Countdown to a glittering 40th Anniversary of the York Early Music Festival
With just two weeks to go, the York Early Music Festival 2017 is set to be one of the biggest and brightest events in its history to date, and opens with a high-profile event in York Minster on Friday 7th July, where visitors can mingle amidst the singers from leading British vocal ensemble, I Fagiolini.
Sponsored by Hiscox Insurance in this anniversary year, the Festival draws audiences from far and wide, to take part in an engaging programme that focuses on early music, and combines music, art, young talent and participatory events, across nine days, from 7 – 15 July.
Changing Times Changing Places is this year’s theme, a notion just as relevant today as it was 500 years ago during the great social and political shift of the Reformation. Key highlights include Monteverdi’s 1610 Vespers, by I Fagiolini in York Minster, a semi-staged production of the St Matthew Passion, the award-winning Vienna-based vocal ensemble Cinquecento, a ‘Bassoon Extravaganza’ performed by young York primary school pupils, and the sparkling Belgian B’Rock Orchestra, performing well-loved music from Haydn, Mozart and Boccherini.
The ‘Come and Sing’ performance of Tallis’ 40-part motet, Spem in alium, is an energetic participatory event open to everyone, and the International Young Artists Competition, in association with BBC Radio 3, will be judged over two of the days.
Delma Tomlin, MBE, York Early Music Festival Administrative Director, says: "This is an exceptional year of anniversaries, not only our own glittering 40th year, but two incredible giants of the early music world, Monteverdi (b.1567) and Telemann (d.1767). Both feature strongly in our programme, from the exciting Vespers promenade performance by the very established I Fagiolini in York Minster, to the youthful University of York Baroque Ensemble and their Telemann adventure.
“We are graced with the presence of some exceptional musicians, and their commitment and verve to entertain and open the eyes and ears of early music lovers continues to inspire both those who have been involved in the Festival for many years, and those who are new to our ever-expanding family. We are certain that one way or another, there’s every reason to think that the fifth decade of YEMF will be every bit as exciting as the first four!”