra and, for the first time during the Christmas Festival, The Sixteen directed by Harry Christophers. This year's festival also celebrates the tradition of telling ghost stories at Christmastime through the mesmerising musical collaboration Crows' Bones, featuring the outstanding folk luminaries: accordionist Martin Green; singers Becky Unthank and Inge Thomson and nykelharpist Niklas Roswall.

Delma Tomlin MBE, Administrative Director of York Early Music Christmas Festival, says:
"We are thrilled to be able to present such a fantastic range of outstanding musicians to perform some of the most glorious and inspiring Christmas music in York's magnificent settings. It is a huge pleasure to welcome The Sixteen to York within the Christmas Festival for a magical evening in York Minster, celebrating the seasonal music of Poulenc and Britten, concluding with the beautiful and much loved Ceremony of Carols. 

"And to coincide with Alamire's exploration of English Medieval Carols and The Trinity Carol Roll - which includes the most famous of all carols Ther is no rose - there is a wonderful opportunity for singers of all abilities to take part in an informal workshop, concluding in a short performance, with the ensemble's charismatic conductor David Skinner."


▪Yorkshire Bach Choir 
Yorkshire Baroque Soloists with The English Cornett & Sackbut Ensemble
A Festive Venetian Spectacular directed by Peter Seymour. A truly celebratory opening to the 2013 York Early Music Christmas Festival inspired by the genius of Gabrieli, Monteverdi, Schütz and Praetorius in 17th century Venice with highlights including Gabrieli's In ecclesiis and Jubilate Deo, Praetorius Wachet auf, Schütz Magnificat à 8 and Monteverdi psalms from Selve morale.
Friday 6 December 7:30pm, St Michael le Belfrey Church, High Petergate, York

▪ Ther is no Rose - Christmas Music from Renaissance England 
A Workshop for Singers with David Skinner 
The workshop will study 15th century anonymous carols, including the most famous of all carols Ther is no rose and William Byrd's Mass Propers for Christmas Day. The event concludes with an informal public performance at 4:00pm (no ticket required). Open to all voices but some sight reading ability will be helpful. Organised in association with North East Early Music Forum
Please book by 27 November.
Saturday 7 December from 10.30am - 4.30pm, NCEM, St Margaret's Church, Walmgate, York YO1 9TL

▪ Brecon Baroque: A Christmas Canon
Rachel Podger's brilliant Brecon Baroque steps firmly into the Christmas season with a sparkling entertainment of concertos, fugues and canons, alongside seasonal tunes from France and Germany including Bach's mind blowing Art of Fugue, Sammartini's virtuosic Concerto for Recorder, soloist Pamela Thorby, and Corrette's playful Concerto Comique. Saturday 7 December 7:30pm, Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall, University of York, YO10 5DD

▪ Minster Minstrels: All This Time This Song is Best
The Minster Minstrels, directed by Heather Moger, joined by singers directed by BBC Music Fellow Bethany Seymour, present a series of musical portraits depicting scenes from the Nativity. Hassler's polychoral Verbum caro factum est, is framed by a colourful array of Christmas pieces, including a setting of Joseph, lieber Joseph mein (Hieronymus Praetorius) and Buxtehude's Cantata In Dulci Jubilo.
Sunday 8 December 12:30pm - c.1.30pm, NCEM, St Margaret's Church, Walmgate, York YO1 9TD

▪ Alamire: There is no rose: English Medieval Carols & the Trinity Carol Roll
Christmas by Candlelight
Celebrate Christmas with David Skinner director and the voices and harps of Alamire in medieval style with this charming programme featuring the carols from the Trinity Carol Roll, the earliest source of the English polyphonic carol, including the much-loved and performed 'Ther is no rose'.
Sunday 8 December 7:30pm, NCEM, St Margaret's Church, Walmgate, York YO1 9TL

▪ The York Waits: Drive the Cold Winter Away: Music for the Cold Season of the Year
Christmas by Candlelight
Tim Bayley, Lizzie Gutteridge, Susan Marshall, William Marshall, and John Peel perform secular songs, dances, and topical instrumental music to herald the onset of winter, including lively dance tunes, ballads about feasting and pastimes for the dark evenings.
Monday 9 December 7:30pm, NCEM, St Margaret's Church, Walmgate, York YO1 9TL 

