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Tom Guthrie – all-round artistic performer – joins York Early Music Festival Artistic Advisory Team

10 January 2017

Thomas Guthrie (credit Helge-Norbakken)
Innovative director, performer and writer Tom Guthrie will join the team of Artistic Advisors to the York Early Music Festival during the festival's 40th anniversary year.

With a vision to engage performers with their audiences, and create strong foundations between communities and art, Tom hails from an illustrious background in classical music and theatre, and will work with John Bryan, Lindsay Kemp and Peter Seymour in planning the next three years of the festival, 2018 onwards, replacing the Baroque violinist Kati Debretzeni, who completes her term.

Delma Tomlin MBE, Director of the NCEM says: "We are thrilled that the energetic and enthusiastic artistic talents of Tom Guthrie will be joining our artistic advisory team, in this a very special and celebratory year. Tom's experience and previous projects are very exciting, and he should help set us off in the right direction for the next 40 years.

"It has been a pleasure to have Kati Debretzeni on the advisory team for the past three years, and for her contribution to our 40th anniversary celebrations. We are thankful for all that she has brought to the role through her superb musicianship."

Speaking about his new advisory role Tom said: "I am hugely excited to join the advisory team of the York Early Music Festival, having been involved on the fringes of the festival for a number of years as a performer. I have always been inspired by its approach to attract and create the very best quality performers and performances of early music, generating an experience for a broad range of audiences, including children and community groups.
"The festival's strong and established values in innovative programming, story telling, and drive to connect performers and audiences in genuine and exciting ways, are ones that are central to all my work. I look forward to working with the festival's distinguished panel during my time."

Tom is the founding artistic director of GOTcompany, and founding director of the charity Music and Theatre for All.

The National Centre for Early Music is administered by the York Early Music Foundation and funded by Arts Council England.


Notes to editors:

1. Much of Tom's approach to art is encapsulated by David Bowie's quote: "The idea that the piece of work is not finished until the audience come to it and add their own interpretation, and what the piece of art is about is the grey space in the middle. That grey space in the middle is what the 21st century is going to be about."  

Known for his strikingly imaginative, emotionally intense and technically disciplined approach to directing, Guthrie brings a wealth of performing experience to his theatrical and operatic work, and continues his work as a singer, writer, actor and teacher.

An unusually diverse director, Guthrie was Young Artist Stage Director at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden for two years, where he assisted Robert Carsen, Olivia Fuchs, Stephen Langridge, Piero Faggioni, Patrice Caurier, Moshe Leiser, Martin Duncan and Justin Way.
Upcoming new productions for 2017 include three Mozart operas - two rarely performed works, The First Commandment (Die Schuldigkeit des ersten gebots) and Apollo et Hyacinthus, for Classical Opera and The Magic Flute for his return to Longborough Festival Opera this summer. Later this year, Guthrie will also take part in an exclusive and ground-breaking residency collaboration at Princeton University for the fall semester of 2017/18. More work is in planning following the productions Murmartinstein and Mrs Mozart, both created for Bergen Opera, as well as forthcoming revivals for the Royal Opera House.

2. Widely regarded as the jewel in the crown of the city's many festivals, York Early Music Festival (Friday 7 - Saturday 15 July) is celebrating a significant 40th anniversary in 2017.

Mixing together music from the 12th - 18th centuries with the myriad historic churches, guildhalls and performing houses of the medieval City of York, guest artists during this landmark year include I Fagiolini, directed by Robert Hollingworth, honouring the music of Monteverdi with the English Cornett & Sackbut Ensemble; The Sixteen directed by Harry Christophers, presenting a glorious programme of Palestrina and Poulenc, and the award-winning Consone String Quartet, who return to York after their success at the 2015 International Young Artists Competition.

Further programme details available early 2017. Tickets on sale March 2017:

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Press Contact:
Lindsey Porter, on behalf of National Centre for Early Music
m: 07568 309154