AAM latest news
For features on the AAM and our music, visit the AAM blog (click here)
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 our 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!
Friday 07 November 2014
Orchestral Suites sell out Carnegie Hall
On Friday, 7 November 2014 AAM's performance of JS Bach's Orchestral Suites sold out Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York.
The performance was broadcast live on National Public Radio in America and it streamed live online via WQXR New York (who are currently offering it on demand as well).
Click here to listen to an archived recording of the broadcast
Music Director Richard Egarr and AAM rehearsing on-stage at Zankel Hall.
Tuesday 04 November 2014
AAM tours Canada and the United States
On Tuesday, 4 November 2014 the AAM began an eight-concert tour of Canada and the United States with a sold-out performance at the Palais Montcalm in Québec.
Promoting its newest release on AAM Records — AAM003
JS Bach’s Orchestral Suites — the orchestra will travel further to Montréal, New York (Carnegie Hall), Washington DC, Cincinnati, Los Angeles (Walt Disney Concert Hall), Sacramento and Berkeley.
Full details of the tour, including booking information, are available via the link below; if you can’t join us in person you can listen to the orchestra’s Carnegie Hall performance live online at www.wqxr.org on Saturday, 8 November from
12.30am GMT (an archived version will be available to stream at a later date).
Click here for full touring details
Click here for the WQXR Carnegie Hall live stream
Click here to purchase AAM003 JS Bach Orchestral Suites
Music Director Richard Egarr greets fans and signs autographs in Québec, 4 November 2014.
Thursday 30 October 2014
Ed Hossack named AAM Chief Executive
We are delighted to announce that Ed Hossack has been named the Academy of Ancient Music’s new Chief Executive. Ed has been Acting CEO since July.
Ed has worked with a variety of ensembles in the UK and Australia, including the London Philharmonic Orchestra and The King’s Consort. He moved to Australia in 2003 to work for the Australian Chamber Orchestra, and subsequently joined the executive of Opera Australia as General Manager of its orchestra. Since returning to the UK in 2011, his most recent role was Acting Chief Executive of the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, working subsequently as a consultant with a number of chamber ensembles. He is a Trustee of the Rodolfus Choir.
Ed brings a wealth of experience to the role, as well as a great enthusiasm for the AAM's repertoire and its approach to music-making and outreach.
On his appointment Ed said:
"I have thoroughly enjoyed the last few months as Acting CEO and relish the opportunity to take up the reins on a permanent basis, and to steer the AAM into its next chapter.
"Music Director Richard Egarr and the players are on terrific form and I look forward to developing our association at the Barbican and our residency in Cambridge, as well as our national and international touring programme.
"The orchestra is about to depart on a tour of Canada and the USA performing JS Bach’s Orchestral Suites which coincides with a release of a recording of the Orchestral Suites on AAM Records. The tour also includes educational projects and master-classes, reaffirming our commitment to developing young musical talent in the UK and further afield."
Monday 27 October 2014
New release on AAM Records Classic FM's "Album of the Week"
The newest recording on AAM Records — JS Bach's Orchestral Suites — has been named Classic FM's "Album of the Week".
In his review, John Suchet described the 2CD release as "sharp, sparkling and unencumbered" before writing, "With the ensemble still mourning the death of Christopher Hogwood, there could be no better tribute to their founder than this excellent new recording under the baton of his successor, Richard Egarr."
JS Bach's Orchestral suites will be available worldwide on AAM Records from 4 November 2014.
Click here for full details, to listen to preview tracks, watch the album trailer and pre-order your copy now.
Click here to read the full review
Wednesday 24 September 2014
Christopher Hogwood CBE, conductor and founder of the Academy of Ancient Music, has died
The Academy of Ancient Music is deeply saddened to announce the death of Christopher Hogwood CBE, conductor, musicologist, keyboard player and founder of the Academy of Ancient Music.
Christopher Hogwood passed away on 24 September 2014 as the result of a brain tumour.
Christopher Hogwood studied keyboard at Cambridge University with Rafael Puyana and Mary Potts and later with Zuzana Růžičková and Gustav Leonhardt. He worked with most of the leading symphony orchestras and opera houses in the world. Once described as "the von Karajan of early music", he is universally acknowledged as one of the most influential exponents of the historically informed early-music movement. He was equally passionate about music of the 19th and 20th centuries: with a particular focus on the Early Romantics and the neo-classical school where he applied the same rigour and supreme musicianship to all his work, striving to discover and to recreate the composer’s intentions both in notation and performance.
Christopher Hogwood founded the Academy of Ancient Music in 1973, rapidly establishing a place at the forefront of the period-instrument movement. Over the following 30 years he directed the AAM on six continents and made over 200 CDs, including the first-ever complete cycle of Mozart symphonies on period instruments as well as many other first recordings of baroque and classical masterworks by a period orchestra. His iconic recordings include the 1980 recording of Handel’s Messiah with Emma Kirkby and Carolyn Watkinson which was named by BBC Music Magazine one of the top 20 recordings of all time and the BRIT award-winning recording of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons.
Other previous roles include being a founder member of the Early Music Consort and keyboard player and soloist with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, artistic director of the King’s Lynn Festival, artistic director of the Handel and Haydn Society in Boston, a tutor at Harvard University, Principal Guest Conductor of the Kammerorchester Basel, Honorary Professor of Music at the University of Cambridge and Andrew D.White Professor-at-Large at Cornell University in the USA.
Honorary President of the AAM, Christopher Purvis CBE commented: “Christopher had extraordinary generosity of spirit. He was a great ambassador for historically informed music, the movement of which he was a founder. And he was happy to see the orchestra he founded develop and grow after he stepped down as director.”
Music Director of the AAM, Richard Egarr said: “I am deeply saddened by the news of Christopher’s passing. Christopher provided a fantastic legacy for me to build upon when I joined as Music Director in 2006 and I know he will be greatly missed by all who knew and worked with him.”
Chairman of the AAM, Terence Sinclair said: “Christopher made music and made friends with equal, infectious enthusiasm. He changed our lives.”
Christopher Hogwood CBE
10 September 1941 – 24 September 2014
Thursday 18 September 2014
Introducing AAM003, JS Bach Orchestral Suites
We are thrilled to announce AAM Record's newest release, AAM003 JS Bach Orchestral Suites, available in the UK and digitally worldwide from 4 November 2014.
JS Bach's Orchestral Suites are a series of grand and graceful dances, paying homage to the French baroque style as championed by the ballet-obsessed King Louis XIV. Written during Bach’s years in Leipzig, where he had a wider range of instruments at his disposal than ever before, the Suites revel in new sonorous possibilities and employ varied combinations of wind, brass, stringed instruments and timpani.
This recording — performed with single strings and at a low, "French" pitch — offers a unique, chamber-like interpretation of Bach's virtuosic ouvertures.
For more information, and to pre-order your copy now, click here
Tuesday 02 September 2014
Hogwood featured in Classical Music
Emeritus Director Christopher Hogwood has been profiled by Keith Clarke in Classical Music's 1000th issue. Hogwood first appeared on the cover of the magazine in 1977.
Looking back on a life in historically-informed performance, he offers these words of wisdom:
"One of the battles over the years, especially in relation to seeking public funding, has been to fight for 'excellence' often in the face of a false opposition to 'access'. I have always believed fervently in both, with no sacrifice in excellence, and I would encourage any young musicians setting out on a career in music today never to compromise on their artistic standards."
Click here to read the full interview
Tuesday 26 August 2014
Richard Egarr profiled in Early Music Today
Ahead of AAM’s season-opening, semi-staged performance of Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea, Music Director Richard Egarr – “the musician’s musician” – talks to Catherine Groom of Early Music Today. You can read the magazine – which places the second instalment of AAM’s Monteverdi opera cycle top of their list of “5 events not to miss” this season – by following the link below. And don’t delay getting your ticket for the big night itself: 4 October 2014, 7.00pm at the Barbican, London.
Read the interview here
Book your tickets now
Tuesday 19 August 2014
Spotlight: Richard Egarr and Iestyn Davies
While we are disappointed our recording of JS Bach’s St John Passion has not progressed from this year’s short-list, it is with great pride that we announce “Arise, my muse” — a live recording of a recital given by AAM Music Director Richard Egarr and international counter-tenor Iestyn Davies at the Wigmore Hall — has been nominated for a 2014 Gramophone Award for best recital.
Don’t miss your opportunity to hear both of these consummate artists in the opening concert of AAM’s 2014-15 London season. On 4 October at the Barbican, Richard Egarr will direct the AAM from the harpsichord in a semi-staged performance of Monteverdi’s masterpiece L’incoronazione di Poppea. Singing the role of Ottone — Poppea’s jilted lover — Iestyn Davies leads an all-star cast including Sarah Connolly (Nerone), Lynne Dawson (Poppea) and Matthew Rose (Seneca).
Book your tickets for L'incoronazione di Poppea online
Read more about "Arise, my muse" here
Monday 04 August 2014
JS Bach's St John Passion short-listed for a 2014 Gramophone award
We're delighted to announce that our recording of JS Bach's St John Passion, released on AAM Records, has been short-listed for a 2014 Gramophone award.
In a review by Lindsay Kemp, Music Director Richard Egarr's "sympathetic", "compassionate" reading of the work is praised for its "aching kind of tragedy", one that contrasts with the "sharp, stabbing agony" evoked by other recordings.
Soloists Elizabeth Watts and Sarah Connolly are singled out amongst a roster of talented soloists for the "telling interpretive details" injected into their arias, while James Gilchrist's Evangelist is described as being "on the highest level of clarity and narrative intelligence."
Read full reviews of all the short-listed recordings here
Tuesday 29 July 2014
AAM performs Bach at the Three Choirs Festival
This afternoon we performed JS Bach's magisterial Mass in B minor to a sell-out crowd in Worcester Cathedral as part of the 2014 Three Choirs Festival.
Conducted by the Festival's Artistic Director Dr Peter Nardone, we were joined by the combined professional choirs of Worcester, Hereford and Gloucester cathedrals, as well as soloists Ruth Holton, Mhairi Lawson, William Towers, Andrew Tortise and Benjamin Bevan.
Roger Jones of Seen and Heard International called the AAM's playing "superb", reserving special praise for principal flute Rachel Brown, whose "ravishing" solo gave "an ethereal feel" to the "Domine deus" duet.
Read the full review in Seen and Heard International here
Monday 23 June 2014
40th Anniversary Dinner raises £61,000 for AAMplify
It's been an exciting 40th anniversary year for AAM and the gala organised to celebrate it certainly didn't disappoint either. The gala's aim was to fundraise for our AAMplify scheme which gives young musicians invaluable period performance experience playing alongside AAM's Orchestra. We also aimed to raise money towards the orchestra's artistic work.
Due to the generosity of the Marquess and Marchioness of Salisbury, the event was hosted at the truly magical Hatfield House. One of the evening's highlights featured a recital by Richard Egarr and the stunning Joyce DiDonato - a performance made all the more awe-inspiring due to its location in the Armoury! BBC Radio 3's Sean Rafferty hosted the event in style and David Starkey gave a brilliant keynote speech on the history of English music and the AAM.
The £61,000 raised will certainly help continue the AAM's educational and artistic work for many anniversaries to come. Thank you to all involved.
Wednesday 21 May 2014
AAM's 40th anniversary season Gala dinner and auction
On 14 June 2014 we will celebrate the end of AAM’s 40th anniversary season with a Gala dinner and auction hosted by the Marquess and Marchioness of Salisbury at Hatfield House.
The evening will feature a recital by operatic superstar Joyce DiDonato, accompanied by AAM’s acclaimed Music Director Richard Egarr; a banquet of dishes designed specially for the evening by celebrity chefs Rowley Leigh, Sally Clarke and Ruth Rogers; a key-note speech by distinguished historian David Starkey as well as live and silent auctions of more than 25 fabulous prizes. Presiding over the evening will be MC Sean Rafferty of BBC Radio 3’s In Tune.
This will be an evening truly not to be missed, and we are delighted to announce we’ve just received a new allocation of tickets to be sold on a first-come, first-served basis. To make an enquiry — or to reserve your ticket now — please contact Bethan Quartermaine in the AAM office on 01223 341093. Even if you can’t attend you can still help us celebrate AAM’s 40th anniversary by bidding on items at silent auction at www.aam40gala.co.uk. Bidding will close at midday on 14 June — don’t miss your chance to be a part of this memorable event!
Saturday 17 May 2014
AAMplify Orchestra Project 2014
The AAM is launching the AAMplify Orchestra: an educational project where students and emerging professionals will rehearse side-by-side with AAM musicians preparing for a performance on the Barbican Centre’s free stage as a special pre-concert event before the AAM’s final concert of its 40th anniversary season.
The project will involve 2 days of rehearsals on the weekend of 14-15 June in London, with the performance the following Saturday 21 June. For its inaugural concert, the AAMplify Orchestra will perform Mozart Symphony No.1 and Haydn Symphony No.1, directed from the cello by AAM principal cellist, Joseph Crouch. The programme will serve as an excellent introduction to the AAM’s concert, Three Last Symphonies: Mozart Symphony No.41, Haydn Symphony No.104 & Beethoven Symphony No.9.
Click here for further details
AAM musicians, Judith Evans, Joseph Crouch and Gail Hennessy play side-by-side with students from the University of Cambridge’s Collegium Musicum ensemble
Friday 16 May 2014
AAM records JS Bach's St Matthew Passion (1727 version)
Following a near sell-out performance of JS Bach’s St Matthew Passion (1727 version) at the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam on 10 April the AAM returned to St Jude’s Church, London to record the work as the third AAM Records release, due out in early 2015.
AAM Records’ most recent release, JS Bach’s St John Passion, has been remarkably successful, garnering a number of distinguished reviews, including the BBC Music Magazine’s discovery of “riches at almost every turn”.
All AAM Records releases, including our first recording, Birth of the symphony: Handel to Haydn, are available for purchase direct from the AAM website
Read reviews, listen to excerpts and order now
AAM recording session at St Jude’s, London
Wednesday 14 May 2014
AAM nominated for RPS music award
The AAM is honoured to have been shortlisted for a Royal Philharmonic Society Music Award for outstanding musical achievement by a UK ensemble in 2013.
The awards ceremony took place at the Dorchester Hotel in London on Tuesday 13 May. The finalists included some of the finest orchestras in the UK: BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, London Contemporary Orchestra and the winners — London Philharmonic Orchestra — rounded out some stiff competition!
We were exceptionally proud of our nomination which was the perfect end to a 40th anniversary year also featuring a summer residency at the National Gallery as part of the Vermeer and Music exhibition and our first season as Associate Ensemble at the Barbican.
Tuesday 08 April 2014
New AAM Recording — JS Bach's St John Passion
We are delighted to unveil our second recording on the newly launched AAM Records — JS Bach's St John Passion.
This work is an intensely personal experience, bringing to life the humanity of the passion story. Combining raw viscerality with moments of exquisite intimacy, it was written soon after Bach’s arrival as Kantor at Leipzig’s Thomasschule. Keen to impress a new congregation, Bach produced a setting of the age-old passion story which overshadowed almost every piece of liturgical music the world had previously known. Our recording aims to capture the authenticity and vivacity of the very first Good Friday performance at Leipzig’s Nikolaikirche.
Over the past 40 years the AAM has made over 300 recordings of baroque and classical music, winning Brit and Grammy Awards along the way. This is our first-ever recording of the St John Passion. With a superlative cast including James Gilchrist, Sarah Connolly, Andrew Kennedy, Elizabeth Watts, Christopher Purves and Matthew Rose, and directed by Richard Egarr, this is a landmark project.
The recording has been awarded four stars by both Gramophone Magazine and BBC Music Magazine.
You can order it directly via the AAM website for just £25 plus p&p.
Read reviews, listen to excerpts and order now
Wednesday 15 January 2014
AAM launches London season 2014-15
Today we announce details of our 2014-15 London programme, our second full season exclusively at the Barbican. Featuring a musical Grand Tour, the continuation of our Monteverdi opera cycle and a collection of stellar artists and directors it promises to be an exhilarating, memorable season.
Wednesday 18 December 2013
This week we bring our year to a close with sold-out performances of Handel's Messiah in London, Cambridge and Paris.
The Guardian described the Barbican performance as "close to ideal", whilst The Lark enthused:
"In a performance of wonderful musical intensity and great beauty, let us start at the end. After the Georgian triumphalism of Worthy is the Lamb, the Amen chorus opened with disarming simplicity and calm, no sense of haste or grandeur. It was as if we had not only reached the end of the work, but the end of all things; the story had been told and everything had been accomplished. It was a spiritually brilliant and utterly compelling conclusion to an evening of wonders."
Read the reviews
Saturday 09 November 2013
AAM recording is BBC Radio 3 "Disc of the week"
We are delighted to announce that our new recording is BBC Radio 3's "Disc of the week".
"Birth of the symphony: Handel to Haydn" surveys developments in the symphony during the 18th century, including works by the avant-garde Mannheim composers Stamitz and Richter, and Haydn's "La passione" symphony. Our performance of the Haydn has received particular critical acclaim, described by Gramophone as "one of the most powerful and disturbing performances on disc" and by International Record Review as a "masterly account". Classical Music awarded the recording five stars, and BBC Music Magazine have declared it a "striking success".
The recording was released this week; you can order it directly via the AAM website for just £10 plus p&p.
Read reviews, listen to excerpts and order now
Wednesday 16 October 2013
AAM appoints new Chief Executive
We are delighted to announce that Jonathan Manners will be the AAM's new Chief Executive.
Jonathan Manners is currently Head of Music Administration at English National Opera. In 2010 he co-founded Resonus Classics, the world’s first solely digital classical music record label.
Prior to ENO, Manners was Tour Manager for Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, Monteverdi Choir and English Baroque Soloists, working alongside Sir John Eliot Gardiner. He was also manager of the organisation’s record label, Soli Deo Gloria.
On his appointment Jonathan Manners said, "I am delighted to be taking over as the AAM’s next Chief Executive at such an exciting time in the organisation’s history. I look forward very much to leading the AAM in the chapter beyond its 40th anniversary, and in particular to developing further the new record label, AAM Records, the association at the Barbican and residency in Cambridge, and the orchestra’s international touring programme. The organisation benefits from an exceptional administrative team, and I am relishing the opportunity of working within such a strong organisation."
AAM Chairman Terence Sinclair commented, "Jonathan brings a wealth of experience having worked with orchestras, record labels and artists – all of which are key to this role. I have no doubt the AAM will continue to thrive under his leadership and very much look forward to working with him."
Manners will begin as AAM Chief Executive in January 2014. He succeeds Michael Garvey, who has been appointed Director, BBC National Orchestra of Wales.
Sunday 29 September 2013
Monteverdi L'Orfeo — podcasts now online
Last night we performed Monteverdi's first opera L'Orfeo at the Barbican, London.
You can explore the history of this remarkable piece as well as the ideas behind our staging in a series of podcasts, including artist interviews and a recording of the post-concert discussion.
Listen to the podcasts
Download the concert programme (Barbican website)
Taking a bow after our performance of Monteverdi's L'Orfeo
Friday 27 September 2013
Watch us rehearse Monteverdi
In our latest film we rehearse Monteverdi's L'Orfeo with tenor John Mark Ainsley in the title role.
We perform Monteverdi's masterpiece — widely acknowledged as the first great western opera — at the Barbican, London, on Saturday 28 September 2013.
Find out more and book tickets (Barbican website)
Thursday 19 September 2013
Celebrating our 40th anniversary
On 17–19 September 1973, Christopher Hogwood and a group of musicians gathered in London to make a recording. The Academy of Ancient Music was born — and 40 years, 300 recordings and 1000s of concerts later, we're still going strong.
To mark the occasion we've launched a new timeline, looking over some highlights from the past four decades. We've also gathered together comments from audiences, critics and musicians — and we'd love you to add your voice.
Indeed we owe a very sincere thank you to all of you — our audience. It takes three things to make music: composers, musicians, and audiences. Without you, the last four decades just couldn't have happened.
Browse our new timeline
Read a collection of perspectives on the AAM
AAM at Esterháza Palace, Hungary, 1989
Friday 06 September 2013
AAM to feature as part of new Vermeer film
This autumn the AAM will appear in cinemas worldwide, performing as part of a new film exploring the life and work of Vermeer. The film, which is presented by art historian Tim Marlow, features HD footage of Vermeer's paintings, and is the latest in the trailblazing 'Exhibition on screen' series. Over 1000 cinemas across 30 countries will screen 'Vermeer and Music', which opens on 10 October. The film is the culmination of the AAM's summer residency at the National Gallery, where we accompanied the 'Vermeer and Music' exhibition with performances within the exhibition space.
Find out more (Exhibition on screen website)
Friday 23 August 2013
AAM and National Gallery to give live Google Art Talk
Today at 12.30pm we will give a live talk on the Google Art Project. AAM violinist Bojan Čičić will discuss the relationship between Vermeer and music with National Gallery Curatorial Assistant Albert Godycki. The talk, which will be streamed live on the Google Art Project and available to watch again on Youtube, is part of the AAM's summer residency at the National Gallery.
You can ask questions by using the hashtag #VermeerTalk or by posting on the Google page of the event.
Find out more about the talk and ask questions (Google website)
Saturday 27 July 2013
AAM to feature on BBC 2 David Starkey documentary
We are delighted to be featured as part of Dr David Starkey's new documentary for BBC television. 'Music and Monarchy' explores the relationship between British music and power from the 15th to the 20th centuries. Our performances of music by Purcell, Arne and Handel will be featured in episode two (broadcast tonight) and three (broadcast next Saturday).
Find out more (BBC website)
Watch extended performance clips from the documentary (BBC website)
Saturday 20 July 2013
AAM performs Handel and Corelli at the BBC Proms
This afternoon we performed at the 2013 BBC Proms, with a programme exploring the young Handel's years in Italy. Soprano Sophie Bevan (pictured below with AAM Music Director Richard Egarr) sang two Handel cantatas, which were complemented by two concerti grossi by Corelli and a Concerto for four violins by Valentini. Duo harpsichord interludes by Pasquini interspersed the programme.
Listen again on BBC iPlayer (available until 31 July 2013)
View a high-resolution version of the photo (image © AAM)
Wednesday 10 July 2013
AAM Records, our own record label, to be launched this autumn
We are thrilled to announce that we will launch our own record label, AAM Records, this autumn.
Over the past 40 years the AAM has made over 300 CDs, predominantly with the labels Decca and Harmonia Mundi. Now, with the market for recorded music changing significantly, we have decided to take our recording programme in-house. AAM Records will enable us to build on our distinguished recording legacy, reaching a global audience of baroque and classical music lovers with our latest performances. We will have unprecedented freedom to control the repertoire we record, the artists with whom we work and the way our recordings are presented.
We will initially release two recordings per year. In October 2013 we will release 'Birth of the symphony: Handel to Haydn', exploring the development of the symphony in the eighteenth century. This will be followed by three recordings of music by JS Bach: St John Passion, St Matthew Passion and Orchestral Suites.
Sunday 07 July 2013
Listen to Vivaldi's The Four Seasons recorded live in Hong Kong
We have just returned from a tour of South Korea and the Far East, performing music by Handel, Purcell and Vivaldi. You can listen to our performance in Hong Kong: Pavlo Beznosiuk is the soloist in Vivaldi's The Four Seasons, with soprano Elin Manahan Thomas singing arias by Purcell and Handel.
Listen to the broadcast on the RTHK website (performance begins at 7'40)
AAM, Pavlo Beznosiuk and Elin Manahan Thomas in the NCPA, Beijing as part of our tour of South Korea and China
Wednesday 26 June 2013
AAM becomes Resident Ensemble at the National Gallery
This week the exhibition Vermeer and Music: The Art of Love and Leisure opens at the National Gallery, as part of which we will give regular performances as Resident Ensemble. We will perform within the exhibition space on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays throughout the summer, playing music known to Vermeer and his contemporaries from The Netherlands and throughout Europe. We will also give two Sunday lunchtime 'illustrated' concerts.
You can find out more about the exhibition and our involvement, as well as watching films of us in performance, on our newly-launched minisite.
Visit our Vermeer minisite
Monday 24 June 2013
AAM announces new partnership with the Guildhall School of Music & Drama
Today we announce a new partnership with the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, launching in September 2013, which will create a centre of excellence in historical performance at the School with the AAM at its heart.
Featuring a range of masterclasses, side-by-side workshops, mock auditions and networking opportunities, the relationship continues the AAM's tradition of educational work.
Tuesday 18 June 2013
AAM begins six-concert tour of South Korea and China
Tonight we begin our tour of the Far East with a performance at the 2,500-seat Seoul Arts Centre. Pavlo Beznosiuk directs Vivaldi's The Four Seasons from the violin, and Korean soprano Sunhae Im sings arias by Handel and Purcell.
The tour continues with performances in Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin.
Browse details of the tour
View a high-resolution version of the photo (image © AAM)
Thursday 13 June 2013
Christopher Purvis to retire as AAM Chairman
Christopher Purvis, Chairman of the AAM since 2000, will retire on 1 September 2013. His impact on our work has been incalculable. His wisdom and generosity have been at the heart of the AAM's progress over the past 13 years, and he has guided the organisation through a period of transformational change.
We are pleased and grateful that he has agreed to take on a new role as our Honorary President. He will be succeeded as Chairman by Terence Sinclair.
Wednesday 12 June 2013
AAM closes Wigmore Hall season with Handel
Last night we closed our 2012-13 London season with a performance of music from Handel's years in Italy. Richard Egarr directed, with sopranos Lucy Crowe and Sophie Junker and mezzo-soprano Charlotte Hellekant.
The concert was our farewell to Wigmore Hall, where we have enjoyed a number of memorable performances over the past few years. From next season we give our London concerts exclusively at the Barbican, with performances in Barbican Hall and the new Milton Court Concert Hall.
View a high-resolution version of the photo (image © AAM)
Browse the AAM's 2013-14 London season brochure
Tuesday 28 May 2013
Hogwood conducts Handel live on BBC Radio 3
On Wednesday 29 May at 7.30pm, BBC Radio 3 will broadcast live our performance of Handel's Imeneo from the Barbican in London.
AAM founder and Emeritus Director Christopher Hogwood conducts, with a cast including Lucy Crowe, Vittorio Prato, Rebecca Bottone and Renata Pokupić.
For seven days after the broadcast, you will able to listen to the concert via BBC iPlayer.
Listen on the BBC website
Find out more about the concert
Listen to Christopher Hogwood and Catherine Bott exploring Imeneo in the Barbican podcast
Wednesday 22 May 2013
Christopher Hogwood on BBC Radio 3
Yesterday afternoon our founder and Emeritus Director Christopher Hogwood appeared on BBC Radio 3's In Tune, where he discussed the history of the AAM, the future of period performance and forthcoming performances of Handel's Italian opera Imeneo.
Listen again on the BBC website (skip to 44 minutes)
View a high-resolution version of the photo (image © BBC)
Tuesday 21 May 2013
2013-14 Cambridge season: subscription booking now open
Angelika Kirchschlager, Alina Ibragimova, Iestyn Davies and Richard Tognetti are among the artists joining us for our 2013-14 Cambridge season, performing music by Haydn, Mozart, Bach, Handel and many more.
By subscribing to our concerts at West Road Concert Hall you can save 15%, avoid booking fees and guarantee your seats at every concert.
Find out more about subscription booking
Download the 2013-14 Cambridge season brochure
Wednesday 15 May 2013
Christopher Hogwood receives Honorary Doctorate from Royal College of Music
Our congratulations to AAM founder and Emeritus Director Christopher Hogwood who today received an Honorary Doctorate from the Royal College of Music in London, bestowed by HRH The Prince of Wales.
Find out more on the RCM website
View a high-resolution version of the photo (image © Chris Christodoulou)
Friday 10 May 2013
Vermeer and music — a preview from BBC Music Magazine
This summer we will be Resident Ensemble at the National Gallery, accompanying the 'Vermeer and Music: The Art of Love and Leisure' exhibition with performances three days per week throughout the summer.
BBC Music Magazine has compiled an audio slideshow looking forward to the event, featuring artworks by Vermeer and his contemporaries illustrated by music from the time.
More details about the exhibition
Full details of the art and music featured in the audio slideshow
Monday 06 May 2013
Listen again: Andreas Scholl and AAM in Handel, Haydn and Mozart
Listen again to RTÉ Lyric FM's broadcast of our performance last month from National Concert Hall, Dublin. Featuring instrumental and vocal music by Handel, Haydn and Mozart — including lieder, concert arias and a piano concerto — the concert features counter-tenor Andreas Scholl, who stepped in at the last moment for Angelika Kirchschlager, and is directed by AAM Music Director Richard Egarr.
Listen again on the RTÉ Lyric FM website
Thursday 25 April 2013
AAM guest artist Sophie Bevan wins International Opera Award
Our congratulations to soprano Sophie Bevan, who has won the Young Singer prize at the 2013 International Opera Awards. Sophie will sing with us at the BBC Proms in July and in Monteverdi's L'Orfeo at the Barbican in September; last month she received widespread praise for her performance in Bach's St Matthew Passion alongside Andreas Scholl.
Tuesday 23 April 2013
Andreas Scholl to replace Angelika Kirchschlager in Dublin and Munich
Unfortunately Angelika Kirchschlager has had to withdraw from our concerts in Dublin and Munich due to illness. However, we are delighted to announce that counter-tenor Andreas Scholl will join us in a revised programme of Handel, Haydn and Mozart.
Monday 22 April 2013
Six-concert tour of South Korea and China in June 2013 announced
In June 2013 we will return to the Far East with performances of Vivaldi's The Four Seasons in South Korea and throughout China. Pavlo Beznosiuk will direct from the violin, with sopranos Elin Manahan Thomas and Sunhae Im joining us to sing arias by Purcell and Handel.
Thursday 18 April 2013
AAM to perform Corelli and Handel at 2013 BBC Proms
On 20 July the AAM will give the first of this year's Saturday matinee concerts at the BBC Proms, with a performance exploring the early eighteenth-century musical scene in Rome. Sophie Bevan sings two Italian cantatas by the young Handel, which are put into the context of concerti grossi by Corelli — who died 300 years ago — and works by Valentini and Pasquini. Richard Egarr will direct from the harpsichord, and tickets go on sale in May.
