Renewing old friendships through the Consort of Twelve

The Consort of Twelve
The Consort of Twelve

The Consort of Twelve close this year’s season on September 18 in St John’s Chapel, Chichester with a concert called Masters of the German Baroque.

Spokeswoman Lynden Cranham said: “One of the elements that make playing with the Consort of Twelve so enjoyable for me is that colleagues I’ve known from ensembles such as the Monteverdi Orchestras, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and the Hanover Band, now often come to direct this locally-organised group.

“It makes for a lovely blend of friends for me. The Consort’s 2016 season has so far brought to Chichester internationally-acclaimed violinist Elizabeth (Libby) Wallfisch (former leader of OAE) and Julia Bishop (formerly Hanover Band, and a member of the renowned group Red Priest). Early last year, a chance meeting between Libby and me, in a crowded Northern Line train, resulted in her first appearance with the Consort for our opening concert of the 2016 season in May. The players were inspired by her direction of an exciting programme, called From Chaos to Order, in the beautiful and atmospheric Boxgrove Priory. Julia led the second concert, The Glories of the English Baroque, which took place in a packed Bosham Church in July and was part of the Festival of Chichester. Julia was an enormously-popular leader of the Consort from 1996 to 2000; we were delighted to see her again.

“We close this year’s season September on 18 in the perfect acoustic of St John’s Chapel, with a concert called Masters of the German Baroque. Here we welcome back Catherine (Cat) Mackintosh (another former leader of OAE), whose connections with the Consort date its formative years in the early 1980s.

“At a picnic with Cat at Glyndebourne about four years ago, I suggested to her that she might like to renew her connection with the orchestra. She enthusiastically agreed! This September’s concert will be her third with the Consort in as many years.

“In the first half of the programme, I’m particularly looking forward to the moment when Cat, Sophie Middleditch and I join to play the Telemann Concerto for violin, flute and cello; it promises to be a lot of fun. Cat’s enthusiasm is infectious and, as her recent Consort events have demonstrated, her experience and confidence enable her to direct both instrumental and choral items equally well.

“Looking forward to 2017, the Consort is very pleased to say that it has already engaged Catherine Martin (formerly Monteverdi Orchestra) and Cat for the spring and summer concerts respectively. The dates and venues will soon be confirmed.”

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