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York Early Music Festival 2015

19 March 2015

Entente Cordiale

York Early Music Festival 2015, Thursday 2 - Saturday 11 July, embraces 300 years of music making, bringing together the music and musicians of England and France to explore a time mixed with harmony and discord in Anglo-French history. Many of the world's finest early music artists including: Andreas Staier; The London Handel Players; Andrew Parrott and his Tavernor Consort; The Sixteen directed by Harry Christophers; The Early Opera Company led by Christian Curnyn; distinguished Belgian vocalists the Huelgas Ensemble; Katie Debretzeni, Richard Boothby and Mahan Esfahani; The Clerks; Sylvia Abramowicz, Jonathan and Thomas Dunford and The Orlando Consort, will perform in some of York's most beautiful and historic venues.

Delma Tomlin, YEMF Administrative Director, says: "The 2015 festival opens with a celebration of Baroque Dance with the London Handel Players recreating the spirit and spectacle of the court of the Sun King, Louis XIV. Throughout the Festival we hope our audiences will discover something new in the culture of this fascinating period of Anglo-French history through its music and musicians. And, as the Festival culminates with the 2015 International Young Artists Competition on 11 July, during which we welcome ensembles from across the UK, Europe and the USA, that they will share our delight in spotting the early music 'stars' of the future in this Competition which has gone from strength to strength in the last two decades." 

▪ London Handel Players 
A Celebration of Baroque dance 
Specialist early music dancers, Mary Collins and Steve Player, bring to life the magnificent spectacle of the court of the Sun King, Louis XIV in a programme of music and dance presented by The London Handel Players featuring music by Lully, Rebel, Handel and Corelli.
Friday 3 July at 7.30pm, Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall, University of York

▪ Andreas Staier harpsichord
Entente Cordiale 1
One of the world's leading performers on historic keyboards explores two great 17th-century national harpsichord traditions in works by the English composers John Bull, William Byrd and Henry Purcell, and the Frenchmen Chambonnières, D'Anglebert and Louis Couperin.
Saturday 4 July at 11.00am, NCEM, St Margaret's Church

▪ Kati Debretzeni violin, Richard Boothby bass viol, Mahan Esfahani harpsichord, organ
Entente Cordiale 2
Three of the world's finest early music specialists explore the English and French Baroque chamber music of John Jenkins, William Lawes, Jean-Marie Leclair, Marin Marais and Jean-Philippe Rameau.
Saturday 4 July at 3.00pm, York Guildhall, St Helen's Square.

▪ Taverner Consort & Choir
Andrew Parrott director with Emily Van Evera soprano
Cross-Channel Connections
Taking its lead from the historic meeting of Henry VIII and Francis I at 'the Field of the Cloth of Gold' in 1520, which gave the musicians of two Chapels Royal a rare opportunity to hear each other in action, this concert interlaces the Mass settings - Taverner's 'Western Wind' Mass and Crecquillon's Missa Domine Deus omnipotens - with French secular chansons and intimate English songs.
Saturday 4 July, 7.30pm, The Quire, York Minster

▪ Early Opera Company
Christian Curnyn director Ed Lyon Actéon Emilie Renard Dido Callum Thorpe Aeneas
Hilary Summers Junon, Sorceress
Charpentier: Actéon & Purcell:Dido and Aeneas
Christian Curnyn's Oliver Award nominated ensemble returns to York with the perfect Baroque operatic double-bill. Purcell's incomparable Dido and Aeneas, showing the death of the tragic Carthaginian queen, while Charpentier's story of the unfortunate hunter Actéon, transformed into a stag and devoured by his own hounds for observing the goddess Diana bathing, is one of the great discoveries of recent decades.
Sunday 5 July, 6.30pm, Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall, University of York

▪ Sylvia Abramowicz bass viol
Jonathan Dunford bass viol Thomas Dunford lute, baroque guitar
A Deux Violes esgales
Sylvia Abramowicz and Jonathan Dunford were first brought together by a shared love of the music of the great master of French Baroque viol, Marin Marais. Here they are joined by their son in works from Marais's First and Second Books of Pièces de viole.
Sunday 5 July, 9.45pm, NCEM, St Margaret's Church

▪ Huelgas Ensemble
Paul van Nevel director
Firminus Caron: A late Medieval Master
The distinguished Belgian vocalists present movements from five of Firmius Caron's masses and a selection of impressively virtuosic secular chansons by this little known, but remarkable Franco-Flemish composer.
Monday 6 July, The Quire, York Minster

Doron Schleifer voice Corina Marti recorders/harpsichord
Michal Gondko lute Anna Danilevskaia fiddle
A Ballade's Journey
A lovingly constructed programme illuminating the fascinating history of the ballade form during the time of its greatest flourishing in the late Medieval period, featuring composers such as Guillaume de Machaut, Pierre des Molins, Johannes Cuvelier, Antonello da Caserta, Arnold de Lantins, John Bedyngham and others.
Tuesday 7 July, 2.30pm, All Saints' Church, North Street 

