National Centre for Early Music

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York Early Music Festival

Voces Suaves

Iestyn Davies

Carolyn Sampson
Friday 3 - Saturday 11 July 2020
Method & Madness
See Brochure below

The UK's largest festival of classical music written before 1750 intertwines the themes of Method & Madness - from the cool of the Baroque to the heat of the Renaissance.

The festival opens with the captivating (and utterly mad) Barokksolistene led by Norwegian violinist Bjarte Eike in a show looking at the music of the English 17th century tavern ['irresistible' The Times]; on Saturday 4 we welcome Voces Suaves presenting music by Monteverdi and his contemporaries; on Sunday 5 hear Handel's extraordinary baroque masterpiece 'Orlando' with soloists including Carolyn Sampson and Helen Charlston; Monday welcomes Matthew Wadsworth, Steven Devine and a series of 'Mad Songs' to the stage; The Sixteen present their Choral Pilgrimage programme in the Minster on Tuesday; the acclaimed countertenor Iestyn Davies sings with the Dunedin Consort led by John Butt on Wednesday; Thursday we welcome The Society for Strange & Ancient Instruments; Friday the prize-winning vocal group Profeti della Quinta return to York and on Saturday we host some of Europe's finest emerging professionals including the Consone Quartet and L'Apothéose from Spain.

Tickets will be on sale to NCEM Patrons from Monday 2 March, to Festival Friends from Wednesday 4 March and to the public from Monday 9 March.
Join the Friends and take advantage of reserved seating and discounted tickets.

If you would like to support the NCEM year-round, please consider becoming an NCEM Patron.

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We are also delighted to acknowledge the support of Harrowells Solicitors; JWP Creers Accountants and the Shepherd Group.

Thanks are also due to Arts Council England; City of York Council; BBC Radio 3 and the Mayfield Valley Arts Trust.

The Festival is supported by a number of hotels in the City. Find out details about accommodation

Download the new brochure from the link below.
NCEM York Early Music Festival 2020.pdf

Lines of Influence:

The 2021 York Early Music Festival will run from 9 - 17 July with guest artists including The Tallis Scholars, Paolo Pandolfo and The Sixteen.
Highlights will include the York EM International Young Artists Competition (14-17). Look out for details of how to apply at

York EM Festival is programmed by a team of artistic advisers. In 2021, the festival theme is 'Lines of Influence' with programmes designed to explore the ways musical styles spread across Europe over 5 centuries.
If you would like to be considered for the 2021 programme, please submit an outline proposal to by Friday 20 March 2020. We invite proposals for programmes that focus on a clear example of a particular and meaningful line of musical influence, and can be titled using the following format: (eg) 'Italy to England: the madrigal' or 'France to Germany: the suite'. Good luck!