AAM latest news
For features on the AAM and our music, visit the AAM blog (click here)
Wednesday 12 October 2016
Purcell - The Fairy Queen
A magical start to the AAM 2016-17 season
Tuesday 11 October 2016
Stolen Instruments appeal - can you help?
Can you help with our appeal to recover some stolen property?
Friday 30 September 2016
New release on AAM Records
Our new recording of music by Venetian composer Dario Castello is released today!
Wednesday 17 August 2016
Gramophone 2016-17 Season Preview
We are delighted to be featured as one of Gramophone’s must-see ensembles in their 2016-17 Season Preview.
Wednesday 01 June 2016
The Bach Family
Johann Sebastian Bach had 20 children in his lifetime, four of whom became composers. These lesser-known sons of Bach, some of whom were once more popular than their father, feature in at London’s Barbican Hall on Saturday 18th June. Find out more about this exceptional musical family on the next page.
Book online for The Bach Family here.
Monday 16 May 2016
2016-17 season brochures!
We're delighted to announce the publication of our 2016-17 London and Cambridge season brochures.
Click the links below to download full programme and booking details for all of the AAM's 2016-17 concerts at London's Barbican Hall, Milton Court Concert Hall and Cambridge's West Road Concert Hall.
2016-17 London season brochure
2016-17 Cambridge season brochure
Thursday 14 April 2016
BBC Proms 2016 - Handel Coronation Anthems
We are looking forward to our appearance at the BBC Proms later this year, in which we are joined by the Choir of the AAM for Handel’s Coronation Anthems at the Royal Albert Hall. Directed by Richard Egarr, the programme also includes JS Bach’s “Air on a G string” and Purcell’s “Dido’s Lament”, presented in an arrangement by acclaimed British conductor Leopold Stokowski.
The Academy of Ancient Music is no stranger to the pomp and ceremony of the Coronation Anthems, and you can watch a video of us performing “Zadok the Priest” at Birmingham Symphony Hall on our YouTube channel.
Tickets are now available to purchase from the BBC.
Wednesday 03 February 2016
March Music Days Festival
The Academy of Ancient Music, directed by Pavlo Beznosiuk, travels to Ruse, Bulgaria, to perform at the city’s March Music Days International Festival on 12 March 2016. Lying along the River Danube, this beautiful city will play host to 680 musicians from 14 countries, including the Signum Saxophone Quartet, Ruse State Opera and the Romanian National Symphony Orchestra.
Wednesday 03 February 2016
2016-17 Season announced
The Academy of Ancient Music announces its 2016-17 season at the Barbican Centre, a season that marks Richard Egarr's 10th anniversary as Music Director.
Read on for our season highlights and concert listings.
Wednesday 03 February 2016
Next AAM Records release recorded
Following a string of critically-acclaimed recordings, Music Director Richard Egarr and a small team of AAM players travelled to Cambridge in late January to record our next release for AAM Records: Sonata Concertate in Stil Moderno Libro Primo by Dario Castello, a Venetian composer who played an important role in the development of both the sonata and concerto.
The story of Dario Castello, contrary to the impact of his music, is an elusive one. The name Castello was, and remains to this day, a common one in Venice, named after one of Venice’s six boroughs, or sestieri. There even seems to have been a family of musicians who served the Doge during the first half of the seventeenth century. However, references to Castello the composer appear only in the title-pages of his Sonata Concertate in Stil Moderno, published in Venice as two volumes in 1621 and 1629. The latter of these stated that he was a wind player at St. Mark’s Basilica, Venice, performing under the direction of none other than Claudio Monteverdi himself.
Though we know little of Castello the man, we know that Castello the composer was ahead of his time. His sonatas display a remarkable degree of instrumental virtuosity and soloistic licence, with competition in abundance between violin, trombone and dulcian (an early bassoon) across extended passages. Furthermore, the scores themselves demonstrate some of the first published examples of bar lines and tempo indications within instrumental music.
As an innovator of both music and its presentation, it is only in recent years that Castello has been recognised as a key figure in the development of instrumental music.
We look forward to sharing this important recording with you in later this year.
