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York Early Music Festival 2010 celebrates Musical Marriages

York Early Music Festival 2010 celebrates Musical Marriages

Musical Marriages take centre stage at this years York Early Music Festival with guest artists from all over the world joining together to celebrate love, marriage and union from Friday 9 to Saturday 17 July 2010.

Delma Tomlin, Administrative Director of York Early Music Festival said: "We are celebrating  marriage in all senses of the word, from grand ceremonial occasions to intimate pieces written for composers' spouses " as well as reflecting the marriages of different musical styles and genres from the Renaissance to the High Baroque. A glorious feast of music which we look forward to welcoming audiences from across the UK and abroad to enjoy with us in and around the magnificent setting of York, renowned the world over for its unique marriage of architectural styles.

Some of the highlights of this years festival include: Hopkinson Smith, justly regarded as the finest lute player in the world today, who performs works by Milan and Milano, marrying the two greatest lute virtuosi of their age, on Thursday 15 July at 1.00pm at the NCEM, St Margarets Church. The Sixteen directed by Harry Christophers present a programme both celebratory and introspective by Byrd, Tallis and Sheppard on Friday 16 July at 7.30pm in The Nave, York Minster.

I Fagiolini, directed by Robert Hollingworth, bring the madrigal comedy LAmfiparnaso, in which the late Renaissance Italian composer Vecchi brings alive the characters of the commedia dellarte to hilarious effect wedding comedy and great music through original and wonderfully witty word-play and an actual slapstick routine, on Saturday 10 July at 7.30pm in the Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall, University of York.

Musica Fiata, Köln and La Capella Ducale directed by Roland Wilson join forces to present Wedding Motets and Songs of Love on Wednesday 14 July at 7.30pm in the Chapter House, York Minster. Ensemble Lucidarium, described as pure energy on period instruments and one of Italys premier Early Music ensembles, present Kehi Kinnor: Celebrating a Jewish Wedding in the Renaissance on Monday 12 July at 7.30pm in the Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall, University of York.

2010 is the 200th anniversary of Schumanns birth and the Festival marks this with two of his most remarkable song cycles: Frauenliebe und leben (A Womans Love and Life) and Myrthen which was Schumanns wedding gift to his wife Clara, performed by the greatly admired German soprano Barbara Schlick and one of the UKs finest lyric tenors James Gilchrist, accompanied by Peter Seymour, on Sunday 11 July at 1.00pm in the NCEM, St Margarets Church.

Theatre of the Ayre, directed by Elizabeth Kenny, a newly appointed member of the Festivals artistic advisory board, present John Blows masterpiece Venus and Adonis, which takes a more cynical look at marriage, alongside instrumental music by Robert de Visée, Marc-Antoine Charpentier and Ayres from Michel Lamberts Livre dAirs de CourVenus and Adonis is part of a major NCEM education project which involves the NCEMs young early music vocal ensemble " The Minster Minstrels " which will put girls and boys voices centre stage for the first time since the original seventeenth century productions of this work. The education resource for this project is now available online at

York is of course acknowledging the 400th anniversary of Monteverdis masterpiece " the 1610 Vespers " presenting the complete publication over three separate but interlinked performances " starting with the opening concert in York Minster on Friday 9 July when Peter Seymour will be joined by the monastic cantors of Ampleforth Abbey.

The 2010 York Early Music Festival welcomes members of the European Early Music Association, who are celebrating their own marriage of festivals across Europe for their 10th anniversary conference which will be held at the NCEM, St Margarets Church on Friday 9 July from 2.30pm " c4.30pm.

Tickets for the Festival are on sale now with full details available on line at:

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: t: 07813 796 733

 Notes to editors:

The York Early Music Festival was established in 1977. The Festival has grown to be the largest celebration of early music events in the UK. The Festival is administered by the National Centre for Early Music which is based at St Margarets Church, York.  The Centre was opened in 2000 thanks to a grant of £1.5million from the Arts Council Lottery Fund.