University Baroque Ensemble

The University Baroque Ensemble appears in various guises from chamber to orchestral according to the repertoire to be performed. Smaller groups often play on early instruments; the larger ensemble is more often on modern instruments but exploring historically informed performance style. The ensemble is directed by Compagnia d’Istrumenti, one of the Department's Ensembles-in-Residence, who coach and perform with the Ensemble on a regular basis. There are associations with various visiting performers such as Crispian Steele-Perkins (trumpet), David Miller (theorbo), Anthony Robson, Kate Latham and Frances Norbury (oboes), Pamela Thorby (recorder) and Kate Aldrige (double bass).

In the 2010-2011 season, repertoire included Mozart’s Requiem and Haydn’s Trauer Symphony, and Bach’s St Matthew Passion (with visiting artists James Gilchrist and Peter Harvey). In May, the Baroque Ensemble gave a grand finale to the department’s annual ‘Baroque Day’, with a concert of music by Bach and Telemann, and in July they gave a sell-out performance of Handel’s Water Music at the prestigious York Early Music Festival. Other highlights included a number of socials organised by B.E.S.T. (Baroque Ensemble Social Team), and a Baroque dance workshop (during which everyone enjoyed learning a great deal, while also looking a little bit silly!).

Projects for last year included Baroque Ensemble’s debut performance in the York Early Music Christmas Festival, and a performance of Handel’s epic and colourful Israel in Egypt. 2013 also saw an exciting and continuing partnership between the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and the University of York Baroque Ensemble, which included workshops and concerts in which students played alongside the OAE. In July 2013, as part of York Early Music Festival, the Ensemble joined forces with Chamber Choir to perform Handel's music celebrating the signing of the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713 and also performed Biber's Battalia. In March 2013, apart from performing the Biber again, the Ensemble appeared with Chamber Choir in a live broadcast for BBC Radio 3 of Justin Bieber's 'Beauty and the Beat' which has had over 400,000 hits on YouTube.

Baroque Ensemble Concerts

  • 8 March 2017
    Purcell – King Arthur
  • 6 May 2017
    Programme to include:
    Telemann: Hamburger Ebb und Fluth (Wassermusik) TWV 55:C3  
    Biber: Battalia à 10 C.61