Friday 12 April 2013
Richard Egarr appointed Principal Guest Conductor of Residentie Orkest
Our congratulations to our Music Director Richard Egarr, who has been appointed Principal Guest Conductor of Residentie Orkest in The Hague. Past conductors of the orchestra include Arturo Toscanini, Leonard Bernstein and — most recently — Neeme Järvi. Richard's work with the Residentie Orkest complements his ongoing music making with the AAM as well as his role as Associate Artist with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra.
Monday 08 April 2013
AAM releases new recording of Mozart Requiem with the Choir of King's College, Cambridge
Our collaboration with the Choir of King's College, Cambridge continues with our latest CD — a recording of Mozart's Requiem which includes alternative completions by composers including Michael Finnissy and Duncan Druce. Elin Manahan Thomas, Christine Rice, James Gilchrist and Christopher Purves are the soloists.
Sunday 31 March 2013
Happy birthday, JS Bach — and happy Easter to all
Johann Sebastian Bach's birth date is the subject of some discussion. Should we celebrate it on 21 March (the date in the Julian calendar used in Bach's lifetime) or 31 March (the same date 'converted' to the Gregorian calendar that is now commonly used worldwide)?
This year we're marking the birthday today, 31 March, in part because it coincides with Easter Day — the culmination of a week whose events inspired some of Bach's most wonderful music. Indeed over the past seven days we've performed the St Matthew Passion, St John Passion and Easter Oratorio. Besides, if anyone deserves two birthdays it's surely the man whose music has been revered, celebrated, imitated and loved like none other.
By way of small celebration, here is a brief clip of AAM and Choir of the AAM rehearsing the lullaby from the end of the St John Passion — 'Ruht wohl, ihr heiligen Gebeine' ('Rest in peace, you sacred limbs'). A very happy Easter to you all.
Friday 29 March 2013
AAM performs Bach St John Passion to sold out Barbican Hall
"Having sat stunned and weepy for a good few minutes at the end of this performance, I’m happy to evangelise and proclaim that no better team could be assembled anywhere for the original 1724 version of this world-changing musical Passion... All Good Friday boxes sublimely ticked, then: pity, terror, consolation, even a dash of anticipatory joy. The fireworks of Easter can only seem tawdry by comparison."
Read the full review from The Arts Desk
Post-concert at Barbican Hall: Matthew Rose (Christ), Ashley Riches (Pilate), Andrew Kennedy (tenor), Elizabeth Watts (soprano), Sarah Connolly (mezzo-soprano), Richard Egarr (director & harpsichord), James Gilchrist (Evangelist) and Christopher Purves (bass), with the Academy of Ancient Music and Choir of the AAM
View a high-resolution version of the photo (image © AAM)
Friday 29 March 2013
Discussing Bach's St John Passion on BBC Radio 3
Ahead of our sold-out performance at the Barbican, Richard Egarr (director), James Gilchrist (Evangelist) and Matthew Rose (bass) discuss Bach's St John Passion live on BBC Radio 3's In Tune. Richard also plays a prelude and fugue from the English Suites.
Listen again via the BBC website — skip to 1'33 (available until Thursday 4 April 2013)
Thursday 28 March 2013
Watch AAM rehearsing Bach St John Passion
Tuesday 26 March 2013
BBC Music Magazine on Bach's St Matthew Passion — "entirely unforgettable"
"Last night’s performance of Bach’s great masterpiece in King’s College chapel was about as honest a rendition as I can remember, one that spoke to its audience with open-eyed wonder and amazement at the music being performed and at the scenes being acted out.
"On stage was a heady combination of innocence and experience, of freshness and maturity. It was intensely moving and entirely unforgettable."
BBC Music Magazine reviewing Bach St Matthew Passion with AAM, Choir of King's College, Cambridge, Christoph Genz, Andreas Scholl and Sophie Bevan
Read the full review
Monday 25 March 2013
AAM announced as National Gallery's Resident Ensemble for Summer 2013
We are delighted to announce that the AAM will be Resident Ensemble at the National Gallery in London this summer. We will accompany the exhibition 'Vermeer and Music: The Art of Love and Leisure' for three days a week, June to September, and will give two illustrated concerts exploring the music known to Vermeer and his contemporaries.
'Vermeer and Music' is expected to be seen by over 100,000 visitors and is — as far as we are aware — the first time that live music has featured as an ongoing part of a major art exhibition.
Johannes Vermeer A Young Woman seated at a Virginal (detail), about 1670-2 © The National Gallery, London (NG2568)
Sunday 24 March 2013
Latest film — JS Bach's Easter Oratorio in rehearsal
This afternoon we rehearsed in King's College Chapel ahead of our performance there on Saturday 30 March. Watch a snippet here.
Monday 18 March 2013
Christopher Hogwood is BBC Radio 3 'Artist of the Week'
BBC Radio 3's 'Artist of the Week' is currently AAM founder and Emeritus Director Christopher Hogwood, as part of the ongoing Baroque Spring series. At 9.30am from Monday 18 to Friday 22 March Christopher's recordings with the AAM will be featured on Essential Classics. You can hear it live on BBC Radio 3, or listen again on the BBC website.
Christopher Hogwood conducts the AAM in Haydn's The Creation
Wednesday 13 March 2013
Richard Egarr releases acclaimed recording of JS Bach English Suites
AAM Music Director Richard Egarr's latest solo recording — JS Bach's English Suites — has been feted by a number of critics, including winning Instrumental Choice in BBC Music Magazine and being crowned "the best harpsichord recital of these Suites on disc". You can buy the Suites directly from the AAM for just £15 plus p&p. Read on to find out more.
Tuesday 12 March 2013
Two AAM guest artists nominated for The Opera Awards 2013
We are delighted that two AAM artists, Sarah Connolly and Sophie Bevan, have been nominated for the prestigious Opera Awards 2013.
Sarah, who joins us on 29 March in Bach's St John Passion at the Barbican (click here for more details), is a finalist in the female singer category. Sophie, who sings Euridice in Monteverdi's L'Orfeo on 28 September (click here for more details), is nominated for the young singer award.
Cast your vote and browse the other nominees here
Friday 08 March 2013
Listen again to AAM concerts on BBC Radio 3
Two AAM performances are available for you to listen on the BBC Radio 3 website. Enjoy!
JS Bach's Orchestral Suites, recorded live in Shrewsbury (available until Wednesday 13 March 2013)
Chamber music by Handel and Geminiani, recorded live in Little Stanmore Church, North London (available until Thursday 14 March 2013)
Thursday 07 March 2013
AAM performs Handel in the composer's own church
This afternoon we perform a chamber concert as part of BBC Radio 3's Baroque Spring. Richard Egarr (harpsichord), Pavlo Beznosiuk (violin) and Rachel Brown (flute) play works by Handel and Geminiani in Little Stanmore Church, North London. The church was refurbished by the flamboyant Duke of Chandos in the early eighteenth century, and Handel was briefly employed as organist there. During this time he composed the Chandos Anthems, which — as well as the oratorio Acis and Galatea — was first performed in the church.
You can listen live to the concert on BBC Radio 3 at 1pm today (Thursday 7 March 2013), or listen again on the BBC website until 14 March by following the link below.
View a high-resolution version of the photo (image © BBC Radio 3)
Listen again to the concert on the BBC Radio 3 website (available until 14 March 2013)
Wednesday 06 March 2013
Book now for St John Passion
On Good Friday, 29 March, we'll perform Bach's St John Passion at the Barbican. With a cast including James Gilchrist as Evangelist and Sarah Connolly and Elizabeth Watts as aria soloists, it's set to be a memorable concert. Tickets are selling out fast; book soon.
