‘From the heart … to the heart’
Introducing our 2019-20 season, our 50th anniversary, Jeffrey writes…
Beethoven’s powerfully poignant message at the head of his most monumental and challenging work – Missa Solemnis – is an ideal starting point to announce Ex Cathedra’s 50th anniversary season.
It is one of four choral masterpieces – All night vigil (Rachmaninoff), Mass in B Minor (JS Bach), Missa Solemnis (Beethoven) and the St John Passion (JS Bach) – which serve as a backbone to this golden year. They are treasures of the repertoire with universal appeal which we have performed many times to great acclaim. The essential qualities of Ex Cathedra – passion, precision, technical skill, stylistic awareness, love for what we do – will ensure special performances. To inspire
singing beyond concerts, each programme will be linked to participatory workshops and talks for schools, universities, community choirs and our Academy of Vocal Music. We want to share our love for this extraordinary music and expand yet further our growing audiences.
We welcome back three internationally-renowned singers who sang with us at the beginning of their careers – Roderick Williams, Carolyn Sampson and Andrew Tortise. They will be joined by our highly regarded team of regular singers and our graduate and student Scholars – an effective scheme for young singers with a rapidly growing reputation. The scheme for Associate Conductors is also gathering momentum.
Research is an important part of Ex Cathedra’s success and continuing work with PhD students will come to fruition at the 19th Biennial International Conference on Baroque Music which will be hosted by Royal Birmingham Conservatoire in July 2020. Ex Cathedra’s Academy and Scholars will work with Fretwork on Verse Anthems edited by Bill Hunt. I am returning to Bolivia in April to seek out more treasures of the New World!
The Ex Cathedra legacy of new music is also a crucial part of our work and our commissions and recordings have made a substantial contribution to the development of the art form. As ever, new works will feature prominently in our two popular solstice programmes – Christmas Music by Candlelight and Summer Music by Candlelight – whilst maintaining a successful mixture of tradition and much loved favourites.
From Ex Cathedra with love.