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CHRISTMAS 2016 A Significant Year for Early Music in Yorkshire

The York Early Music Christmas Festival 2016 (8 - 15 December), a key part of the Christmas calendar in York, features the acclaimed harpsichordist and conductor Trevor Pinnock as a highlight. Trevor celebrates his 70th birthday year, ahead of the 30th anniversary of the Beverley Early Music Festival in May and the 40th anniversary of the York Early Music Festival in July.

York Early Music Christmas Festival 2016  (8-15 December)

Escape the rush and frenzy of the pre-Christmas season and dip into the York Early Music Christmas Festival, an ideal antidote to what can be festive overload, and an opportunity to re-tune your chords. 

Ten concerts over eight days, and with over fifteen hours of uplifting early music, the programme begins on Thursday 8th December and includes the full breadth of repertoire, from the well-loved and luscious female voices of Joglaresa (Mon 12th) performing Caroles of Nuns and Roses, to baroque recorders with a twist, Red Priest (Wed 14th). The newly created ensemble of experienced musicians, In Echo (Thur 15th) is part of the programme, as is the NCEM debut for Spiritato! (Thur 8th). There's also an opportunity for singers to find their own voice during an enlightening choral workshop, led by composer and conductor James Weeks (Sat 10th). 

The performances are mainly held in the beautiful candlelit surroundings of the NCEM in the heart of York in St Margaret's Church, and there are mince pies provided at most concerts, offering an additional treat for the audience. 

Delma Tomlin, Director of NCEM, says: "Our Christmas festival holds a special place in the Early Music calendar, but also in the city of York's Christmas calendar, and this year's programme should continue to delight audiences. 

"We are delighted to have a full and distinct programme, which is punctuated by some truly special performances. It includes the vibrant and forceful tones of the all-female Joglaresa, and quite a special programme from our 2016 eeemerging residency, The Goldfinch Ensemble.  And the NCEM is of course more than honoured that Trevor Pinnock has included us in his 70th birthday tour." 

Full programme details available at:

Tickets available: £5.00 to £30.00 (concessions available) 
Tickets are now on sale and available on /

OR from the NCEM at St Margaret's Church, Walmgate, York YO1 9TL
Telephone: 01904 658338

Social Media: 
@yorkearlymusic /

Full Programme:

Spiritato! Guts and Glory
Heroic Music for Strings, Trumpets and Drums
An NCEM debut for the pioneering period musical ensemble, led 'vivaciously' by violinist Kinga Ujszaszi. This is a vibrant programme of the best of baroque brass, with no less than five natural trumpets, together with inventive and reflective pieces for strings. 
Thursday 8th December at 7:00pm, NCEM, St Margaret's Church, Walmgate, York 

Gothic Voices - Nowel syng We bothe al and som
A sequence of late medieval English carols, songs and motets for the season, with works ranging from one to four voices. This is a joyous interplay of key celebrations of the season, with small narratives reflected on by larger-scale festive motets and mass movements by English medieval celebrities John Dunstable (c.1390-1453) and Lionel Power (c.1370-1445). 
Friday 9th December at 7.30pm, NCEM, St Margaret's Church, Walmgate, York 

▪ Choral Workshop led by James Weeks
James Weeks is a respected composer and conductor with wide ranging musical interests. This workshop will cover some of the significant works of Heinrich Schutz's great collection Geistliche Chor-Musik (1648), which contains some of his most memorable and profound music. From the joyous Christmas motet Ein Kind ist uns geboren to the sublime pathos of Selig sind die Toten.
Saturday 10th December from 10.30am - 4pm, NCEM, St Margaret's Church, Walmgate, York 

▪ The Goldfinch Ensemble
Masters of Baroque: JS Bach and F Couperin
Selected from the best young early music talent in Europe, The Goldfinch Ensemble is part of a eeemerging programme, enjoying a residency at the NCEM in York. Formed in 2014, the musicians met at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague and were first-prize winners at the International Handel Festival in Gottingen earlier in the year. Their programme reflects the European masters of their craft, JS Bach and F Couperin, and how they may have been inspired by each other.
Saturday 10th December at 1.00pm, NCEM, St Margaret's Church, Walmgate,York 

▪ Yorkshire Bach Choir
Bach at Christmas
A trio of festive works not to be missed. It includes JS Bach's Magnificat, with its exuberant choruses, and CPE Bach's 1749 setting of the Magnificat, which energetically reinvigorates his father's earlier work. The ever-popular BWV 140 Wachat auf (Sleepers, wake) is the ultimate musical wake-up for Advent, featuring some of JS Bach's most memorable and timeless music
Saturday 10th December at 7.30pm, Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall, University of York

▪ Trevor Pinnock and Friends
A Birthday Celebration
During his 70th birthday year, renowned harpsichordist and conductor, Trevor Pinnock, makes York a vital part of his UK anniversary tour, with highlights including Bach's Brandenburg Concerto no 5 and Handel's Sonata in A for violin, with early music virtuoso Rachel Podger.  
Sunday 11th December at 7.30pm, NCEM, St Margaret's Church, Walmgate, York 

▪ Joglaresa
Caroles of Nuns and Roses
Caroles of Nuns and Roses celebrate Yule with the luscious five female voices of Joglaresa, accompanying themselves on fidel, harp, bells, bagpipes and percussion. This is a twinkly and tinkly Christmas programme and will lull you gently into the Christmas spirit.
Monday 12th December at 7.30pm, NCEM, St Margaret's Church, Walmgate, York

▪ Renaissance
Renaissance is praised as being one of the most exciting a cappella groups in recent years, and they present Un Soir de Neige: A Night of Snow: Music for Advent. Festive lullabies by Byrd alongside Poulenc's secular Un Soir de Neige, and moving through Tudor Christmas to passionate Italian madrigals by Monteverdi, all drawn together by Ben Rowarth's new work, A Night of Snow.
Tuesday 13th December at 7.30pm, NCEM, St Margaret's Church, Walmgate, York

▪ Red Priest
Winter Baroque Carnival
The highly acclaimed baroque quartet makes a welcome return to add fizz to the season. Led by recorder playing maestro Piers Adams, this is a cheering feast of music for winter, performed in the group's own high-octane style. Expect Vivaldi, Bach, Handel and a few unsung heroes, all with a modern twist.
Wednesday 14th December at 7.30pm, NCEM, St Margaret's Church, Walmgate, York 

▪ In Echo
Northern soul: Music in a Cold Climate
The five-piece ensemble presents an engaging story of the sea-faring nations of 17th century Northern Europe. Trading goods, music and ideas, the programme looks at the inspirational music of Buxtehude, Staden, Dowland, Bertali and Dietrich Becker alongside Andrew Keeling's new composition, Northern Soul.
Thursday 15th December at 7.30pm, NCEM, St Margaret's Church, Walmgate, York 


Media Enquiries: 
Lindsey Porter, on behalf of National Centre for Early Music 
m: 07568 309154

Editors Notes:
▪ York Early Music Christmas Festival is supported by the Arts Council England, 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. 

EEEmerging is supported by the Creative Europe Culture programme of the European Union.