▪ L'Avventura London: Christmas at the Monastery of Santa Cruz
Christmas by Candlelight
L'Avventura London, directed by Žak Ozmo, present some of the most interesting, entertaining, and ravishingly beautiful 16th and 17th century Portuguese villancicos and romances - passionate songs, both secular and sacred - and instrumental music. 
Tuesday 10 December 7:30pm, NCEM, St Margaret's Church, Walmgate, York YO1 9TL

▪ The Sixteen: Ceremony of Carols
Harry Christophers director with Frances Kelly harp
The Sixteen makes its York Early Music Christmas Festival debut by celebrating the seasonal music of two of the most significant composers of the 20th century - Poulenc and Britten. Guaranteed to be a magical evening, concluding with Britten's ever popular, and exquisitely beautiful, Ceremony of Carols.
Thursday 12 December 7:30pm, York Minster, York YO1 7HL

▪ Bethany Seymour soprano Niels Tilma trumpet with Yorkshire Baroque Soloists
Eternal Source of Light Divine
Christmas by Candlelight
The soaring solo for voice and trumpet from Handel's Ode for the Birthday of Queen Anne presents the title and character of this extravagant programme based around virtuosic music of the Italian Baroque including works by Vivaldi, J S Bach, Corelli and Conti. 
Friday 13 December 7:30pm, NCEM, St Margaret's Church, Walmgate, York YO1 9TL

▪ Members of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment: A Christmas Cracker
Throughout 2013, the NCEM is working with baroque violinist Rachel Podger, members of the OAE and York Arts Academy on an educational programme designed to explore the understanding, and performance, of baroque string playing. This 'Christmas Cracker Concert' showcases the project's work with highlights including Corelli's famous, and ever tuneful, Christmas Concerto. 
Saturday 14 December 12 noon, NCEM, St Margaret's Church, Walmgate, York YO1 9TL

▪ Crows' Bones
In the tradition of telling ghost stories at Christmastime, Crows' Bones is a mesmerising collection of ghost songs old and new, pinpointing the essence of what is most beautiful and unsettling in the folk genre. Led by Lau accordionist Martin Green, it is performed by a specially assembled group of folk luminaries made up of Becky Unthank (The Unthanks), nykelharpist Niklas Roswall and singer Inge Thomson (Karine Polwart band). 
Commissioned by Opera North Projects
Saturday 14 December 7:30pm, NCEM, St Margaret's Church, Walmgate, York YO1 9TL

▪ European Union Baroque Orchestra: Barock meets Baroque
This year the EUBO comprises of musicians from 17 different countries who will give nearly 40 performances across 14 European countries. Flautist Anne Freitag - winner of the 2011 Brugge Early Music Competition and holder of the EUBO Development Trust Award - in her prize-winning European tour - performs Leclair's Concerto for Flute in C in a programme featuring works by Bach, J S Bach and Rameau, directed from the harpsichord by Lars Ulrik Mortensen, with Bojan Čičić concertmaster. Truly inspiring performances not to be missed! 
Sunday 15 December 7:30pm, Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall, University of York, YO10 5DD

Tickets: £5.00 to £25.00 are available from the NCEM at St Margaret's Church, Walmgate, York YO1 9TL. Telephone: 01904 658338. Email:

Press Contact: 
Shona Galletly, on behalf of National Centre for Early Music 
m: 07813 796 733 

Editors Notes:
▪ York Early Music Christmas Festival is supported by the Arts Council England, Yorkshire, the National Centre for Early Music, Tourism partners Welcome to Yorkshire, the City of York Council and members of the York Hoteliers Association. 

▪ Future Events 

Friday 29 November
A Venetian Extravaganza
An evening of music, mystery and magic

Thursday 22 - Sunday 25 May 2014
Beverley & East Riding Early Music Festival
Tickets will be on sale from December

Thursday 10 - Saturday 19 July 2014
York Early Music Festival
Booking opens Monday 17 March.
Details and tickets available spring 2014

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