Rose Consort of Viols
John Bryan, Alison Crum, Andrew Kerr, Roy Marks viols
Clare Wilkinson mezzo-soprano and Jacob Heringman lute
Festival regulars, the Rose Consort presents a selection of chansons by Certon, Sandrin and Sermisy and elegant French dances, and instrumental music by Queen Elizabeth's court composers Tallis, Parsons and Byrd.
Tuesday 7 July, 6.30pm, NCEM, St Margaret's Church

▪ The Orlando Consort : FILM@NCEM
Matthew Venner countertenor Mark Dobell tenor Angus Smith tenor
Donald Greig baritone Robert Macdonald bass
Voices Appeared: Silent Cinema and Medieval Music 
The award-winning Orlando Consort presents an entirely new, carefully crafted soundtrack of music from the era, featuring intricate and beautiful 15th century works by Binchois and Dufay, together with animated motets and haunting plainsong, in which Carl Theodor Dreyer's 1928 film La Passion de Jeanne d'Arc is set. 
Tuesday 7 July, 9.30pm, NCEM, St Margaret's Church

▪ The Sixteen Harry Christophers director
Flight of angels: Music by Francisco Guerrero and Alonso Lobo
Two of Spain's greatest composers, Francisco Guerrero (1532-1597)  and Alonso Lobo (c.1555-1617), captured the astonishing variety of moods, from ecstasy and joy to despair, longing and devotional stillness of Seville during the 16th-century Spanish 'golden age', all of which can be felt in this richly beautiful programme.
Wednesday 8 July, 7.30pm, The Nave, York Minster

▪ The Clerks
Edward Wickham director
Cry God for Harry: Music from the Court of Henry V
To mark the anniversary of the Battle of Agincourt in 1415, The Clerks present a special programme, featuring music associated with the court of Henry V and with the battle itself. Their programme offers a fascinating picture of music operating in the service of religion, politics and ceremonial occasions.
Thursday 9 July, 7.30pm, The Quire, York Minster

▪ Yorkshire Baroque Soloists
Bethany Seymour soprano Lucy Russell, Daniel Edgar violins
Rachel Gray cello David Miller theorbo Peter Seymour harpsichord
Un Concert spirituel
Alongside familiar composers such as Couperin, this concert presents music by Elisabeth Jacquet de La Guerre, celebrating the 350th anniversary of her birth and her place as one of the first women to achieve professional status as a composer.
Friday 10 July, 7.30pm, Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall, University of York

▪ International Young Artists Competition 2015
This prestigious biennial competition, which this year welcomes emerging ensembles from across the UK, Europe and the USA, includes two fascinating days of preliminary concert recitals and informal workshops in advance of the Competition day. All three days are presented by the singer and broadcaster Catherine Bott. 
Thursday 9 - Saturday 11 July, Thu & Fri: 10.15am - 4.00pm. Sat: 10.00am - c.5.30pm, NCEM, St Margaret's Church

Full programme details available at:

Tickets: £5.00 to £30.00 are available from the NCEM at St Margaret's Church, Walmgate, York YO1 9TL. Telephone: 01904 658338. Email: Secure online booking at:

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

Editors Notes:

York Early Music Festival is supported by the Arts Council England, Yorkshire, Media partner BBC Radio 3, the National Centre for Early Music, Tourism partners Welcome to Yorkshire, the City of York Council, members of the York Hoteliers Association and with the support of the Culture Programme of the European Union.

The York Early Music International Young Artists Competition was created in 1985. Previously known as the Early Music Network IYAC, the Competition attracts young artists from all over the world. Previous winners are:  1985 Paul Goodwin (oboe) and Nicholas Parle (harpsichord); 1987 The Locke Consort; 1989 Joint winners: I Fagiolini and Musikfreunde (renamed Florilegium); 1991 The Palladian Ensemble; 1993 Mhairi Lawson (soprano) and Olga Tverskaya (fortepiano); 1995 The Amarillis Consort; 1997 Voce Poetica; 1999 The Private Music; 2001 Apollo and Pan; 2003 Savadi; 2005 ensemble Fidicinium (York Early Music Festival Friends' Prize: Stile Antico); 2007 Le Jardin Secret; 2009 Ensemble Meridiana (York Early Music Festival Friends' Prize: Grand Désir); 2011 Profeti della Quinta (York Early Music Festival Friends' Prize: Encantar); 2013 Thalia Ensemble (York Early Music Friends' Prize: Duo Domenico).

The 2015 Competition sees the addition of prizes from the EUBO Development Trust, Cambridge Early Music Festival and one European Ensemble will be awarded a place on the Eeemerging: Emerging European Ensembles' programme, a large-scale European cooperation project promoting the emergence of new talent in early music.