Masterclass films

You may have missed some of our masterclasses over the past months, covering a wide range of repertoire for flute and recorder by composers including Bach, Handel, Telemann and some of the superstars of the French Baroque world including Blavet, Hotteterre and Anne Danican Philidor. We’ve also explored repertoire for baroque violin by Bach and Biber. You can watch all our masterclasses at your leisure on our YouTube channel or click here to take you to the most recent class.

Continuo Foundation Funding

We are delighted to be amongst the successful applicants in the first round of funding from the Continuo Foundation. Our recording project, with conductor John Andrews in conjunction with Red Squirrel Opera Unearthed will provide work for 23 musicians in these uncertain times. Look out for the world premiere recording of an 18th-century masterpiece (by one of Handel’s contemporaries and ‘rivals’) on Resonus Classics by the end of this year. Dragons may feature…

Reaching new audiences all the time

UK, USA, Portugal, Russian Federation, Romania, Netherlands, Croatia, Belgium, Italy, Germany, Finland, Brazil, Slovenia, Peru, Austria, Poland, France, Czech Republic, Canada, Hong Kong, Serbia, Mexico…

We were delighted to reach audiences in these countries during our recent “Introduction to French Baroque” masterclass at the weekend. However frustrating it is to not be able to make music together at the moment, there’s no denying the fact that technology allows us to reach far more participants than a non-digital masterclass, spreading our love of baroque repertoire far and wide.

An introduction to French baroque music

Join Lisete da Silva Bull for our flute and recorder masterclass at 4pm GMT on Saturday 13 March, giving an overview and introduction to the vast and varied world of French baroque music. We’ll be exploring roughly one hundred years of music in France c.1650-1750, and hearing music by Anne Danican Philidor, Jacques Hotteterre and Michel Blavet.

Handel’s fame and legacy

Tatty doesn’t usually need much of an excuse to talk about Handel, so was delighted to be asked to write and present a short film for Cambridge Early Music about the great man. Tatty looks at aspects of Handel’s fame and continuing legacy up to the present day, starting with steps Handel took that contributed to his public standing and fame during his lifetime. 

Violin masterclass added to schedule – 6 March

Just a quick post to let you know that Rachel Harris will be giving a masterclass on solo repertoire for baroque violin, focussing on works by composers including JS Bach and Biber. We’ve got some fabulous performers lined up for you to hear. Do sign up to observe the class, which takes place on Zoom on  Saturday 6 March, 2.30-4.30pm GMT.


Handel’s 336th Birthday

Handel would have celebrated his 336th birthday on 23rd February 2021… and The Brook Street Band chose to help commemorate the day with a digital Birthday – Passacaille mash-up. Continuing lockdown in Germany and the UK meant we had to record tracks individually, which were later stitched together. This was a first for us, normally relying on eyesight, our collective ears and body language. Click tracks, computers and headphones are not normally part of our usual rehearsal equipment! Anyway, do take a look on our YouTube channel – a bit of birthday silliness!

Masterclasses in 2021

If you’d asked us at the start of 2020 whether we’d be delivering online masterclasses during the year, we might have looked at you with a puzzled expression. However 2020 and Covid-19 necessitated many changes and adaptations to usual working methods, and last Autumn we programmed the first of our online masterclasses.

What a joy these turned out to be! We had attendees from all over the world, and the online format allowed us a far greater reach, both for audience and performers. We were lucky enough to work with players from several European countries, as well as America.

We’ll be continuing these in 2021, with two more woodwind classes scheduled for 6 February and 13 March, and at least one violin class, date TBC. Keep checking our Brook Street Band at Home page for more information  and links.


#Roots Baroque Orchestra moves online

We were scheduled to perform for Cambridge Early Music on 18 November 2020, including an appearance from the young student group we’ve been working with, #Roots Baroque Orchestra. This all had to be postponed due to Lockdown 2, but we’re delighted to have been able to move activities online. Working digitally presents many challenges, but one of the huge advantages is that students from further afield can sign up, who might not have been able to travel to a rehearsal in person. We’ve expanded our group, so that whilst the majority of students are part of our project partner Cambridgeshire Music, we’ve also been able to welcome students from all over the South East. We’re working on Christmas repertoire, including (naturally!) the Pastorale from Corelli’s Christmas Concerto, ready for a digital performance around Christmas. We hope to continue into the Spring term, with a mix of digital and face-to-face sessions, leading to a live concert in March 2021.

Covid and lockdown

It’s been a terrible year for live music-making, with all but one of our concerts cancelled or postponed since March 2020. There was a brief return to ‘normality’ (whatever that is…) in September 2020, when we performed for Assembly House Classical in Norwich, albeit to a socially-distanced audience, wearing masks. We have our final concert of the year scheduled for 20th December, our annual and much-loved Christmas concert at The Chapel, Norwich. Here’s hoping that circumstances don’t conspire against us again…