undefinedRose Consort Bio Photo

The Rose Consort of Viols takes its name from a famous family of sixteenth-century viol makers, whose instruments coincided with the growth of English consort music. With its unique blend of intimacy, intricacy, passion and flamboyance, this music ranges from Taverner and Byrd, to Lawes, Locke and Purcell, and forms the nucleus of the Rose Consort’s programmes. For nearly four decades the Rose Consort has been delighting audiences across the UK, Europe and further afield. It has performed in London’s Wigmore and South Bank halls, is heard regularly on the BBC, including a Prom concert from Cadogan Hall, and makes frequent appearances at the London International Exhibition of Early Music and York Early Music Festival. It has performed at Festivals in Canada (Festival Vancouver) and the USA (Boston, New York, Boulder, Portland and Seattle) and also featured as a guest ensemble at the Pan-Pacific Gamba Gathering in Hawaii. It has also performed with the choirs of Manchester Cathedral and Oslo Cathedral, as well as at festivals in Bratislava, Nuremberg, Cologne and in Austria. The consort’s 21 recordings on Naxos, Deux-Elles and Delphian use three different sets of instruments to cover repertory from the late fifteenth-century origins of consort music to the music of Henry Purcell. The consort has received awards for research and performance of specially devised programmes, and has also commissioned and performed new pieces for voices and viols by Judith Bingham, John Woolrich, Ivan Moody and Juta Pranulyte. For a number of years the Consort appeared at Dartington International Summer School, giving concerts and coaching ensembles, activities it now continues here at Benslow Music in Hitchin.

‘Pathettical Stories, and Sublime Discourses’

This description of viol consort music in seventeenth century England by musician and writer Thomas Mace hints at the range and depth of fantasias by compsers such as John Jenkins, William Lawes, Thomas Tomkins, John Ward, Thomas Lupo and their contemporaries, including John Wilbye who was born 450 years ago in 1574. They also wrote dances and what Mace calls ‘Sweet Delightful Ayres ... Captivating all our Faculties’.


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