5 Reasons to get excited about Early Music this summer

Rachel Podger with Brecon Baroque

Rachel Podger with Brecon Baroque

This summer you’re in for a treat as we bring the finest early music talent to East London! Here are our top five reasons to get excited about our upcoming early music offerings:

1. Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

The ground-breaking OAE are our Associate Artists! They’ll be getting involved in all areas of our work, including spectacular concerts at Christ Church Spitalfields and Shoreditch Church (St Leonard’s), interactive events in the market, and events for all the family which the kids will love. On Friday 6 June, the OAE perform a programme of 17th-century works by prolific German composers Praetorius and Schütz for an impressive start to the Summer Festival. There will also be a chance to be part of the music at a pre-concert session so bring your singing voices, and take a trip back in time to discover audience-participation in the style of the Lutheran church!

2. Spitalfields Salons

Looking for something a little different? We’ve launched a new series called Spitalfields Salons, an intimate set of conversation and performance in the stunning Georgian homes of Spitalfields. Come and meet the stars of early music as Early Opera Company’s Christian Curnyn performs alongside soprano Lucy Crowe, mezzo soprano Anna Stéphany, and countertenor Iestyn Davies. Due to the exclusive quality of these performances, tickets are limited availability.

3. Old meets new 

We place early music classics in new contexts as our festival artists create new responses to renowned works. After their sell-out performance at Christ Church Spitalfields in the winter, The Sixteen are performing old and new responses to the ancient Song of Songs with works by Victoria, Palestrina and a new commission by John Barber. On Friday 20 & Saturday 21 June, Thomas Guthrie is directing Death Actually featuring soprano Elin Manahan Thomas, tenor Robert Murray, Sarah Dowling Dance Company, among others. The evening will include the first-ever staging of Bach’s motets, a theatrical recreation of Schubert’s Die schöne Müllerin followed by a rowdy alehouse session of bawdy baroque music with Barokksolistene.

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4. Young voices 

As well as bringing established performers to the festival, we’re also committed to providing opportunities for emerging artists. The Fieri Consort (who supporters may remember from last year’s Chair’s party) make their Spitalfields debut with a set by Josquin and his contemporaries. Their boundless enthusiasm and energy for early music won’t disappoint! Alongside, the Choir of Clare College, Cambridge will be performing works by Tallis, Gibbons and Nico Muhly to celebrate the season of Ascension and Pentecost, and the Choir of Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge will join Celtic woodwind specialist Barnaby Brown to play music from medieval manuscripts.

5. Stunning strings

Renowned violinist Rachel Podger leads Brecon Baroque for a vibrant evening of Vivaldi’s L’Estro Armonico and Bach’s The Art of Fugue on Saturday 7 June, and The English Concert return to Christ Church Spitalfields with an exquisite programme of pre-Bach works by Muffat and Biber.

You can book tickets via our website or call our box office on 020 7377 1362. We advise booking early to avoid disappointment. We hope you’re as excited about the programme as we are, and we’ll see you in June! 

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