National Centre for Early Music

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Concerto di Margherita December 2017

Tanja Vogrin harp, voice
Rui Stähelin lute, voice
Francesca Benetti theorbo, voice
Ricardo Leitão Pedro guitar, voice
Giovanna Baviera viola da gamba, voice

What distinguishes the ensemble Concerto di Margherita is the practice of self-accompanied singing. The five members of the group sing and accompany themselves both solo and as an ensemble to create a wide and varied palette of sound, offering colourful interpretations of late Renaissance and early Baroque Italian vocal and instrumental repertoire.

During their residency with us from 1 to 11 December, the ensemble received artistic coaching from Robert Hollingworth , innovative Director of I Fagiolini and specialist in Renaissance music, and on ensemble management by Clare Norburn . Cherry Forbes , Education Director of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, introduced them to working with children and they had a fun interactive afternoon putting their ideas into practice with a class from Heworth Primary School and their teacher Molly Newton.

The ensemble gave two concerts during their residency. On Thursday 7 December they gave a lunchtime concert at the University of Huddersfield followed by a discussion and masterclass with the students.

As the finale to their residency Concerto di Margherita gave an evening concert on Sunday 10 December as part of the York Early Music Christmas Festival in the stunning surroundings of the Merchant Adventurers' Hall.

Concerto di Margherita focuses on the historical practice of self-accompanied singing: all five musicians sing and accompany themselves on theorbo, viol, baroque guitar, harp and lute. In this way, the sound of five voices and five instruments melt into one musical gesture, creating a dynamic and exciting soundscape. The five members met during their studies at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis and founded the ensemble in 2014. The ensemble's main repertoire is Italian vocal and instrumental music of the late sixteenth century, with a focus on the works written for the self-accompanying musicians of the court of Ferrara. Concerto di Margherita has performed across Italy, France, Slovenia and Switzerland and has been invited to play in festivals around Europe.