Tuesday 19 February 2013
Listen to AAM live on BBC Radio 3
Three AAM concerts will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 over the next fortnight: Vivaldi with Bernarda Fink on 27 February, Bach Orchestral Suites on 6 March, and chamber music by Handel on 7 March.
Friday 15 February 2013
50% of funds raised to record JS Bach St John Passion
We are delighted to announce that 50% of the amount needed for us to record Bach's St John Passion has now been raised. Thank you to everyone who has donated so far, and please continue to spread the word. We need to raise £5,000 altogether by 29 March 2013, with music-lovers contributing from £10 each.
Find out more and share our passion by donating today
Monday 04 February 2013
AAM records JS Bach's Orchestral Suites
This week we're recording JS Bach's Orchestral Suites at The Apex in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk.
Friday 01 February 2013
Our first-ever recording of the St John Passion — and how you can help
In April 2013 we will record JS Bach’s original 1724 version of the St John Passion. With a superlative cast including James Gilchrist, Sarah Connolly, Elizabeth Watts and Christopher Purves, and directed by Richard Egarr, this will be a landmark project.
The total cost of this recording is £50,000, of which £45,000 has already been raised. Just £5,000 is now needed to make the project possible.
We are looking for a group of people who share our love of Bach to give £10 each.
Your generous support will be matched by funding from Arts Council England, meaning that — with Gift Aid — a donation of £10 will be worth £22.50 to us.
Find out more and share our passion by donating today
Wednesday 30 January 2013
AAM begins 2013 with JS Bach's St Matthew Passion
Last night we began our year with a performance of JS Bach's St Matthew Passion in a sold-out Kings Place, London. Featuring the Choir of King's College, Cambridge and James Gilchrist as Evangelist, the performance was described as "nimble and nuanced... penitential, but in no way a penance" by one reviewer.
The performance marked the beginning of three months in which we'll perform and record various instrumental and choral works by JS Bach.
Click here to find out more
View a high-resolution version of the photo
Read a review from The Arts Desk
Monday 21 January 2013
AAM launches 40th anniversary season in London and Cambridge
Today we announce details of our 2013-14 London and Cambridge seasons, which marks the AAM's 40th anniversary. Featuring music from Monteverdi to Beethoven, we will be joined by superlative artists including Andreas Scholl, Alina Ibragimova, Iestyn Davies, Angelika Kirchschlager and Richard Tognetti.
Monday 14 January 2013
Performance of JS Bach's Easter Oratorio announced
We are delighted to announce that we will perform JS Bach's Easter Oratorio in King's College Chapel, Cambridge on Holy Saturday (30 March). The concert also includes Charpentier's Te Deum and a sacred concerto by Vivaldi, with a cast featuring bass Roderick Williams. Tickets go on sale on 21 January 2013.
Wednesday 09 January 2013
AAM launches arts fundraising course
The Academy of Ancient Music is curating a series of three day-long workshops at the Judge Business School, Cambridge University for other arts organisations seeking to diversify their income streams and attract greater levels of funding from private sources.
Thursday 20 December 2012
Happy Christmas from the AAM
All of us at the AAM wish you a very happy Christmas and a tuneful New Year.
Over the past year we've played music by 21 composers in 42 concerts across 22 cities, performed as part of the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant, launched an Association at the Barbican and held our first-ever AAM Explore workshop. It's been a great pleasure to share some wonderful music with you — we look forward to seeing you in 2013 for more.
The AAM office will be closed between Monday 24 December 2012 and Tuesday 2 January 2014.
Sunday 16 December 2012
AAM named in top ten concerts of 2012
We are delighted that our performance of JS Bach's The Art of Fugue at the BBC Proms has been named in the top ten concerts of 2012 by The Guardian. The concert was directed by Mahan Esfahani, who had made a pioneering new arrangement of Bach's enigmatic score.
Monday 10 December 2012
A Christmas present from the AAM — free recording of JS Bach
To celebrate Christmas, we're offering a free download of our studio recording of Bach's Sinfonia to Cantata No.42 to all subscribers to AAM Update. The recording, directed by Richard Egarr, was made in September 2012.
To receive the recording for free, just enter your email address at the foot of this page and we'll send the track straight to your inbox. Or, if you have music-loving friends, why not enter their address too and give them a Christmas treat?
Monday 03 December 2012
Eleven-concert tour of JS Bach's Orchestral Suites announced
In January, February and March 2013 we'll perform JS Bach's majestic Orchestral Suites at venues throughout the UK and The Netherlands.
Thursday 15 November 2012
Andreas Scholl makes his AAM debut
Last night the counter-tenor Andreas Scholl made his AAM debut performing an all-Bach programme in King's College Chapel, Cambridge. We continue our collaboration with him in March 2013 with two performances of Bach's St Matthew Passion, with further dates to be announced.
View a high-resolution version of the photo
Wednesday 14 November 2012
AAM online: tell us what you think!
Millions of people interact with the AAM digitally every week: listening to us the radio and on CD, visiting this website, streaming tracks on the AAMplayer.
Help guide our future direction with this five-minute survey, and you'll be entered into an exclusive competition to win CDs and concert tickets.
For those of you who can, thanks for taking the time to fill it in: it's vital to know your thoughts as we plan for the future.
Wednesday 31 October 2012
Robert Levin improvises Mozart — live
Pianist, musicologist and long-time AAM collaborator Robert Levin is in Cambridge for a series of lecture-recitals and a concert. At the end of his first lecture, he invited the audience to suggest three Mozart pieces on which he would improvise. The result is staggering.
Monday 15 October 2012
In profile: the baroque contrabassoon
This summer we've been touring Europe playing Handel's Music for the Royal Fireworks — which calls for a baroque contrabassoon. This unusual instrument has drawn admiration, applause and amusement wherever we've been, and contrabassoonist Philip Turbett demonstrates it in our latest film.
Wednesday 26 September 2012
AAM's London home to be exclusively in the Barbican's 'cultural quarter' from September 2013
Today we announce our next step as Associate Ensemble at the Barbican. From September 2013 we will complement our ongoing concerts in Barbican Hall with performances of smaller-scale baroque and classical works at the Guildhall School’s newly-built Milton Court on Silk Street, the latest addition to the Barbican's vibrant 'cultural quarter'.
Monday 24 September 2012
Friends of the AAM: support the music you love
This week we officially launch the Friends of the AAM in London. As well as supporting our London season — including our new Association at the Barbican — the Friends of the AAM will benefit from priority booking and will have the opportunity to attend annual drinks receptions and to meet AAM players. Membership begins from just £2.50 per month.
Tuesday 18 September 2012
New film released: Handel's 'Zadok the Priest'
Ahead of performances of Handel's royal music in Cambridge and London next week, watch the AAM and Choir of the AAM perform the exhilarating 'Zadok the Priest'.
See details of the London and Cambridge performances
Monday 17 September 2012
AAM performs at the Haydn Festival in Eisenstadt
Last week we performed symphonies by Haydn in Esterhazy Palace, where the composer lived and worked. Conducted by Bernard Labadie, the programme included three symphonies and a concerto by Haydn, alongside a symphony by Mozart. After the concert, Labadie described conducting Haydn in Eisenstadt as a "dream come true".
View a high-resolution photo of AAM in the magnificent Haydnhalle at Esterhazy Palace
Friday 31 August 2012
Eight-concert tour of Australia in 2013 announced
In November 2013, we return to Australia with performances in Adelaide, Perth, Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney and Brisbane. We'll perform music from the golden age of the English baroque by Purcell, Arne, Locke and Handel (whose Sinfonia to Saul you can watch below), directed by Richard Egarr and starring soprano Sara Macliver.