Friday 08 January 2016
The matchless man
On Friday 15 January 2016, the AAM will perform “The matchless man”, a programme of English music that will take place in Poland’s recently renovated NOSPR Concert Hall. Directed by Pavlo Beznosiuk, leader of the AAM, the concert will begin with Henry Purcell’s iconic ‘Rondeau’ from Abdelazar, before charting the post-Purcellian world of English music in the 17th and 18th centuries. The death of Purcell at just 36 years of age had a monumental impact as to what English music would now be, and who would be its next proponents.
It is ironic that a concert of English music is made up almost entirely of foreign composers. Handel and Galliard hailed from Germany, whilst Geminiani and Roman came from Italy and Sweden respectively. However, these composers spent substantial parts of their lives in England, and it was to English music that they devoted their efforts. Galliard, for example, was the choir-master of Somserset House, one of the royal residencies, and helped to found the very first Academy of Ancient Musick. In fact, the Grove Dictionary of Music describes Handel as an ‘English composer of German birth’; his works are considered English in spite of his nationality, a conclusion that can also be applied to Galliard, Geminiani and Roman.
“From the time of my first appearance in London, to the hour, I have enjoy’d the Happiness of your Countenance and Favour.” – Francesco Geminiani, dedicating a set of works to the very first Academy of Ancient Musick.
“The matchless man” takes place on Friday 15 January 2016 in NOSPR Concert Hall, Katowice, Poland.
Portrait: Andrea Soldi (1703-71), Portrait of Francesco Geminiani.
Tuesday 05 January 2016
Alina Ibragimova receives MBE in 2016 New Year Honours List
We are delighted to hear that violinist Alina Ibragimova has been awarded an MBE for her services to music in the 2016 New Years Honours List.
"I am delighted and privileged to accept this honour, as someone for whom the United Kingdom has become a musical and inspirational home. My career in music couldn’t have happened without the support and generosity of the musical culture of this country. I am thrilled to receive this MBE."
Alina regularly collaborates with the AAM, most recently in a performance of Mendelssohn'sViolin Concerto in E minor in 2015 under the direction of Edward Gardner.
Thursday 16 July 2015
Sound unbound: the Barbican classical weekender
This October we're delighted to be joining the other Associate Ensembles and Orchestras (along with a host of visiting artists) for the Barbican Centre's first classical weekender, Sound unbound.
Aimed at introducing a whole new audience to the joy of classical music, Sound unbound casts classical music in a new light, releasing it from the confines of the concert hall. Over this weekend-long festival you can tap into short sessions in the Barbican Conservatory, foyers and halls, engage in debates about the genre, taking your pint with you and live tweeting along the way.
By day's end any remaining boundaries will come crashing down at the classical overnighter when classical and non-classical DJ sets will rub shoulders until the early morning.
Sound unbound: the Barbican classical weekender
Saturday 31 October – 1 November 2015
Tuesday 23 June 2015
AAM's 2015-16 season brochures are here!
We're delighted to announce the publication of our 2015-16 London and Cambridge season brochures.
Click the links below to download full programme and booking details for all of AAM's 2015-16 concerts at the Barbican, Milton Court and West Road.
2015-16 London season brochure
2015-16 Cambridge season brochure
Tuesday 19 May 2015
Trevor Jones remembered
Today we remember Trevor Jones, violist and long-time AAM principal. Trevor passed away peacefully last week.
Current AAM principal viola, Jane Rogers writes:
"I first met Trevor Jones during some recording sessions with the English Concert and he was, right from the start, one of the most encouraging and welcoming colleagues with whom I've ever been lucky enough to work. Trevor adopted this attitude with everyone and it made him an invaluable asset in every group with which he played.
His knowledge about music and style was admirable. Most people knew him as a violist but he was so much more than this having been one of the pioneers of the early music movement in Great Britain alongside David Munrow, Christopher Hogwood and Trevor Pinnock playing the rebec, vielle and viol. Trevor remained a close colleague of Chris and AAM throughout a career which spanned 40 years.
His fun-loving attitude – combined with a more serious, scholarly side – made him the popular and successful musician that he was. He cared a great deal about the early music movement and was always encouraging to young musicians and instrument makers. Although not a keyboard player himself, he was the first person to commission a chamber organ from Goetze and Gwynn, essentially putting them firmly on the map as reputable organ builders.
It was Trevor's sense of humour and zany resourcefulness for which I will have the fondest memories. On one occasion he turned up to a concert having forgotten his regulation black concert shoes. Quick as a flash he removed his black socks and put them on over his brown brogues, and hey – presto! Black concert shoes! Something which kept the viola section amused throughout the whole performance.
He was a much loved and respected colleague who will be missed by many."
Thursday 23 April 2015
AAM returns to BBC Proms 2015
We're delighted to announce that AAM will be returning to the BBC Proms this summer for a programme of the music of JS Bach on 21 August!
Under conductor David Hill, and alongside singers Sophie Bevan, Rebecca Evans, Iestyn Davies, Nicky Spence and Roderick Williams, the orchestra will perform Bach's beloved Magnificat in D major and Brandenburg concerto No.2 in F, as well as a lesser-known Lutheran Mass setting in G minor.
Wednesday 01 April 2015
JS Bach St Matthew Passion sells out Barbican Hall
We're delighted that our Good Friday performance of JS Bach's original 1727 version of the St Matthew Passion has now sold out London's Barbican Hall. Directed from the harpsichord by Richard Egarr, and featuring a cast led by internationally renowned Evangelist James Gilchrist, it's hardly a surprise!
Returns continue to trickle in, but you'll have to act fast to snap them up. If you can't be there in person on Friday, you can always have the next best thing – our new recording of the work on AAM Records.
Click here to check current ticket availability, and to read all about our new recording of the "Great Passion", watch the trailer and order your copy now, click here.
Tuesday 10 March 2015
#teAAM runs the Cambridge Half-Marathon
On 8 March 2015 a team of runners from AAM's permanent staff (#teAAM) ran the Cambridge Half-Marathon in memory of Christopher Hogwood and to raise funds for the AAM and The Brain Tumour Charity, the UK's largest dedicated brain tumour charity.
Fundraising via JustGiving, #teAAM received more than 55 donations, ranging from £5 to £500, and raised more than £3,000 in Christopher's memory. Thanks to all our donors, as well as to all who helped us publicise the campaign – we couldn't have done it without you!
Friday 27 February 2015
JS Bach St Matthew Passion (1727)
We are thrilled to announce AAM Record's newest release, AAM004 JS Bach St Matthew Passion, recorded in its original 1727 version, and available worldwide from 31 March 2015.
Since 1727, JS Bach's "Great Passion" has gripped the hearts and uplifted the minds of audiences all over the globe. Nearly three centuries after its premiere, the work has lost none of its power to evoke feelings of compassion for all those who suffer. Its mix of urgent story-telling, meditative arias and mighty choruses sets St Matthew's account of Christ's betrayal, trial and execution eloquently and emotionally.
Over the past 40 years the AAM has made over 300 recordings of baroque and classical music, winning Brit and Gramophone Awards along the way, however – remarkably – this is our first recording of the St Matthew Passion. With a superlative cast including James Gilchrist, Sarah Connolly, Thomas Hobbs, Elizabeth Watts, Christopher Maltman and Matthew Rose, and directed by Richard Egarr, this is a landmark project.
For more information, and to order your copy now, click here
Monday 02 February 2015
Robert Levin leads AAMplify working day at the RNCM, Manchester
On Sunday 1 February 2015 the AAM and scholar-pianist Robert Levin put on a Mozart & Beethoven working day at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester.
As part of the AAMplify education scheme, and in partnership with the RNCM, the day featured an engaging lecture exploring improvisation in the music of Mozart, master-classes and individual sessions with Robert Levin, AAM leader Pavlo Beznosiuk and AAM co-principal cello Sarah McMahon. More than 30 students took part over the course of the day, which was capped by a performance of an unpublished completion of three Mozart fragments by Robert Levin.
This was the first of AAM’s 2015 AAMplify offerings; future events include woodwind and brass master-classes at the RNCM and the Guildhall School of Music & Drama respectively, as well as AAM’s annual workshop with the Collegium Musicum at the University of Cambridge.
Visit aam.co.uk/aamplify to find out more.
Tuesday 20 January 2015
2015-16 Season announced
Last night we announced details of our 2015-16 London programme, our third full season exclusively at the Barbican Centre.
Featuring the conclusion of our Monteverdi opera cycle, a festive performance of JS Bach's Christmas Oratorio in full, and an impressive roster of visiting artists, directors and conductors it promises to be an exciting, dynamic season!