Friday 19 February 2016

40 years young - Spitalfields Music Summer Festival 2016

Spitalfields Music Summer Festival 2016
The Spitalfields Music Summer Festival runs from 2 to 26 June 2016, and this year is the 40th festival. As ever, early music is an important strand and the festival opens with a performance of Byrd's Great Service by the Odyssean Ensemble, Also in the festival, the choir of Clare College, Cambridge perform music themed around Tallis's forty part motet alongside the Striggio motet which inspired it, and a motet for 40 voices and cello by Giles Swayne which premiered at the festival 20 years ago. The Early Opera Company and Christian Curnyn will be performing Luigi Rossi's Oratorio and there is a whole sequence of concerts of music by Vivaldi, including Harry Bicket directing the English Concert in Vivaldi's La Senna Festigiante.

The venues of the festival are always redolent, and Spitalfields itself plays a role in a sequence of recitals on 5 June covering a variety of locations in the area with performers from the Royal Academy of Music performing a number of new works commissioned to celebrate the festival's 40th anniversary. Period band L'Avventura London will join with the traditional Scottish music group The Old Blind Dogs. Also bridging old and new, a re-imagining of Vivaldi's The Four Seasons by Anna Meredith, directed by Jonathan Morton, the evening features projections by visual artist Eleanor Meredith. The Marian Consort joins the Berkeley Ensemble for a programme of music by Lennox and Michael Berkeley, plus Judith Weir, Matthew Martin and Hilary Campbell.

Choral groups appearing include the BBC Symphony Chorus, Women Sing East, Ex Cathedra and the Sixteen.

Another anniversary is the 350th anniversary of the Great Fire of London, which is marked with a new cantata from Iain Bell, London's Fatal Fire, alongside music by Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen, Bo Holten and Sven-David Sandström, performed by the New London Chamber Choir conducted by Matthew Hamilton. Cheryl-Frances Hoad's Piano Quintet is premiered by the Schubert Ensemble, whilst the Langham Research Centre will use obsolete technology to make music at Barts Pathology Museum. And Club Inegales will be giving Purcell's King Arthur a radical make-over at Wilton's Music Hall. Christopher Stark will be conducting the Multi-Storey Orchestra in music by Caroline Shaw and Gavin Bryars.

Full details from the Spitalfields Music website.

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