Thursday 5 March 2020

Beyond the Spanish Golden Age: London Festival of Baroque Music 2020

London Festival of Baroque Music - 2020
With the title of Beyond the Spanish Golden Age, this year's London Festival of Baroque Music (LFBM) runs from 9 to 23 May 2020 with 21 concerts over 15 days at St John's Smith Square and elsewhere. The centrepiece of the festival is four days (14 to 17 May) devoted entirely to Spanish music.

A new initiative is the LFBM Academy, bringing together outstanding young professionals from across the globe under the directorship of Margaret Faultless. The ensemble's first concert features music by Bach, Handel and Telemann (13/5).

Spanish ensemble L’Apothéose and soprano Lucía Caihuela’s concert Madrid 1700 explores Spanish sacred and secular music including music from Madrid theatres (15/5), and still in Madrid, violinist Daniel Pinteño and his ensemble Concerto 1700 present music by composers working there (14/5). Madrid-based José Miguel Moreno explores two centuries of Spanish music in his concert The Spanish guitar from 1500 to 1700 (16/5).

At a late-night concert (15/5), Navarran soprano Raquel Andueza and her ensemble La Galanía perform music by 17th century Spanish composer José Marín. Spanish vocal and instrumental ensemble, La Grande Chapelle and director Albert Recasens will explore music by Juan Hidalgo, harpist of the Royal Chapel in Madrid and one of the key figures in the development of theatrical music in 17th century Spain. The concert by Capella de Ministrers of Valencia (17/5) will demonstrate the transition from Renaissance to Baroque in Spanish music from 1500 to 1650.

Other highlights include David Bates conducting La Nuova Musica in Handel's Ariodante in near complete form, omitting only the dances, with Polly Leech, Nardus Williams, Alexandra Oomens and Nicholas Tamagna (17/5), and William Christie directing Les Arts Florissants in duets by Handel and his contemporaries with soprano Katherine Watson and mezzo-soprano Eva Zaick. Other performers include the Brook Street Band, the choir of Westminster Abbey, Ensemble Correspondances, Improviso, Le banquet celeste, the Holst Singers, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and a come-and-sing Vivaldi Gloria directed by LFBM's artistic director (and director of St John's Smith Square) Richard Heason

The festival opens with a weekend devoted to Bach's 48, with harpsichordist Steven Devine performing both books of The Well-Tempered Clavier in four intimate one-hour concerts.

Full details from the LFBM website

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