Wednesday 22 August 2012
Special offer: 10% off tickets to hear Richard Egarr
Get 10% off tickets to two or more concerts in AAM Music Director Richard Egarr's residency at London's Handel House this September. Richard will perform all of Handel's Great Suites, and will be joined by mezzo-soprano Daniela Lehner in a range of Handel arias.
To claim the discount, call 020 7399 1953 and quote AAM
Thursday 26 July 2012
New release: world-premiere recording of music by Christopher Gibbons
We are delighted to unveil our new CD release, starring the Choir of the AAM and directed by Richard Egarr. The recording surveys the vocal and instrumental music of Christopher Gibbons, a long-neglected seventeenth-century English composer (son of the famous Orlando). After stumbling across mentions of Christopher Gibbons in Samuel Pepys' diaries, AAM Music Director Richard Egarr uncovered a range of works by the composer in library archives. This is the first-ever recording of this music.
"Beautifully played and sung... the instrumental pieces are wonderfully imaginative, but it's the choral works that stand out with their startling modulations and expressively charged vocal lines."THE GUARDIAN 'Disc of the week'
Find out more, listen to samples and pre-order for just £10
Wednesday 25 July 2012
New film: Exploring Bach's music
Harpsichordist and guest director Mahan Esfahani talks about the "work of genius" that is Bach's Canon in augmentation and contrary motion from The Art of Fugue, in which the composer takes a theme, lengthens it, turns it upside down — and then combines all three!
Tuesday 24 July 2012
New film: AAM at the Proms
Watch rehearsal footage and player interviews, exploring Mahan Esfahani's new arrangement of The Art of Fugue which we premiered at the BBC Proms last week.
Monday 23 July 2012
Listen again to AAM at the BBC Proms
Last Saturday we gave the world-premiere performance of Mahan Esfahani's arrangement of Bach's The Art of Fugue. You can listen again for seven days on the BBC website.
Monday 16 July 2012
Catch the AAM on the BBC this week
Ahead of our performance at the BBC Proms on Saturday, you can listen to exclusive interviews and rehearsal footage on BBC Radio 3 and BBC Radio 4 this week.
Wednesday 27 June 2012
AAM live on BBC Radio 3 tonight
This evening's performance of music from the French baroque by Lully, Charpentier and Marais will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 at 7.30pm this evening (Wednesday 27 June 2012). The programme surveys the astonishing creative outpouring inspired by the court of the 'Sun King', Louis XIV, featuring instrumental and choral works. Richard Egarr directs from the keyboards.
Thursday 21 June 2012
AAM 2012-13 Wigmore Hall concerts now on sale
Book now for our 2012-13 season at London's Wigmore Hall, including performances from Telemann to Mozart with soprano Lucy Crowe, mezzo-soprano Bernarda Fink and conductor Nicholas Collon.
Tuesday 12 June 2012
Watch AAM at Thames Jubilee Pageant
Watch films about our performance at the Thames Pageant, browse photos of the day and read our musicians' blog...
Tuesday 29 May 2012
AAM at the Thames Jubilee Pageant
On Sunday 3 June, we'll perform in front of our biggest-ever audience when we appear at the Thames Jubilee Pageant. Read on to find out more about the history of the music, and how to watch and listen to this historic event.
Saturday 19 May 2012
Subscription booking for 2012-13 Cambridge season now open
Subscription booking is now open for our 2012-13 Cambridge season. Subscribers save 15%, guarantee their seats for the whole year, and get an additional 15% off extra tickets throughout the year. For details about subscriptions, follow the link below.
Thursday 17 May 2012
2012-13 season brochure now available
Download our 2012-13 season brochure now, with full details of all our concerts in London and Cambridge. Highlights include AAM debuts for Andreas Scholl and Lucy Crowe; performances of both of JS Bach's passions; and, in our first year as Associate Ensemble, a programme of Handel's royal music and a rare chance to hear his 'farewell to Italian opera',Imeneo.
Monday 14 May 2012
AAM on Classic FM podcast
AAM Chief Executive Michael Garvey chats to Classic FM ahead of our performance as part of the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant on 3 June 2012. We'll perform music by Handel on the River Thames, and the podcast includes insights into how we'll prepare, why the music is so appropriate - and why clothes pegs will be key to the success of the day.
Friday 04 May 2012
Richard Egarr renews contract as AAM Music Director
Richard Egarr will remain as AAM Music Director until August 2017, with future plans including music by JS Bach, Handel and Monteverdi - as well as the development of the AAM as Associate Ensemble at the Barbican.
Wednesday 25 April 2012
Hear AAM live on In Tune
Listen again to our live performance of music by Falconieri, Monteverdi and Castello on BBC Radio 3's In Tune, ahead of concerts later this week. Presenter Sean Rafferty chats about the music with director Jonathan Cohen, tenor James Gilchrist and AAM leader Pavlo Beznosiuk. Skip to 1'10 to hear the performance.
Monday 23 April 2012
Listen live to the AAM on BBC Radio 3
Our performance from Wigmore Hall on Thursday 27 April will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 at 7.30pm. Jonathan Cohen directs music by Monteverdi and his contemporaries, with soprano Anna Prohaska and tenors James Gilchrist and Benjamin Hulett.
Thursday 19 April 2012
AAM to perform at 2012 BBC Proms
We are thrilled to announce that the AAM will perform music by JS Bach at the 2012 BBC Proms
Friday 02 March 2012
Watch Alina Ibragimova in performance with the AAM
We're in the middle of a UK tour with violinist Alina Ibragimova, which has already won five-star reviews and praise from throughout the music world. You can watch a film featuring excerpts of the performance as part of Bath Bachfest, including works by Biber, JS Bach and Vivaldi.
Thursday 19 January 2012
AAM to perform at Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant
We are thrilled to announce that the AAM will perform Handel's Water Music and Music for the Royal Fireworks as part of the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant, led by Her Majesty The Queen on the afternoon of 3 June 2012.
Wednesday 18 January 2012
AAM becomes Associate Ensemble at the Barbican Centre
From September 2012, the AAM will become Associate Ensemble at London's Barbican Centre. Joining the LSO, BBC Symphony Orchestra and Britten Sinfonia as Associates, we will give regular performances at the Barbican, reaching new audiences and putting on more ambitious and stimulating concerts than ever before.
Monday 19 December 2011
AAM recording voted one of greatest of all time
The AAM's 1980 recording of Handel's Messiah under Christopher Hogwood has been voted one of the greatest recordings of all time. BBC Music Magazine called on some of the world's finest critics to compile a list of the top 50 classical recordings no collection should be without; Hogwood's Messiah made it in at number 25, accompanied by the following comment:
"Stodge no more. In Christopher Hogwood's hands, Messiah was no longer a ponderous and portentous work, but something tightly sprung and which demanded your attention. The period instrument specialist was spring-cleaning well-loved pieces even as his pioneering contemporary Roger Norrington had barely launched the London Classical Players."
Friday 16 December 2011
AAM to perform Messiah live on BBC Radio 3
On Friday 23 December, tune in to BBC Radio 3 to hear the AAM performing Handel's Messiah live from St John's, Smith Square in London. The concert, which begins at 7.30pm, is conducted by Stephen Layton and stars Katherine Watson, Iestyn Davies, James Gilchrist and Neal Davies.
Friday 16 December 2011
Exclusive film: AAM performing JS Bach
To celebrate Christmas, we'll be releasing a film of the AAM performing JS Bach's Sinfonia to Cantata No.42, recorded in September. Ivan Hewett described the performance as "tripping along with natural, unforced joy"; to see it, just join AAM Update by entering your email address at the foot of any page on this website. We'll then send you an exclusive link to the film. Happy watching!
