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From female tenors and basses to music by the first professional female composer, the 2015 London Festival of Baroque Music celebrates Women in Baroque Music, putting a rare spotlight on music written by, for, or inspired by women.
Particular highlights include music by the woman considered to be the first ever professional female composer, Elisabeth Jacquet de La Guerre, in her 350th anniversary year; rarely heard treasures by composers Barbara Strozzi and Francesca Caccini; distinguished French harpsichordist Béatrice Martin; and the all-
In the first year under the new name of London Festival of Baroque Music (formerly Lufthansa Festival of Baroque Music), nine concerts are packed into five days. Artists joining the celebration include Bach Collegium Japan on a rare visit to the UK, star soprano and Festival favourite Carolyn Sampson, and the unique talent that is the Argentine soprano María Cristina Kiehr.
Lindsay Kemp, Artistic Director of the London Festival of Baroque Music, says:
‘With a new name and a new look for 2015, what better time for us to take a fresh angle and explore the contribution made both in Baroque and modern times by women, whether as composers, performers or inspirational figures. It’s a big subject, and the only programming difficulty has been to keep the Festival down to five days!’
Opening this year’s Festival is the Bach Collegium Japan under founder-
The compelling voice of María Cristina Kiehr begins Saturday’s events with a performance accompanied by Concerto Soave, directed by Jean-
To Voltaire she was an ‘adorable nightingale’. French opera star Marie Fel, who captivated Paris audiences for more than three decades, is celebrated in an evening featuring modern-
In her 350th anniversary year, Elisabeth Jacquet de La Guerre’s elegant chamber music is performed by French harpsichordist, Béatrice Martin. One of the few women composers of her time, Jacquet de La Guerre gained much acclaim throughout her career, which was launched after a performance for Louis XIV whilst still a teenager. Béatrice Martin shares this concert with the London-
Headlining Sunday evening is a virtual visit to Venice’s Ospedale della Pietà for an exploration of the music Vivaldi composed for the female performers of the orphanage which employed him for much of his career. The concert, which includes Vivaldi’s well-
Monday evening brings an encounter with Baroque music’s best-
The annual concert in Westminster Abbey brings the Festival to a close with one of the most iconic masterworks of the Baroque era: Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610, with its profound honouring of the Virgin Mary. The Choir of Westminster Abbey is joined by the instrumentalists of St James’s Baroque under conductor James O’Donnell.
Other highlights include a new focus on young artists. The newly established ‘Late o’Clock Baroque’ slot offers a late-
In addition to these concerts, the Festival also features ‘From Salon to Stage’, a talk on women in Baroque music by Dr Berta Joncus of Goldsmiths, University of London; a Gallery Tour at the Wallace Collection; and two public ‘Sing Baroque’ events directed by Robert Howarth of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, exploring the Vivaldi Gloria.
London Festival of Baroque Music 2015
St John’s Smith Square