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Anthony Rooley to receive the 2016 York Early Music Festival Lifetime Achievement Award

York Early Music Festival is particularly delighted to honour one of Yorkshire's famous sons with the 2016 York Early Music Lifetime Achievement Award. Anthony Rooley, a founder of the festival in the late '70s who has achieved world-wide recognition as director of The Consort of Musicke, will receive the Festival's sixth biennial Lifetime Achievement Award immediately following the live broadcast of the Early Music Show from the National Centre for Early Music (NCEM) presented by Lucie Skeaping on Sunday 10 July.2.00pm - 3.00pm.

A Yorkshireman by birth, Anthony Rooley's career has taken him all around the world, revolutionizing the understanding of Renaissance music through his performances and recordings, most notably with his Consort of Musicke.   With sopranos Emma Kirkby and Evelyn Tubb, he rediscovered the riches of the lute-song repertory, the dramatic songs of Purcell and his less well-known contemporaries. With The Consort of Musicke his work breathed vivid new life into the madrigals of Monteverdi, D'India and De Wert.  His interests reach further than the Renaissance, from landmark recordings of medieval song to the Victorian part-songs of Robert Pearsall. And his view of the performer as an Orphic channel through which we can all connect with the divine is explored in his 1990 book, Performance: revealing the Orpheus within. 

Speaking about the Award, Anthony Rooley said: "I am deeply honored that I am to be recognized in this way - especially at this time, when after reaching 70 a short while ago, I made the decision to 'retire' from public performance. My life has been a continuous experience of inspiration applied - particularly now, with the young people my wife, the soprano Evelyn Tubb, and I work with in Basel at the Schola Cantorum. It is not an easy world for young musicians, and our opportunity to help inspire them and challenge them to find new ways of creating a career is deeply rewarding. There is still so much to discover and explore - that journey will never end - and the York Early Music Festival and in particular the biennial 'Competition' for young people makes that creatively manifest!"

Delma Tomlin MBE, Director of the NCEM added: "Whatever music Tony researches, he has a unique ability to realise the understanding of its power to communicate across the years. An inspirational teacher, especially with young vocal ensembles at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, Tony continues to pass on his enthusiasm to new generations of performers. Tony's association with YEMF stretches back to 1977 when he helped programme the first Early Music Week, then continued as an Artistic Adviser before becoming one of our Vice-Presidents in 2008. We are very pleased to welcome him 'home' to receive this year's Lifetime Achievement Award."

York Early Music Festival 8 - 16 July 2016 Fairies, Witches and Aerial Beings!, marks the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare, with music from the Elizabethan and Jacobean theatres and pieces inspired by the Shakespearean themes of magic, mystery and the supernatural. Guest artists include: The Sixteen directed by Harry Christophers (Sat 9 July); lutenist Thomas Dunford and percussionist Keyvan Chemirani; the virtuosic and entertaining Barokksolistene directed by violinist Bjarte Eike; the Alamire Ensemble; Yorkshire Baroque Soloists directed by Peter Seymour; The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment joined by Elizabeth Kenny, music director, and Caroline Williams, stage director, and The City Musick directed by William Lyons. 

Festival Tickets £5.00 - £30.00 available from 7 March 2016 from: NCEM, St Margaret's Church, Walmgate, York YO1 9TL. Telephone: 01904 658338. Email:
For full programme details visit:

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

Editors Notes:
The York Early Music Festival's Lifetime Achievement Award honours major figures that have made a significant difference to the world of early music and has been presented every other year since its inauguration in 2006. The previous winners have been the Kuijken brothers (2006); Dame Emma Kirkby (2008); James Bowman (2010); Jordi Savall (2012) and Andrew Parrott (2014).

The 2016 York Early Music Festival is supported by Arts Council England, Yorkshire; the City of York Council; media partner BBC Radio 3; the National Centre for Early Music, the Friends of the Festival and the NCEM Patrons.  

York Early Music Festival is a member of REMA, the European Early Music Network and works alongside tourism partners Welcome to Yorkshire and Visit York.  Partner hotels in the City of York: The Grange Hotel, Middlethorpe Hall & Spa, Queens Hotel and support from Creers Chartered Accountants; Harrowells Solicitors; Shepherd Building Group; University of York; Dean & Chapter, York and the Mayfield Valley Arts Trust; Youth Music and York Music Hub.