A selection of renowned and popular early music artists make up this year’s lineup for the York Early Music Christmas Festival. Rachel Podger, Harry Christophers and David Skinner will all feature as part of the festival, taking place on 6-15 December 2013.
The festival will be opened by the Yorkshire Bach Choir with the Yorkshire Baroque Soloists and The English Cornett & Sackbut Ensemble on 6 December, with a programme focused on seventeenth-century Venice, inspired by pieces from Gabrieli, Monteverdi, Schütz and Praetorius.
Brecon Baroque, led by Rachel Podger, will appear on 7 December with A Christmas Canon, featuring Bach’s ‘Art of Fugue’. Podger will also present a concert entitled A Christmas Cracker with members of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. This concert is a showcase for the education programme that has taken place throughout 2013 at the NCEM, exploring the performance of baroque strings with the OAE, Podger and the York Arts Academy.
Other highlights include David Skinner leading a workshop for singers in anonymous fifteenth-century carols and Byrd’s Mass Propers for Christmas Day, as well as The Sixteen making their first appearance at the festival with a performance of seasonal pieces from Poulenc and Britten, directed by Harry Christophers.
EMT’s blogger and BBC Performing Arts Fellow, Bethany Seymour, will also perform at the festival, taking on Handel’s ‘Eternal Source of Light Divine’ and performing with The Minster Minstrels to depict musical scenes from the nativity.
Delma Tomlin, administrative director of the Christmas festival, says: ‘We are thrilled to be able to present such a fantastic range of outstanding musicians to perform some of the most glorious and inspiring Christmas music in York’s magnificent settings.’