Monday 05 December 2011
Sumi Jo interviewed on BBC World Service
Before her performance with the AAM in London last month, the South Korean soprano Sumi Jo talked to the BBC World Service about her early life in Korea, her musical life, and her recently-discovered love of the baroque and classical repertoire.
Friday 02 December 2011
£10 and £15 seats for Messiah in London just released
The AAM's festive performance of Handel's Messiah at London's Barbican Hall on 14 December is selling fast - and we've just released £10 and £15 balcony seats. Book soon for this great Christmas treat!
Tuesday 29 November 2011
2012 UK tour dates with Alina Ibragimova announced
In February and March 2012, violinist Alina Ibragimova directs a period-instrument band for the first time in a five-concert UK tour with the Academy of Ancient Music. The performances also mark Alina's AAM debut.
Monday 21 November 2011
AAMplify workshop at the Guildhall School
On Thursday 17 November, players from the AAM sat side-by-side with students from the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in the first-ever AAMplify workshop in London. Exploring music by Charpentier and Rebel, the workshop marks the beginning of what we know will be a strong collaboration between the two organisations. You can see photos from the workshop on flickr - just follow the link below.
Tuesday 15 November 2011
Watch Sumi Jo singing with the AAM
On 25 November, Sumi Jo makes a rare London appearance in an all-Mozart programme with the AAM. For more details and to book tickets, click here.
Watch Sumi singing Handel with the AAM in our latest film, shot during our tour of the Far East in May 2011.
Wednesday 05 October 2011
New film: Shunske Sato plays and discusses Paganini
Ahead of his UK debut performing Paganini's Second Violin Concerto with the AAM next week, we caught up with Shunske Sato to talk about the impact of Paganini on violin playing and on the great piano virtuosos of the day. The film includes Shunske playing Paganini's Moto Perpetuo with AAM Music Director Richard Egarr.
Saturday 10 September 2011
Happy birthday, Christopher Hogwood
Wishing a very happy 70th birthday to AAM founder Christopher Hogwood. Christopher was Music Director of the AAM from 1973 to 2006, establishing it at the forefront of the period-instrument movement and as one of the world's most celebrated orchestras. His legacy with the AAM and the musical world is immense, and he continues to break new ground with his conducting and musicology. In the words of Sir Nicholas Kenyon, Christopher truly deserves the title of "a pioneer". You can listen to tributes from friends and colleagues, including singers Dame Emma Kirkby and Catherine Bott, conductor Neville Marriner and Gramophone Magazine Editor in Chief James Jolly, by following the link below.
Friday 02 September 2011
Watch Shunske Sato playing Corelli in our latest video
The young Japanese violin prodigy Shunske Sato will make his UK debut playing Paganini with the AAM in October 2011. You can watch him in action in our latest film, playing a sonata by Corelli with AAM Music Director Richard Egarr at the harpsichord.
Friday 29 July 2011
AAM guest artists nominated for 2011 Gramophone Artist of the Year Award
Congratulations to violinist Alina Ibragimova and trumpeter Alison Balsom, who have been nominated for the 2011 Gramophone Artist of the Year Award. We'll be performing with Alison on 9 August 2011 in Worcester (book here) and Alina will join us in February 2012 for performances of Biber, JS Bach and Vivaldi in London (book here) and Cambridge (book here).
Friday 29 July 2011
Listen to AAM perform Bach on BBC Radio 3
Tune in to BBC Radio 3 at 6.30pm tomorrow evening (Saturday 30 July) to hear the AAM perform and explore JS Bach's Magnificat, in an 90-minute broadcast presented by Sara Mohr-Pietsch. The programme will be available online until Saturday 6 August.
Tuesday 05 July 2011
AAM nominated for 2011 Helpmann Award
We're delighted to have been nominated, along with the Berlin Philharmonic and Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, for the 2011 Helpmann Award for Best Symphony Orchestra Concert. The nomination is for our performance of Haydn's The Creation in Perth, Australia in February 2011, and the winner will be announced on 1 August at a ceremony at the Sydney Opera House.
Friday 17 June 2011
AAM explores music by JS Bach's family on BBC Radio 3
On Saturday 18 June at 1pm, BBC Radio 3 will broadcast a sixty-minute programme exploring the music of JS Bach's family, with performances from the AAM. The programme will be presented by Catherine Bott, and features choral and instrumental music by JS Bach's ancestors and sons.
Friday 10 June 2011
AAM records Bach with BBC
The AAM will record music by JS Bach and his family for future release on BBC Radio 3 as part of the 'BBC Philharmonic Presents' series
Thursday 02 June 2011
Sir Nicholas Kenyon discusses Bach
Sir Nicholas Kenyon, distinguished music critic and former Controller of BBC Radio 3, will give two pre-concert talks in conversation with AAM Music Director Richard Egarr in July.
Tuesday 17 May 2011
AAM wows audiences across Far East
The AAM's tour of the Far East draws to a close with tonight's performance in the Esplanade Centre, Singapore. Over the past two weeks we've performed to thousands of people in South Korea, Taiwan, China and Singapore.
Friday 06 May 2011
AAM 2011-12 season announced
Full details of the AAM's 2011-12 London and Cambridge season have been announced. We'll be performing music spanning three centuries with a stunning array of guest artists, including violinist Alina Ibragimova, singers Sumi Jo and James Gilchrist, and the Choir of King's College, Cambridge.
Tuesday 19 April 2011
AAM prepares for performances of St John Passion
The AAM continues its collaboration with the Choir of King's College, Cambridge with two sold-out performances of JS Bach's St John Passion in Cambridge and London
Friday 01 April 2011
2009-10 annual review published
The AAM's 2009-10 annual review has been published, giving details of the orchestra's artistic achievements and financial performance last year, and of its plans for future periods.
Wednesday 30 March 2011
Academy of Ancient Music secures regular public funding for first time
The Academy of Ancient Music has secured regular public funding for the first time in its 37-year history. The orchestra will receive over £500,000 between 2012 and 2015 as part of Arts Council England’s national portfolio.
Friday 18 March 2011
AAM performs Handel arias to great acclaim
The AAM's performances of Handel's finest tragic arias with Canadian duo Karina Gauvin and Bernard Labadie have been met with a rapturous reception by audiences in London and Cambridge.
Wednesday 02 March 2011
AAM tour blog — updates from China and Australia
AAM violinist William Thorp tells us all the news from the AAM’s tour of the Far East.
Thursday 17 February 2011
AAM performs first-ever complete Brandenburgs in China
The AAM has today given the first performance of the complete Brandenburg Concertos in China, to a packed-out Shanghai Concert Hall. AAM Chief Executive Michael Garvey said that the orchestra was "deeply honoured to be making musical history in this way", and added that it was "truly exciting to be bringing baroque music to the widest international audience".
Thursday 03 February 2011
“My ears were opened at the Wigmore Hall”
Matthew Parris has written in his column in The Times about our concert last week at Wigmore Hall: "My ears were opened... for a moment I could imagine myself in an 18th-century drawing room, where player and small audience would catch each other’s eyes, wink and smile their appreciation."
Tuesday 25 January 2011
AAMplify masterclasses and workshops
On 25 January the AAM teamed up with the University of Cambridge's Faculty of Music for a day of workshops and masterclasses, coaching some of the finest musicians of the future as part of our AAMplify scheme. The result? In the words of one student, "the best experience of my musical life".
Monday 15 November 2010
AAM completes first-ever recording of music by Christopher Gibbons
The AAM has just finished recording a mix of instrumental fantasias, organ voluntaries and choral works by Christopher Gibbons. Wondering who he is, or why we're bothering to perform his music? Read on to find out...