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Elizabeth Kenny to join York Early Music Festival Artistic Advisors

08 April 2010

Elizabeth Kenny, one of Europe's leading lute players has been appointed one of four Artistic Advisors to the York Early Music Festival from 2011 to 2013. She will join John Bryan, Lindsay Kemp and Peter Seymour in planning the next three festivals.
She replaces Robert Hollingworth, director of I Fagiolini, who has been an artistic advisor for the past 3 years
In this year's York Early Music Festival (9th - 17th July) Elizabeth will appear as director of John Blow's masterpiece Venus and Adonis with her company, Theatre of the Ayre, which she created in 2007 to explore the dramatic vocal music of seventeenth-century England.
Speaking about her new advisory role she said: "I'm delighted to have been appointed one of the artistic advisors to the York Early Music Festival which I've been coming to as both listener and performer for nearly twenty years. I've always admired the range and quality of the programmes and events, and also the rapport which the festival and its artists have with a loyal audience, who are a unique blend of discerning, friendly and challenging. I feel privileged to be part of this vision.
"I'm excited too about the creativity of the Festival's education work and how integrated this is with concert life. With my Theatre Of The Ayre team we will be experiencing this first-hand working with the National Centre for Early Music's education department on our Venus and Adonis project. Cupids large and small from the NCEM's young early music vocal ensemble The Minster Minstrels - will put girls' and boys' voices centre stage for the first time since the original seventeenth century productions of this work. This resource is now available online at
Delma Tomlin, Director of the National Centre for Early Music added: "In the spirit of this year's Festival theme of Musical Marriages, it is a great pleasure to welcome Elizabeth Kenny to the advisory team as we say thank you and goodbye to Robert Hollingworth. I have no doubt that Elizabeth's wide experience of many different approaches to music making and superb musicianship will be invaluable to the creative process of planning the UK's most extensive Early Music Festival.
BBC Radio 3 will record Theatre of the Ayres new production of Venus and Adonis for broadcast as part of a major series of opera programmes starting in May 2010.
The National Centre for Early Music is administered by the York Early Music Foundation and funded by Arts Council England, Yorkshire.
Press Contact:
Shona Galletly, on behalf of the National Centre for Early Music
t:   0113 255 1308
m: 07813 796 733
 Notes to editors:
1. Elizabeth Kenny is one of Europe's leading lute players. Her playing has been described as "incandescent" (Music and Vision), "radical" (The Independent on Sunday) and "indecently beautiful" (Toronto Post).  In fifteen years of touring she has played with many of the world's best period instrument groups and experienced many different approaches to music making. She and is a principal player and initiator of seventeenth century projects with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, She has played with viol consort Concordia since its founding, and has built chamber music and recital partnerships with a number of distinguished artists. She retains a strong international connection with William Christie's Les Arts Florissants, Her research interests have led to critically acclaimed recordings of Lawes, Purcell and Dowland, and to develop ideas such as the Masque of Moments which she has taken to festivals in England and Germany in 2007-8. She is creating a concert version of John Blow's Venus and Adonis in 2011 which will be recorded and released on the Wigmore Live label.  A solo CD Flying Horse: The ML LuteBook was released by Hyperion Records in 2009.
Elizabeth Kenny taught for two years at the Hochschule der K√ľnste, Berlin, is professor of Lute at the Royal Academy of Music, and a Lecturer in Performance at Southampton University.
2. York Early Music Festival 9th - 17th July is Britain's largest festival of early music. This year's theme of Musical Marriages is the inspiration for a host of concerts, lectures and workshops designed to celebrate marriage in all senses of the word, from the grand to the intimate found in the different musical styles and genres from the Renaissance to the High Baroque. Guest artists include Theatre of the Ayre, I Fagiolini, The Sixteen and lutenist Hopkinson Smith.

Full details at: