Tuesday 3 February 2015

Celebrating women in baroque music

Elisabeth Jacquet de La Guerre
Elisabeth Jacquet de La Guerre
The London Festival of Baroque Music (formerly the Lufthansa Festival....) has the theme of Women in Baroque Music for this year's festival which runs from 15 to 19 May 2015 with concerts in St John's Smith Square, the Wallace Collection and Westminster Abbey. Works to performed include music by the first ever professional female composer, Elisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre (whose 350th anniversary is this year), as well as music by Barbara Strozzi and Francesca Caccini. There will also be chance to hear the all women choir, Schola Pietatis Antonio Vivaldi which aims to re-create the sound of the choir of Pieta in Vivaldi's day. This year's festival is in just five days but there are still nine concerts (including afternoon, lunchtime, early evening and late night slots), talks, a gallery tour and a Sing Baroque workshop.

Masaaki Suzuki and the Bach Collegium Japan make a rare visit to the UK with a programme of cantatas and concertos by JS Bach (15 May 2015). Soprano Carolyn Sampson, Ex Cathedra and Jeffrey Skidmore perform music inspired by the 18th century French soprano Marie Fel (16 May 2015). Soprano Maria Cristina Kiehr and Concerto Soave directed by Jean Marc Aymes feature music by 17th century women composers (16 May 2015). French harpsichordist Beatrice Martin with the Bach Players directed by Nicolette Moonen play music by Elisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre (17 May 2015). Kati Debretzeni directs the Schola Pietatis Antonio Vivaldi and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment in music which Vivaldi wrote for the Pieta, introducing us to the distinctive sound-world of the all women choir (and yes the choir does include female tenors & basses) (17 May 2015). The final concert is the choir of Westminster Abbey and St James's Baroque, directed by James O'Donnell in Monteverdi's Vespers of 1610 (19 May 2015).

Further information from the festival website.

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