BBC Music Magazine Opera Award

We’re absolutely thrilled to announce we’ve won the BBC Music Magazine 2023 Award in the Opera category for our “Dragon of Wantley” recording. This was our first major project post-Covid, and we recorded in the glorious late summer days of September 2021. The recording features soloists Mary Bevan, Catherine Carby, Mark Wilde and John Savournin, conductor John Andrews and an expanded Band of 18 players.

BBC Music Magazine tweets “The plot of The Dragon of Wantley is utterly potty, by the way, consisting of a beast who hares around Yorkshire munching everything, plus a hero who has to be dragged out of a pub to tackle it. Lampe, a colleague of Handel, was having a little fun at the great man’s expense…”

The disc is available on Resonus Classics and available from all the usual places. The project was funded by several generous donors including the Continuo Foundation, who we’ve been lucky enough to receive funding from three times now.

Ilkley Concert Club

What a treat, to finally get to perform for Ilkley Concert Club and wrap up their 21/22 season with a sparkling programme of solo and instrumental concertos. This was the Band’s long-delayed, Covid-postponed concert from 2020 and as group founder Tatty Theo mentioned, the Band had decided to give the Ilkley audience “all the notes”, fitting in as much joyous music as possible! Bach and Handel featured prominently with the 2nd Orchestral Suite and Brandenburg 4, and the Concerto Grosso op 3 no 3 and the Sonata a Cinque, alongside Geminiani’s whirlwind interpretation of the ‘Follia’ theme, and some rather lush Muffat, his Armonico Tributo no 5, with the luxury of two viola parts. How lovely to look out on a capacity audience, numbering around 500, such a large gathering not seen in recent years for obvious reasons.  We had some lovely feedback too: 

“Bach’s fourth Brandenburg concerto brought the concert to a rousing conclusion. Lisete da Silva Bull and Rachel Harris, joined by Emily Bannister, were the outstanding soloists in a thrilling performance and the players were treated to a rousing ovation by a delighted and well-satisfied audience.”

Thank you for having us Ilkley and we look forward to performing for you again! 

Binham Priory Concert, 7 August

We’re delighted that this concert is now confirmed as going ahead, with two performances, each lasting 1 hour. Binham is a magical place to perform, and we can’t wait to bring you a programme of Bach and Handel, music to sooth the soul in this difficult year.

Chamber music and masterclass weekend – 18-19 September 2021

We’re thrilled to be planning a live, ‘in-person’ weekend of chamber music and masterclasses for baroque flute, recorder and continuo for students (minimum standard grade 7+). We’ve chosen the beautiful setting of The Pines Calyx at St. Margaret’s Bay in Kent, an award-winning eco-building, set in stunning grounds just a short walk from the sea.

Our course runs from 9.30-5pm each day; on Saturday 18 September The Brook Street Band will also perform a short evening concert at 6pm, and the weekend course will conclude with a student performance at 4pm on the Sunday.

Do keep checking our website for further details, as we advertise the course. There’s a short film available here to tell you a little more about our plans.

Violin masterclass on Bach, Telemann and Pisendel

Don’t miss the chance to watch Rachel Harris working with 3 fabulous performers, on solo violin music by Telemann, Bach and Pisendel. Our players join us via Zoom from France and Germany today, and this is a wonderful opportunity to benefit from Rachel’s teaching, all from the comfort of your own home. Join the class for free today via this link.

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.