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York Early Music Christmas Festival 2014

15 September 2014

York Early Music Christmas Festival (Friday 5 - Sunday 14 December) showcases a brilliant line-up of musicians including: La Serenissima, who celebrate their 20th anniversary with a festively cheerful Vivaldi programme The Red Priest (Fri 5 Dec); Joglaresa turns Christmas upside down with Merriment & Misrule (Mon 8 Dec); Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment provide Chamber Music for a Winter's Evening (Fri 12 Dec) along with Pitter Patter Raindrops - two concerts for children aged 2-5 years and their families (Sat 13 Dec at 10.30am and 12 noon). Stile Antico bring the the Festival to a close with a brand new Christmas programme A Wondrous Mystery (Sun 14 Dec). 

Delma Tomlin MBE, Administrative Director of York Early Music Christmas Festival, says: 
"We couldn't have wished for a more joyous start to the Christmas Festival than La Serenissima's glorious Vivaldi programme The Red Priest. Theatre of the Ayre's Purcell programme allows us to welcome back Elizabeth Kenny following her term as one of the Artistic Advisors to York Early Music Festival. And they are joined by York's own recorder virtuoso, Pamela Thorby, who will lead a recorder workshop linked to the concert and Purcell's music.
"Stile Antico, proud winners of the 2005 Friends of York Early Music Festival International Young Artists Competition, make a welcome return to York and celebrate their 10th Anniversary with an irresistible new Christmas programme, with some well-known carols including In dulci jubilo - a great way to round off the Festival."

Full programme details available at:


La Serenissima: The Red Priest 
Adrian Chandler vioin/director, Mhairi Lawson soprano
La Serenissima's spirited love of Vivaldi is irresistible. This programme features some of Vivaldi's most joyful concertos and motets with the sublime soprano Mhairi Lawson and is guaranteed to leave audiences full of Christmas cheer.
Friday 5 December at 7:30pm, Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall, University of York

University of Huddersfield Chamber Choir & Early Music Ensemble: Ave maris stella
John Bryan director 
Christmas music by Josquin, Lassus, Palestrina, Gabrieli, Stolzer and Festa  in praise of the Virgin Mary performed by the youthful voices of the Huddersfield Chamber Choir and an array of renaissance instruments including viols, sackbuts and recorders.
Saturday 6 December at 3.00pm, St Olave's Church, Marygate, York

Yorkshire Bach Choir and Yorkshire Baroque Soloists: Handel: Messiah
Peter Seymour conductor
Mhairi Lawson soprano, Sally Bruce-Payne alto, Matthew Long tenor and Peter Harvey bass join the Yorkshire Bach Choir and Yorkshire Baroque Soloists for Handel's enduringly popular Christmas classic.
Saturday 6 December at 7.00pm, St Michael le Belfrey Church, High Petergate, York

Theatre of the Ayre: Purcell: The Lost Recordings
Theatre of the Ayre breathes new life into the hidden consort repertoire of Purcell's suites from King Arthur, The Fairy Queen and The Indian Queen alongside a seasonal helping of Corelli's Christmas Concerto and Charpentier's Noƫls.
Sunday 7 December at 7.30pm, NCEM, St Margaret's Church, York
Christmas by Candlelight

▪ Joglaresa: Merriment & Misrule
Joglaresa bring their sparkling subversion of Yuletide, full of rebellious Medieval, Tudor and folk carols celebrating wine and ale, to York with their inimitable enthusiasm and sheer brilliance. Not to be missed is their very own version of The Bore's Heed in Hande bear I.
Monday 8 December at 7.30pm, NCEM, St Margaret's Church, York
Christmas by Candlelight

▪ The Mellstock Band: The Christmas Hearth
Dave Townsend, Caroline Butler, Tim Hill and Philip Humphries gather around a Christmas fireside to present a seasonal mix of jovial songs, stirring dance music and haunting carols in period costume with early instruments. The evening is linked by readings telling the story of Christmas celebrations in a 19th century English village.
Tuesday 9 December at 7.30pm, NCEM, St Margaret's Church, York
Christmas by Candlelight

▪ Renaissance: A Hymn of the Nativity
Ben Rowarth director
One of the UK's most exciting young a cappella groups, Renaissance, performs music by the Tudor Greats, William Byrd and Thomas Tallis alongside medieval carols and festive works of the 20th and 21st centuries inspired by gems from the 16th century.
Wednesday 10 December at 7.30pm, All Saints Church, North Street, York
Christmas by Candlelight

▪ Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment: Chamber Music for a Winter's Evening
The OAE's festive evening of baroque chamber music includes works by Henry Purcell.  Friday 12 December at 8.30pm, NCEM, St Margaret's Church, York

▪ Pitter Patter Raindrops
The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment present two lively and interactive concerts, each lasting 45 minutes, which include stories and songs for the very youngest music lovers aged 2-5 years and their families to enjoy. 
Tots One at 10.30 am
Tots Two at 12 noon 
Saturday 13 December, NCEM, St Margaret's Church, York

▪ Stile Antico: A Wondrous Mystery
A brand new Christmas programme to celebrate the group's 10th anniversary which contains a delightful mixture of folk-like dances, a richly-scored Christmas Mass and traditional old style German carols and motets, many of which are still familiar today.
Sunday 14 December at 6.30pm, Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall, University of York

Tickets: £5.00 to £24.00 are available from the NCEM at St Margaret's Church, Walmgate, York YO1 9TL. Telephone: 01904 658338. Email:
Media Enquiries: 
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, Mayfield Valley Arts Trust, the National Centre for Early Music, Tourism partners Welcome to Yorkshire, the City of York Council and members of the York Hoteliers Association.