love: Handel 2019

The Brook Street Band’s love:Handel took place in Norwich between 4-6 October 2019.

“Thank you for enriching the musical life of Norwich. Great to be able to listen to you in the Chapel in particular. Hope the ‘Baroque Festival’ will remain a regular event” Liz Jolly – audience member

“If the family concert today is half as good as the one last night, it will be very good. You engage the audience not only in your introductions but in looking at us, and the way you look at each other and smile as though thoroughly enjoying yourselves” Virginia Greasley – audience member

“Lovely!” Jonathan Hooton – audience member

“Went to both concerts today. Singing workshop very inspiring and absolutely loved the evening concert – specially the cello sonata and violin sonata” Nina Weaver – audience member


love:Handel featured 10 events, all centred around the theme of Stories. The festival commenced with Dame Emma Kirkby’s vocal masterclass, where 6 young singers had the chance to work on repertoire from Handel to Purcell, accompanied by The Brook Street Band. Aside from love:Handel’s 5 chamber concerts, 1 orchestral programme and 1 vocal programe, the festival also featured instrument expert Ben Hebbert give an enthralling talk about instruments in Handel’s London, complete with examples for the audience to handle. Handel scholar Dr. David Vickers gave a magnificent talk about Handel’s musical responses to his various patrons. Thanks to additional funding and dedicated hard work on the part of The Brook Street Band, love:Handel 2019 was able to reach more young people through its education programme in Norfolk schools, expand its audience base in Norfolk and Norwich, and bring the #Roots baroque orchestra to Norwich to perform in the festival.

We look forward to exciting new developments for love:Handel 2021.

love:Handel 2019
Who doesn’t love a good story? Stories can distract, enlighten, entertain, baffle, and stimulate your senses. Stories transport you to another place, a welcome and necessary diversion from everyday life. Stories weave their way through love: Handel 2019, as The Brook Street Band guides you on a musical journey through Handel’s world

Acquaint yourself with Handel and his music, from his cradle in Halle, to his grave in Westminster Abbey. Meet young Handel, exploring early musical ideas in Halle, taking his influences from esteemed German musicians a generation older than him.Follow Handel on his travels to Italy, a young man in his twenties, eager to experience all that Rome, Florence, Naples and Venice had to offer, incorporating Italian fire and flair into his music. Hear the Stories not just behind the composers, but about the music itself, about the instruments it was performed on, and the players who played them.

London forms the backdrop to some of our stories about Handel, the city he first visited in 1710, making it his permanent home from 1714 to his death in 1759. We also focus on music-making in East Anglia, highlighting some of Handel’s English contemporaries, and exploring how Handel’s music fitted in.

love: Handel 2019 brings in Stories of Handel’s friends and rivals too conjuring up the musical world of Bach’s Leipzig, a life that could never have suited headstrong Handel, unwilling to be tied to the constraints of church and state.

We end love: Handel 2019 with one of the greatest Stories, that of Acis and Galatea, bringing a cast of vocal stars to Norwich to perform Handel’s great masterpiece. 

The Stories we weave through the music bring to life a complicated man, publically adored but highly private, scrupulously fair to working musicians but not above a bit of professional rivalry, financially astute and rich beyond most musicians’ dreams, an entrepreneur, an innovator, a loyal friend and generous benefactor. He remains above all one of our greatest composers, and we hope that the Stories we bring you in love: Handel 2019 will help you fall in love with Handel too.