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York Early Music Festival 2016 - Fairies Witches and Aerial Beings

York Early Music Festival 2016, Friday 8 - Saturday 16 July, 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. Distinguished artists include: The Sixteen directed by Harry Christophers; 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, who will perform in some of York's stunning historic venues.

This year, the Festival's commitment to supporting an ever- increasing number of exceptional emerging musicians from both the UK and abroad, sees the launch of a brand new initiative, NCEM Platform, which will continue to develop. 2016 NCEM Platform Artists are: Tabea Debus recorder, Kate Conway viola da gamba, Pawel Siwczak harpsichord, Cecilia Bernardini violin, Keiko Scichijo fortepiano, and winners of the 2015 York Early Music International Young Artists Competition, Sollazzo Ensemble.
Delma Tomlin, YEMF Administrative Director, says: "The 2016 festival opens with music from early 16th century Venice - one of the most magical places on earth - viewed through Shylocks eyes as we invite audiences to enjoy two different interpretations of The Tempest, moving on to a joyous version of Purcell's Fairy Queen loosely based on A Midsummer Night's Dream and finishing with an exploration of 16th century English theatre music. 
During this year's festival we are particularly delighted to honour Anthony Rooley, one of Yorkshire's famous sons, with the 2016 York Early Music Lifetime Achievement Award. A founder of the Festival in the late '70s, Anthony has achieved world-wide recognition as director of The Consort of Musicke and a highly respected and much loved teacher.
The Festival prides itself in supporting an ever-increasing number of emerging ensembles and is delighted to present three exciting young ensembles under the NCEM Platform banner alongside established artists from around the world." 

Festival Highlights: 

▪ Ensemble Lucidarium
Music for a Merchant: Sounds from Shylock's Venice
The ever energetic, creative and spontaneous Ensemble Lucidarium commemorate the 500th anniversary of the establishment of the Venetian Ghetto and the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death with lively songs in Italian, Yiddish, Hebrew and Spanish and music that Jews and Gentiles alike would have enjoyed while celebrating baptisms, circumcisions and weddings - complete with readings from contemporary Venetian documents which conjure up this colourful corner of the 16th century world.
Friday 8 July at 7.30pm, Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall, University of York

▪ Sound Affairs 
The Tempest
Sound Affairs, renowned for staging strikingly innovative concerts and events featuring new music juxtaposed with cinema, theatre, dance and video for over two decades, present a new adaptation of The Tempest combining English music from the 17th and 18th centuries by Locke, Purcell and Linley the Younger with works by contemporary composers Michael Nyman and Charlie Barber. Enchanting magic lantern images are provided by visual artist Andrew Bolton.
Friday 8 July at 10.00pm - 11.00pm, NCEM, St Margaret's Church, York 

▪ Rose Consort of Viols with Caroline Trevor alto and Louis Sharpe treble
'Now with Silver Song they come' Music from Elizabethan Choirboy Plays
Caroline Trevor alto and Louis Sharpe treble present a selection of 'play-songs', in which characters dolefully lament their fates and forlorn loves, sing lullabies, show their strength and resolve or sing in praise of Queen Elizabeth. They are joined by the Rose Consort of Viols, who perform dances and fantasias that the choirboy consorts used to enhance their plays. 
Saturday 9 July at 5.00pm - c.6.00pm, St Olave's Church, Marygate, York 

▪ The Sixteen directed by Harry Christophers 
The Deer's Cry: Music by Byrd, Tallis and Arvo Pärt 
Although separated by over four centuries, the music of the Elizabethan Englishman William Byrd and the contemporary Estonian Arvo Pärt makes for a perfect match. Together with works by another great master of sacred music, Byrd's teacher Thomas Tallis, they contribute to another magical occasion in the nave of the glorious York Minster. Works include lavish Latin motets by Byrd, Tallis's When Jesus went, and Pärt's The Deer's Cry and Nunc dimittis.
Saturday 9 July, 7.30pm, York Minster

▪ BBC Radio 3: The Early Music Show
The live broadcast of BBC Radio 3's ever popular show direct from the NCEM, presented by Lucie Skeaping with guests including Anthony Rooley, Thomas Dunford lute and NCEM Platform Artist Tabea Debus recorder, is immediately followed by the presentation of the Festival's sixth biennial Lifetime Achievement Award to Anthony Rooley, director of the Consort of Musicke.
Sunday 10 July, 2.00pm - 3.00pm, NCEM, St Margaret's Church, York 

▪ Minster Minstrels directed by Ian Hogart with 
York Young voices directed by Paul Gameson
'In Sweet Music is such Art'
The Minster Minstrels are joined by York Young Voices for a celebration of Shakespeare's life and words - in a concert of 'sounds and sweet airs that give delight and hurt not'. Settings by Thomas Arne, Robert Johnson and Matthew Locke are performed alongside instrumental music of the period. 
Sunday 10 July, 4.30pm - c.5.15pm, York Guildhall, St Helen's Square, York 

