Stile Antico first came to my attention when they won the audience prize at the York Early Music Festival Young Artists Competition back in 2005 - they're now recognised as one of the world's finest vocal groups, with many critically acclaimed recordings under their collective belts. There's an opportunity to hear them at Malvern Concert Club on Thursday 24 November, in a programme celebrating Shakespeare's 400th anniversary. In my opinion, a concert not to be missed!
Reviews of a similar programme they performed at this year's BBC Proms said "Stile Antico brings a fresh, intelligent and collaborative approach to vocal polyphony...The beauty of the tone was exceptional,...stunning vocal selections" (Classical Source) and "Robert Ramsey’s ‘Sleep, fleshly birth’...was stunning. Ramsey, director of music at Trinity College Cambridge, is probably a name less familiar to us than that of Morley, Byrd, Tomkins et al: his dramatic madrigal in six movement, Dialogues of Sorrow upon the Death of the Late Prince Henry, is only partially extant, but ‘Sleep, fleshly birth’ is almost certainly a tribute to the Prince. Stile Antico milked the chromatic piquancy for all it was worth, without the slightest hint of mannerism, and this performance has sent me scurrying to find recordings of Ramsey." (Opera Today)
To mark the performance by the 12 Ensemble in Birmingham University's Bramall Hall on 16 November, Christopher Morley has interviewed Alessandro Ruisi, Max Ruisi and Roberto Ruisi for the Birmingham Post about their Birmingham roots: "The remarkable thing is that there is no previous history of musical talent in the Ruisi family, yet the brothers have already achieved so much. Max has a busy career both in chamber music (in which he also coaches student ensembles) and orchestral music, performing with a range of major professional orchestras; Alessandro has developed an enviable reputation in both chamber and orchestral music, and is co-leader of the European Chamber Orchestra as well as Ensemble 12, and Roberto’s lift-off has been truly dazzling, from being appointed the youngest concertmaster in the history of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, through taking a year off his studies to play as a member of the hand-picked John Wilson Orchestra, to guest-leading as concertmaster of both the Orchestre National Bordeaux Aquitaine, and the RTÉ Concert Orchestra in Dublin."
The Ruisi Quartet play for Wye Valley Music on 27 November, and for Ludlow Music Society on 1 April.
"Festivals of this scope need a motivator who’ll go to the ends of the earth for the full works, and a team willing to follow him; in Kynoch and his staff the Oxford Lieder Festival has both. Mahler and Vienna is the theme for next year; already it seems ripe in inception."
David Nice reviews the finale of the Oxford Lieder Festival for The Arts Desk
This Saturday, 5 November Gloucester Music Society hosts the premiere of the Piano Trio by Adrian Williams, commissioned by the Piano Trio to mark its 21st anniversary and played alongside music by Moeran and Stanford by the Fidelio Trio. There's an article in the current issue of Classical Music about Williams' new work:
"Writing a piano trio had been a lifelong dream for Adrian Williams, so he didn’t hesitate when the chance arose. ‘For some reason, it became a very important thing to do – perhaps because I’m a pianist,’ he says. ‘I was delighted when an opportunity came up, especially since it was to write for the Fidelio Trio.’ Williams says that the work came naturally. ‘I didn’t really struggle with it, but once certain things are on the go, things start moving around; certain ideas you’d set aside for the end find themselves in the middle. Sometimes I had to go for a long walk and hope I’d have sorted it out by the time I get back!’ Part of the reason for the work’s untroubled genesis could be its single movement form. ‘I like working with that form. I put all the ideas in there and they all start doing things; and then before I know it, I’ve come to the end!’"
Tickets for Birmingham classical music promoters Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Ex Cathedra and Town Hall and Symphony Hall are now available to students via the Student Pulse app, the easy way to purchase student tickets for Birmingham’s best concerts, all in one place. Search for 'Pulse Brum' in the app store or text 'Brum' to 07860 063251 to get a link.
Blog written by Jill Davies, who runs the Severn Muses project as well as Chamber Music Plus.
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