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Beverley & East Riding Early Music Festival 2016

Beverley & East Riding Early Music Festival (Friday 27 - Monday 30 May 2016) spans seven centuries of European music with a series of concerts celebrating the Virgin Mary, "The Queen of Heaven", featuring music from Hildegard of Bingen to Mendelssohn. Guest artists include Florileguim (27 May), Elizabeth Kenny theorbo and Elin Manahan Thomas soprano, The Cardinall's Musick (28 May), Fitzwilliam String Quartet (29 May) and The Flautadors Recorder Quartet (30 May.

Delma Tomlin, Festival Director says: "We are delighted to welcome a star studded range of guest artists and to support an ever burgeoning educational programme.  Highlights include concerts by the Consone Quartet following a 10 day residency in York as part of the NCEM's EEEmerging project funded by Creative Europe and Beverley Grammar School students who, with three feeder primaries and the help of players from the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, will create their own opera The Age Old Story based on Purcell's 'Dido & Aeneas'. In addition, we are delighted to offer two contrasting workshops for amateur musicians - one for trio-sonata groups led by Florilegium's Ashley Solomon and a choral workshop with Andrew Carwood, director of The Cardinall's Musick.  This year's festival offers something for everyone to get involved and enjoy the music-making." 

On the last night of the Festival, singers from the University of York Chamber Choir are joined by an array of period instruments played by professional guest musicians including Gawain Glenton cornetto and David Miller chitarrone in Monteverdi's 1610 'Vespers for the Virgin Mary'.  Presented in the magnificent setting of Beverley Minster, it provides a superb and festive finale."

2016 Festival Programme
▪ Consone Quartet
The winners of the EUBO Development Trust Prize at the 2015 York Early Music International Young Artists Competition present two masterworks from the string quartet repertoire: Mozart String Quartet No 10 in F K.590 'Prussian' and Mendelssohn String Quartet No 1 in Eb Op.12.
Friday 27 May, 2.00pm - 3.00pm, Toll Gavel United Church, Toll Gavel, Beverley

▪ Members of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment 
Beverley Grammar School Students directed by Zoe Hughes 
Pupils from Walkington, Keldmarsh and Beverley Minster Primary Schools
University of York Music Students
The Age Old Story 
Members of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and composer James Redwood will work with Beverley Grammar School and its feeder primaries to re-imagine Purcell's Dido and Aeneas with its delightful choruses and a host of mischievous witches and raucous sailors, and taking themes of love and loss as inspiration to present their own new opera, The Age Old Story.
Friday 27 May 5.00pm - 6.00pm, Beverley Grammar School, Queensgate, Beverley 

▪ Florilegium
The Bach Family Entertains
Florilegium mark their 25th Anniversary and present a thrilling programme of Bach with two Brandenburg Concertos and the virtuosic and dramatic flute concerto in D minor by his illustrious son, CPE Bach. 
Friday 22 May, 7.30pm St Mary's Church, North Bar Within, Beverley

▪ Elizabeth Kenny theorbo and Elin Manahan Thomas soprano
Queens of Heaven and Earth
 Two of the finest virtuosos of their generation present a dramatic programme which explores the early musical portrayals of queens, bringing these powerful female characters to life through the music of Hildegard of Bingen to Carissimi and Monteverdi to Handel, scaling great emotional and virtuosic heights along the way.
Saturday 28 May, 1.00pm - c2.15pm, Toll Gavel United Church, Toll Gavel, Beverley

▪ Arts and Crafts in the Wolds: The Restoration of St James' Church, Warter
Historian David Neave presents an illustrated talk describing the determination of a group of volunteers whose efforts saved the redundant church from demolition and preserved its superb collection of Arts and Crafts monuments and stained glass with such success that the building is now a heritage centre and venue for concerts and lectures.
Saturday 28 May, 4.30pm - c5.30pm, St John of Beverley RC Church, 5 North Bar Without, Beverley

▪ The Cardinall's Musick
In Honour of the Virgin
Featuring music by four of the finest Renaissance composers - Lassus, Victoria, Byrd and Palestrina, The Cardinall's Musick have created the perfect programme to celebrate The Virgin Mary, ending in ebullient style with Palestrina's glorious eight-voice Magnificat primi toni.
Saturday 28 May, 7.30pm, Beverley Minster, Highgate, Beverley

▪ Lucie Skeaping BBC Radio 3 Early Music Show presenter
Singing Simpkin and other Bawdy Jigs
Lucie Skeaping presents a lively illustrated talk about musical comedy on the 17th century stage based on her book 'Singing Simpkins and other Bawdy Jigs' which reconstructs nine jig texts and reunites them with their original tunes.
Sunday 29 May, 2.30pm - 3.30pm, St Mary's Parish Hall, North Bar Within, Beverley

▪ Fitzwilliam String Quartet
Renowned for their brilliant interpretations of Beethoven's work, The Fitzwilliam String Quartet presents three of his most pioneering quartets: Op. 74 in Eb 'The Harp', Op.95 in F minor 'Quartetto Serioso' and concluding with the spirited Op.135 in F major.
Sunday 29 May, 7.30pm, St James' Church, Warter 

▪ The Flautadors Recorder Quartet
Royal Rivals
The Flautadors's programme, specially created for the Beverley Festival, features some of the finest and most beautiful recorder music of the 16th century by Byrd, Holborne, Dowland and Tye.
Monday 30 May, 1.00pm - 2.00pm St Mary's Church, North Bar Within, Beverley

▪ University of York Chamber Choir, Compagnia d'Istrumenti & the University of York Baroque Ensemble directed by Peter Seymour
Monteverdi Vespro Della Beata Vergine
Peter Seymour draws the 2016 Festival to a close with a performance of Monteverdi's Vespers, gloriously rich in colour and texture complete with cornetti, sackbuts, dulzian, recorders, strings, chitarrone, organ and voices.
Monday 30 May, 7.30pm Beverley Minster - Concert by Candlelight

Festival Workshops 
▪ Trio-Sonata Workshop
Florilegium's director Ashley Solomon directs a workshop for aspiring flute / recorder trio-sonata groups. A harpsichord and accompanist are available.
Saturday 28 May 10.00am - 4.15pm, St Mary's Parish Church, North Bar Within, Beverley. 

▪ Choral Workshop
An opportunity for singers to work with Andrew Carwood, director of The Cardinall's Musick on some of the repertoire heard in their concert programme and related works.
Sunday 29 May 10.30am - 4.30pm, Hexagon Music Centre, Coltman Avenue, Beverley

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

For full programme details visit: and


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

Editors Notes:
The 2016 Beverley & East Riding Early Music Festival is supported by the East Riding of Yorkshire Council; Arts Council England, Yorkshire; the Mayfield Valley Arts Trust; EEEmerging: Creative Europe Culture, OAE Education and the National Centre for Early Music. 

The Beverley Early Music Festival was initiated in 1988 at the request of Beverley Borough Council and has been supported by East Riding of Yorkshire Council since 1994. 
The festival is designed to celebrate the best of early music set within some of East Yorkshire's finest ecclesiastical venues.