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Beverley & East Riding Early Music Festival 2015

04 February 2015

Beverley & East Riding Early Music Festival (Wednesday 20 - Sunday 24 May 2015) celebrates justice, liberty and the lives of some remarkable musicians through a mixture of anniversaries. Guest artists include: The Tallis Scholars directed by Peter Phillips; internationally celebrated harpsichordist Carole Cerasi; strings and wind ensemble Girasoli; Belinda Sykes' ensemble Joglaresa and the Three Medieval Tenors. Members of The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment (OAE) will work with Beverley Grammar and Beverley Girls High School to create and perform I rage, I melt, I burn inspired by Handel's Acis and Galatea.

Delma Tomlin, Festival Director says: "We are extremely pleased to open this year's festival with a concert by Girasoli to mark the 20th anniversary of Jesse's Fund - a York based UK charity which helps children with special needs to communicate through music.  Our musical journey begins in 1215 with the sealing of the Magna Carta in Joglaresa's programme Robbers, Rebels and Royals and ends in the 18th century's cauldron of political change demanding justice and liberty for all in Carole Cerasi's programme Portrait in Sound, which explores two of the harpsicord's finest champions - Jacque Duphly and Elisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre. Between times there are moments of sublime musical calm alongside snapshots of the 21st century as The Tallis Scholars  mark the 80th birthday of Arvo Pärt and the 500th birthday of Renaissance master John Sheppard. As ever, Beverley's magnificent and historic venues provide a glorious context to our festival theme."

2015 Festival Programme
▪ Girasoli
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of Jessie's Fund - the York-based organisation that helps children with special needs to communicate through music - Girasoli returns to Beethoven's magnificent Septet, which they performed at their first concert to launch Jessie's fund. Their delightful programme is completed by Mozart Horn Quintet and Krommer Allegro moderato from Clarinet Quintet op. 95.
Wednesday 20 May, 7.30pm, Toll Gavel United Church, Toll Gavel, Beverley

▪ Three Medieval Tenors
Conductus: The forgotten song of the Middle Ages
John Potter, Christopher O'Gorman and Rogers Covey-Crump, present a feast of medieval song. The stylistic freedom of the Conductus revels in interweaving voice parts set to Latin verse, sometimes with sacred themes and sometimes mocking the corrupt clergy, and combines the musical rhythm of the motet with the verbal freedom of chant. 
Wednesday 20 May 1.00pm - c.2.00pm, The Quire, Beverley Minster

▪ Members of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment 
Beverley Grammar and Beverley Girls' High School Pupils
University of York Baroque Ensemble and Chamber Choir
I rage, I melt, I burn
Members of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment return to Beverley to work with students from Beverley High and Beverley Grammar schools on a creative composition project inspired by Handel's masterpiece Acis and Galatea. Led by composer James Redwood and supported by the University of York Music Education Group, the students explore Handel's themes through drama, composition and song and become composers, performers and directors to create this new work.
Thursday 21 May 7.30pm - 9.00pm, St Mary's Church, North Bar Within, Beverley

▪ Carole Cerasi harpsichord
Portraits in Sound
One of the UK's finest harpsichordists, Carole Cerasi is highly regarded for her expressive and virtuosic interpretations and her refined touch. Over the last 25 years she has established herself as one of the top performers and recording artists in her field and has delighted audiences and critics alike. Her programme explores works by two great 18th century champions of the harpsichord - Jacque Duphly (b.1715) and Elisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre (b.1665).
Friday 22 May, 1.00pm - 2.00pm, Toll Gavel United Church, Toll Gavel, Beverley

▪ Joglaresa
Robbers, Rebels and Royals
Director Belinda Sykes voice, bagpipes, Angela Hicks voice, harp, May Robertson fidel, voice, Magnus Mehta and Louise Morgan voice, percussion, celebrate the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta. Tales of Robin Hood, King John, outlaws, rebels, social justice and injustice are interwoven with Joglaresa's exhilarating songs that challenge the supreme authority of kings, criticise the Catholic Church and highlight the lives, loves, imprisonment and taxation of ordinary folk (or barons) at the time of the Great Charter - the Magna Carta Libertatum.
Friday 22 May, 7.30pm, Toll Gavel United Church, Toll Gavel, Beverley