▪ Keyvan Chemirani zarb, percussion & Thomas Dunford lute
Virtuosos Thomas Dunford, a regular visitor to the Festival, and Keyvan Chemirani making his UK debut, take the contrasting themes of ancient music and original compositions steeped in the Orient, to reinvent traditions with delicacy and refinement and create music that alternates the sober and profound with freshness and fun.
Sunday 10 July, 8.00pm, NCEM St Margaret's Church, York  Concert by Candlelight

▪ University of York Baroque Ensemble directed by Campagnia d'Istrumenti
'All the World's a Stage'
A programme of exoticism and the supernatural which combines music for the stage - Purcell's music for The Indian Queen and Geminiani's score for the mysterious pantomime, The Inchanted Forest - with Telemann's vivid musical representation of the national characteristics of Turks, Swiss, Muscovites and Portuguese.
Monday 11 July, 1.00pm - 2.00pm, NCEM St Margaret's Church, York  

▪ Cantata per Flauto (NCEM Platform Artists)
Tabea Debus recorder Kate Conway viola da gamba Pawel Siwczak harpsichord
German recorder-player Tabea Debus explores Shakespeare's onstage and offstage worlds in instrumental pieces and arrangements of songs by Jacob Van Eyck, William Byrd, Johann Schop, Matthew Locke, John Banister, Henry Purcell, John Christopher Smith and Thomas Linley the Younger.  
Monday 11 July, 6.00pm - 7.00pm, Cemetery Chapel, Cemetery Road, York 

▪ Barokksolistene directed by Bjarte Eike
Bjarte Eike, part raconteur, part fiddler extraordinaire, part big-band leader and his outstanding ensemble present an evening of 17th century musical revelry with folk-songs and melodies, as well as more serious compositions by Purcell and his contemporaries, accompanied by anecdotes, humour and of course ale.
Monday 11 July, 8.30pm, NCEM, St Margaret's Church, York  

▪ Katie Debretzeni violins David Miller theorbo and Baroque Lute 
James Johnstone harpsichord
'To mis-tune a fiddle'
Explore the fascinating possibilities of re-tuning the violin strings, the so-called scordatura, used by Biber with three brilliant early music specialists in a fascinating programme which includes Biber's extraordinary Mystery Sonatas, and music by Weiss, Vilsmaÿr, and Richter.
Tuesday 12 July 2.00pm - 3.00pm, NCEM, St Margaret's Church, York 

▪ Alamire directed by David Skinner
Anne Boleyn's Songbook: Music and Passions of a Tudor Queen
Alamire uncovers the contents of Anne Boleyn's Songbook - which includes works by some of the greatest composers of the early 16th century: Compère, Brumel, Mouton and Josquin. The programme concludes with a haunting setting of O Deathe rock me asleep, possibly linked to Anne's fate whilst awaiting her execution in the Tower of London.
Tuesday 12 July, 7.30pm, Chapter House, York Minster Concert by Candlelight

▪ Cecilia Bernardini violin and Keiko Shichijo fortepiano (NCEM Platform Artists)
NCEM Platform artists Cecilia Bernardini and Keiko Shichijo present two contrasting masterworks from the world of the fully-developed sonata for violin and fortepiano: Schubert's carefree Sonata in A major and Beethoven's contemplative Sonata in G major, Op.96 are linked by  Schubert's sublimely romantic Impromptu in G flat major for solo piano .
Wednesday 13 July, 2.00pm - c.3.00pm NCEM, St Margaret's Church, York 

▪ Yorkshire Baroque Soloists directed by Peter Seymour 
Soloist include: Bethany Seymour soprano Matthew Brook bass Jason Darnell narrator
Purcell: The Fairy Queen 
One of Purcell's greatest compositions, The Fairy Queen, serves up some of his best-known and spectacular solos, dialogues and choruses to a colourful orchestral accompaniment. This dazzling music for dazzling forces is completed by an entertaining rhyming narration, specially prepared for the occasion by Andrew Pinnock.   
Wednesday 13 July, 7.30pm, Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall, University of York 
▪ Bethany Seymour soprano Thomas Guthrie bass Peter Seymour harpsichord
Where the Bard Lurks: Shakespeare in Music 
Bethany Seymour and Thomas Guthrie present a fascinating programme of 17th-century settings of Shakespeare's texts by Morley, Johnson, Wilson, Pelham Humfrey, Banister, Henry Purcell, Weldon, Eccles and Leveridge, along with songs from the 18th century by Arne, John Christopher Smith, Haydn and Addison and contemporary readings.
Thursday 14 July, 2.00pm - c.3.00pm, York Guildhall

▪ Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment 
Elizabeth Kenny music director Caroline Williams stage director 
The Tempest A 'dramatick opera'
Not the celebrated work of William Shakespeare, but a 'dramatick opera', a bastardised version from 1674 re-worked for maximum appeal to Restoration audiences! Lutenist Elizabeth Kenny and a group of her colleagues from the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment present this fascinating score, enhanced by dramatic interludes from the play, following their highly successful performances in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse at Shakespeare's Globe in 2015.
Thursday 14 July, 6.30pm Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall, University of York

