Baroque Masters at Barber Institute, Birmingham

In an age of instant information and communication it is all too easy to imagine that the musical centres of Europe in the 17th and 18th Centuries were isolated pockets of creativity.

The English Concert
Harry Bicket director/harpsichord
Alfonso Leal del Ojo viola

Purcell Suite from King Arthur
Corelli Concerto Grosso Op. 6, No. 10
Telemann Viola Concerto in G TWV 51:G9
Vivaldi Concerto for strings in G minor RV 157
Handel Concerto Grosso in G minor Op. 6, No. 6
Bach Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D BWV 1068

In an age of instant information and communication it is all too easy to imagine that the musical centres of Europe in the 17th and 18th Centuries were isolated pockets of creativity. Yet entirely the opposite was true. Purcell knew very well that his quintessentially English style incorporated significant aspects from French music, where the now restored Charles II had been in exile. Bach and Telemann, meanwhile, sought to infuse aspects of Italian and French styles together with a German attention to harmony and counterpoint. Elsewhere, the music of Corelli and Vivaldi was lapped up by the bustling printing houses of Amsterdam while the amateur musicians of England happily devoured pirate copies to keep up to date. Whilst adopted by the English and turning his attention to the new form of English-language oratorio, Handel’s music similarly betrays his upbringing in Germany and early success in Italy. But from this fusion of ideas and styles comes the greatest music Europe had ever heard. The spark to create something new sets these musical giants apart as Baroque Masters.

Alfonso Leal del Ojo (viola)
Soloists & Players
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About

Harry Bicket is internationally renowned as an opera and concert conductor of distinction, appointed Artistic Director of The English Concert in 2007

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Our Musicians

Alfonso Leal del Ojo grew up and received his initial training in Seville. In 1998 he moved to London where he studied at the Guildhall School of Music and the Royal Academy of Music where he specialized in period instrument performance.He has been principal viola of The English Concert since 2006 and tours extensively with them throughout Europe, East Asia and North America. In addition to his work...

PRINCIPAL VIOLA
Season Highlights
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Sam Wanamaker Playhouse

In anticipation of Morgan Lloyd Malcolm’s latest play Emilia, being performed at Shakespeare’s Globe this summer, we delve into the world of Emilia Bassano, the supposed ‘Dark Lady’ of the Sonnets and muse to one William Shakespeare. The candlelit Sam Wanamaker Playhouse sets the scene for one of England’s first feminist writers, pairing her poetry with the music of her contemporaries, friends...

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Queen Elizabeth Hall, London

Now on our 45th anniversary, it is the turn of newly appointed guest director and keyboard virtuoso Kristian Bezuidenhout who headlines our return to the South Bank Centre, this time in the newly refurbished Queen Elizabeth Hall.The English ConcertKristian Bezuidenhout director/fortepianoCPE Bach Sinfonia for Strings in C Wq.182/3JC Bach Symphony in G minor Op.6, No.6CPE Bach Concerto in D minor Wq.23-Mozart...

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Peacock Theatre

In commemoration of the armistice, Wayne Eagling’s latest ballet (set to Handel’s masterpiece) is based on the life of Dame Marie Rambert during the Great War. A hugely influential figure on the British and international ballet scene, we follow her whirlwind romance with Ashley Dukes and her anguish at their separation as he is called back to the horrors of the battlefield.The English ConcertNew...

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Barbican, London

Uniting some of Handel’s greatest music with all-star casts, directed by Artistic Director Harry Bicket and with our virtuosic orchestra in full flight, it is an unmissable event. With Ariodante and Rinaldo in most recent seasons, now comes the turn of Semele; a tale of adultery and revenge amongst Gods.The English ConcertHarry Bicket director/harpsichordBrenda Rae SemeleElizabeth...

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