▪ Imago Mundi
Divine Madness: Souls in Exile
Clare Wilkinson voice, Sofie Vanden Eynde lute, theorbo, director and Moneim Adwan voice and oud bring English lute song and Arabic song together in skilful and mesmerizingly beautiful performances.
Saturday 23 May, 12.30pm - 1.30pm, St Mary's Church, North Bar Within, Beverley

▪ Bethany Seymour soprano & Peter Seymour harpsichord
Madness and torment!
The Yorkshire-based soprano Bethany Seymour presents a programme of high drama and emotion which explores the recurring themes of freedom from the torment of love, and of lost love in music by Blow, Purcell and Handel.  
Saturday 23 May, 3.30pm, Toll Gavel United Church, Toll Gavel, Beverley

▪ The Tallis Scholars directed by Peter Phillips
The Tallis Scholars present a glorious programme celebrating the 500th anniversary of John Sheppard with his spectacular Media Vita and the 80th birthday of Estonian composer Arvo Pärt, whose shimmering, beautiful music is a curious and compelling blend of the secular and the sacred. 
Saturday 23 May, 7.30pm, Beverley Minster - Concert by Candlelight

Festival Tickets: £5.00 to £25.00 are available from the NCEM at St Margaret's Church, Walmgate, York YO1 9TL. Telephone: 01904 658338. Email: boxoffice@ncem.co.uk

Festival Workshops 
▪ Understanding the Conductus
An opportunity to engage with the artists and scholarly team to develop a fuller understanding of medieval music in general and the conductus in particular led by Mark Everist, University of Southampton.
Thursday 21 May, 10.30am - c.11.30am
Beverley Guildhall, Register Square, Beverley HU17 9XX
Tickets: £5.00 (including coffee/tea on arrival)
www.conductus.ac.uk

▪ Rebellion in Medieval Music
Voices and Instruments workshop led by Belinda Sykes and members of Joglaresa.
Medieval music has been enjoying a resurgence of interest over the last few decades partly because it can be so creative. Belinda will lead sessions that transform the most minimal of manuscript material into a performance practice accessible to audiences today.
Saturday 23 May 10.00am - 3.00pm
Beverley Guildhall, Register Square, Beverley HU17 9XX
Tickets: £15.00 (students and observers £10.00)
Please book by 15 May. Music is available from: www.ncem.co.uk/joglaresa

▪ A Tudor Workshop
A Workshop for Singers led by Patrick Craig - a member of the acclaimed ensemble The Tallis Scholars. Singers are invited to join Patrick Craig in an exploration of the glorious repertory of the Tudors alongside some thoughtful compositions from the present day. The workshop is open to all voices; a reasonable level of sight singing will be advantageous.
The day will conclude with an informal performance at 4.00pm open to all, free of charge.
Sunday 24 May 10.30am - 4.30pm
The Hexagon Music Centre, Coltman Avenue, Beverley HU17 9LP
Tickets: £15.00 (students and observers £10.00)
Please book by 15 May. Music available from: www.ncem.co.uk/TTSworkshop
With thanks to the East Riding of Yorkshire Music Hub

For full programme details visit: www.ncem.co.uk/bemf

Ends
Press Contact: 
Shona Galletly, on behalf of National Centre for Early Music 
e: shona@shonagalletlypr.co.uk 
m: 07813 796 733
Web:www.ncem.co.uk 

Editors Notes:
The 2015 Beverley & East Riding Early Music Festival is supported by the East Riding of Yorkshire Council; Arts Council England, Yorkshire; the Liz and Terry Bramall Foundation; the Hull & East Riding Charitable Trust; the Mayfield Valley Arts Trust, the University of York and the National Centre for Early Music. 

The Beverley Early Music Festival was initiated in 1988 at the request of Beverley Borough Council and has been supported by East Riding of Yorkshire Council since 1994.

The festival is designed to celebrate the best of early music set within some of Yorkshire's finest ecclesiastical venues - most notably Beverley Minster and St Mary's Church, Beverley.

The Festival has been directed from the outset by Delma Tomlin who was initially engaged by the local authority and subsequently by the York Early Music Foundation, the registered charity responsible for the National Centre for Early Music.  The Festival is supported by the East Riding of Yorkshire Council, Arts Council England and a variety of trust funds, corporate sponsors and individuals.