Lots of seasonal treats as York Christmas music festival reveals its 2016 line-up

Festive favourites: Joglaresea
17 Oct 2016 @ 9.47 pm
| Entertainment

Eight days, ten concerts, and a whole heap of festive cheer… the York Early Music Christmas Festival has announced its 2016 line-up and it’s filled with seasonal treats for music lovers.

York Early Music Christmas Festival

National Centre For Early Music, Walmgate

December 8-15

Various prices

More details and book

Two former University of York students are part of this year’s festival programme. You can see keyboard player Nicolás Mendoza on the opening night performing with Spiritato! (Thurs 8 Dec, 7.00pm).

Guts and Glory: Heroic Music for Strings, Trumpets and Drums is their first UK tour and will feature virtuosic works by Biber and Schmelzer.

Winner of the NCEM Composers Award in 2012 Ben Rowarth went on to do an MA in vocal studies at the University of York. Ben returns as director of Renaissance (Tues 13 Dec, 7.30pm), to perform Music for Advent and dedications to the Virgin Mary intertwined with intimate, festive lullabies of Byrd alongside Poulenc’s secular Un Soir de Neige.

The group were described by Peter Phillips, director of The Tallis Scholars as: “One of the most exciting young a cappella groups to have set out their stall in recent years.” Ticket price includes mince pies.

Harpsichordist and conductor Trevor Pinnock
Harpsichordist and conductor Trevor Pinnock

Festival audiences will be delighted to know that harpsichordist and conductor Trevor Pinnock (Sun 11 Dec, 7.30pm) will be part of this year’s festival with his 70th birthday celebration tour – York is one of only five UK dates.

He will be joined by musical friends including the internationally renowned violinist, Rachel Podger. This has been an important year for Trevor as earlier in the summer he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of London: previous recipients have included Sir Elton John, the late Sir Charles Mackerras, Sir Simon Rattle and Quincy Jones.

Unmissable concerts

Red Priest
Red Priest

At the Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall, the Yorkshire Bach Choir and Yorkshire Baroque Soloists (Sat 10 Dec, 7.30pm), conducted by Peter Seymour present ‘Bach at Christmas’ featuring the unmissable trio of festive works, JS Bach’s Magnificat and the popular BWV 140 Wachet auf.

Festive favourites Joglaresea (Mon 12 Dec, 7.30pm) return with their twinkly Caroles of Nuns and Roses programme – five luscious female voices singing nowellls, wassails and Christmas lullabies.

Red Priest (Wed 14 Dec, 7.30pm) present baroque music with a modern twist with their Winter Baroque Carnival programme including Vivaldi, Bach and Handel as well as some unsung heroes.

Early Music supporters should also note the date for next year’s Early Music Day, which is Tues 21 March and will feature the European Union Baroque Orchestra. Tickets are now on sale for this event.

Most events take place at the National Centre for Early Music put please check when booking.

What’s on when

Date Act
Dec 8 @ 7pm Spiritato!
Fri 9 Dec @ 7.30pm Gothic Voices
Sat 10 Dec @ 10.30am-4pm @ 7pm Choral Workshop
Sat 10 Dec @ 1pm The Goldfinch Ensemble
Sat 10 Dec @ 7.30pm Yorkshire Bach Choir
Sun 11 Dec @ 7.30pm Trevor Pinnock & Friends
Mon 12 Dec @ 7.30pm Joglaresa
Tues 13 Dec @ 7.30pm Renaissance
Wed 14 Dec @ 7.30pm Red Priest
Thurs 15 Dec @ 7.30pm In Echo