▪ Sollazzo Ensemble (NCEM Platform Artists)
Parle qui Veut: Moralistic songs of the late Middle Ages
NCEM Platform artists and winners of the 2015 York Early Music International Young Artists Competition, the Sollazzo Ensemble explores a favourite subject in late medieval song: reflections on human nature.  Works by Francesco Landini, Jacopo da Bologna, Jacob de Senleches and others, display striking texts which appraise society with a clear eye, often delivered with bitter-sweet humour, and advocating honesty and virtues that have not lost any of their relevance today.
Friday 15 July, 4.00pm - c. 5.00pm, All Saints Church, North Street, York 

▪ The City Musick directed by William Lyons
Silver Sounds and Moody Food: Music for Six Severall Instruments
William Lyons and his band revel in 16th century English or 'Broken' consort music which was so popular in the private playhouse and public theatre. Packed with songs and instrumental music from the plays of Shakespeare, Marston, Dekker, Jonson and their contemporaries, the concert features ensemble music collections by Morley, Rosseter and Matthew Holmes, interspersed with songs to the viols and lutes, and instrumental solos.
 Friday 15 July, 7.30pm Merchant Adventurers' Hall, Fossgate, York 

▪ The City Musick directed by William Lyons
The Topping Tooters of the Town: Music of the London Waits 1550 - 1650
The City Musick presents a lively celebration of the music of the 'waits' - urban musicians who were famed in London for artistry and skills on a par with those at the court. Wind players first and foremost, 'Topping Tooters' played cornetts, sackbuts, recorders and bagpipes. This concert contains music for ceremony, civic procession, sophisticated masques and theatre pieces as well as popular dances and songs for performance in a tavern and communal halls.
Saturday 16 July, 6.00pm - c.7.00pm, NCEM, St Margaret's Church, York 

Associated Lecture Series: 
Saturday 9 July, 12.00noon - 4.00pm, NCEM, St Margaret's Church, York 
The Sixteen Insight Day
The Insight Day provides a fascinating exploration of the music and background to The Choral Pilgrimage. Singer Sally Dunkley and musicologist John Milsom debate and discuss the rich history behind the Choral Pilgrimage repertoire, with intimate performances at close hand from a consort of Sixteen singers.

Monday 11 July, 10.30am - c. 11.30am, Bedern Hall, Bedern, York
 'Whereof the Multitudes and Abuses have been and are found Intolerable'
James Sharpe, Professor in History, University of York, uses a wealth of contemporary documentation in his lecture to reveal both the beneficial and less desirable attributes of the English Alehouse.

Tuesday 12 July, 10.30am - c. 11.30am, Bedern Hall, Bedern, York 
Mistress Boleyn's Songbook
Manuscript 1070, housed in London's Royal College of Music, is one of the most important collections to survive of early 16th- century French motets and chansons. It includes an inscription with musical notation: 'Mistress Anne Boleyn, now thus'. David Skinner, director of Alamire, discusses the manuscript, its history and connections with Henry VIII's second and most notorious queen.

Wednesday 13 July, 10.30am - c.11.30am, Bedern Hall, Bedern, York  
Purcell's Shakespeare
Roger Savage, Honorary Fellow in English Literature, University of Edinburgh, gives an introduction to Henry Purcell's encounters with Shakespeare in Restoration Theatreland, climaxing with his 1690s re-working of A Midsummer Night's Dream as The Fairy Queen. 

Thursday 14 July, 10.30am - c.11.30am Bedern Hall, Bedern, York 
Shakespeare's Songs - In and Out of the Theatre
David Lindley, Professor Emeritus, University of Leeds, explores ways in which the changing relationship of music and theatre is reflected in settings of Shakespeare's songs, and at the growing tide of compositions aimed not at the theatre but at concert and domestic audiences.

Thursday 14 July, 5.30pm - c. 6.00pm, Rymer Auditorium, University of York
Restoration of Shakespeare - A musical Adaptation of the Tempest
Caroline Williams (Shakespeare's Globe) and Elizabeth Kenny (Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment) invite audiences to join them in an exploration of the conflicting demands of text and music, and how they can be made to work together ahead of the evening performance of all the music from the 1674 Tempest production.

Associated Conference: 
Saturday 16 July 10.00am - 4.00pm, NCEM, St Margaret's Church, York 
▪ Silver Sounds and Moody Food Conference: Theatre Music and Musicians 1575 - 1642 
The conference looks at all aspects of musical participation in early modern theatre, including the relevance and intent of 'playsongs' and ballads, who would have performed them, and what they played.  Highlights include: 
William Lyons - "Excellent and Expert Musicians"- Who played for the Plays in Shakespeare's London?  
Ross Duffin - Robert Johnson and Songs for the Shakespearean Stage 
David Lindley -The Use of Music in the Plays for John Marston
David Klausner - The Performance of the Jig in the North Riding 
Christopher Page - The Role of the Guitar on the Tudor and Stuart Stage

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 and Visit York; the City of York Council; selected hotels and Creative Europe - the Culture Programme of the European Union.

The York Early Music Lifetime Achievement Award 2016 
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.