Saturday 21st September in St Mary's Church at 7.30pm

ENSEMBLE HESPERI

Supported with public lottery funding from Arts Council England.

Thomas Allery harpsichord

Mary-Jannet Leith recorders

Magdalena Loth-Hill baroque violin

Florence Petit baroque cello

Kathleen Gilbert Highland dance


Programme

The Pheasant's Eye

Airs for the Seasons – Spring/Summer                       James Oswald (1710-1769)
The Pheasant’s Eye -The Tulip

Sonata VI from 12 Trio Sonatas                       Giuseppe Sammartini (1695-1750)
Adagio – Allegro – Largo – Allegro

A Collection of Scots Tunes                              Francesco Barsanti (1690 – 1775) The Lass of Peaty’s Mill – Pinkie House - Clout the Cauldron

Trio in F Major                                               Francesco Geminiani (1687 – 1762)
Andante: The Last time I came o’er the moor – Grave – Allegro

Solo II (A Second Sett of Six Solos                     John Reid (1721 – 1807) Andante – Allegro – Moderato – Giga

* * * * * * * *

Trio Sonata in C                                                Earl of Kellie (1732 – 1781) Andante Grazioso - Fuga – Tempo di Minuetto

Sonata on Scots Tunes                                              James Oswald (1710-1769)
O mother what shall I do – Ettrik Banks – Cromlit’s Lilt – Polwart on the Green

Airs for the Seasons – Spring                        James Oswald (1710-1769) The Poppy - The Narcissus

Trio sonata in imitation of Corelli                      William McGibbon (1690 – 1756) Adagio – Allegro – Largo – Allegro

Variations on a Scots theme                          Robert Bremner (1713 – 1789)


“Ensemble Hesperi’s dazzling and stylish performance of these attractive works captivated
our audience, and their presentation of these remarkable Scottish folk settings gave a real insight into this hitherto neglected repertoire.” Three Towers Festival, 2017

Back to Concert detail

Its members have a particular interest in promoting unpublished and previously undiscovered Scottish Baroque repertoire, and in exploring the fascinating links between Scotland, London and the continent through baroque music during the eighteenth century.In 2019, the ensemble embarked on a new project, ‘The Pheasant’s Eye’, supported by a Lottery grant from Arts Council England, exploring the lives of Scottish composers through Highland dance music. This project will also create educational resources based on Scottish composer James Oswald’s ‘Airs for the Seasons’, a collection of 96 airs, each named after a flower. This initiative hopes to introduce this wonderful early music to new audiences of every age and background. The group will present performances and Highland dance workshops at several festivals and music societies throughout 2019.

Thomas and Mary-Jannet formed Ensemble Hesperi (‘Evening Stars’) as a duo ensemble while studying on the Masters programme at the Royal College of Music where they performed regularly as part of the Historical Performance Department. After several successful years as a duo, the ensemble expanded to welcome new members Magdalena Loth-Hill and Florence Petit. This year Hesperi's unique collaborative project, "The Pheasant's Eye", has been featured by Classical Music Magazine and by Classic FM, for which they recorded in studio in February 2019; the ensemble also appeared on BBC Radio’s “In Tune” in July 2019. The ensemble was also selected as Britten Years Young Artists for 2020 on the "Chamber Music in Residence" scheme at Snape Maltings. Ensemble Hesperi also has an interest in musical outreach and performs regularly for those who can't otherwise hear live music it has developed a strong relationship with Chelsea and Westminster Hospital's charity, CW+, and was invited to perform at the Celebration service for the Tercentenary of the Hospital at Westminster Abbey in May 2019.
 

Mary-Jannet Leith is a Scottish recorder player, musicologist, historian, and teacher. She is fascinated by the potential which her instrument has for bridging artificial boundaries between musical ‘genres’. It is her strong belief that truly excellent music often eludes definition and that it is the communication of emotion and feeling to an audience which should be the aim of a professional musician. Although Mary-Jannet’s formal musical training is primarily in Historical Performance, she is also an exponent of the vast contemporary and electronic repertoire for the recorder and works regularly with emerging composers and other artists on cross-disciplinary projects.

Mary-Jannet received a scholarship to study for a Master in Performance at the Royal College of Music and moved to London to pursue a career in music. During her studies at the RCM, she was awarded the McKenna Prize for Baroque music and subsequently the Earl of Dalhousie Prize. Since graduating from the RCM, Mary-Jannet has continued to perform widely throughout the UK and further afield, both as a soloist and a keen chamber musician. In 2014, she reached the Section Finals of the Royal Overseas League Competition, one of very few recorder players to do so. Mary-Jannet was also selected to compete in the live rounds of the International Schmelzer competition in Melk, Austria, in 2017; she was grateful to receive a grant from the Walter Bergmann Fund to support her travel and expenses throughout the competition. In November 2018, she won first prize in the ‘Solisten Instrumental’ category of the Internationaler Gebrüder-Graun-Wettbewerb, Bad Liebenwerda.
 

British-Polish violinist Magdalena Loth-Hill studied at the Royal College of Music, London with Itzhak Rashkovsky and Laura Samuel and later took up baroque violin with Adrian Butterfield and Lucy Russell. Magdalena graduated in 2013 with first-class honours and in 2015 gained a Master’s degree with Distinction. She was awarded the 2015/16 Mills Williams Junior Fellowship at the RCM, a post she held alongside studying for an Artist Diploma in baroque violin. As an Orpheus Scholar at the RCM, Magdalena has been supported by a Douglas and Hilda Simmonds Award, the Countess of Munster Trust, the Cumbria Cultural Fund, the Seary Trust, the Kathleen Trust, the Denne Gilkes Memorial Fund, the Else and Leonard Cross Trust and the Lynn Foundation. At the RCM, Magdalen performed as soloist in Bach’s E major concerto, Brandenburg No. 4 and the Bach Double Violin Concerto. She has led the RCM Baroque and Classical orchestras under Christopher Hogwood and Vittorio Ghielmi amongst others and has performed live on BBC Radio 3 In Tune. Magdalena has toured in Italy, Germany, France, Austria, the Czech Republic, the United States and Bolivia. In the UK, she has performed at the Wigmore Hall, Cadogan Hall, the Royal Albert Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, the Royal Festival Hall, Buckingham Palace and Kensington Palace. She joined Florilegium to record their 25th Anniversary CD, and was a participant in the 2015 Orchestra of the Age of the Enlightenment experience scheme: she has also performed regularly with the Academy of Ancient Music,theOAE,FlorilegiumandExCathedra. 
 

Franco-British cellist Florence Petit is an innovative and exciting young musician. Achieving her Diploma in Musical Studies in 2008, Florence continued her cello studies with Philippe Müller in Paris before moving to London to complete her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at the Royal College of Music (RCM), graduating with first class honours. The recipient of a diverse host of awards and prizes, Florence was generously supported by the Lynn Foundation, Saint Jude’s Trust, the Denne Gilkes Memorial Foundation and the Raphael Sommer Foundation during her studies and participated in many European competitions, including the Concours des Zontas Clubs de France. Florence has taken part in numerous master classes with eminent musicians such as Johannes Goritzky and Jonathan Manson.
In demand as a soloist, Florence has a regular programme of recitals throughout the UK with the acclaimed Franco-Taiwanese pianist Lysianne Chen. Florence is a founding member of the Leben Quartet and is a keen practitioner of historical performance, playing across Europe and the UK with her quartet Ignis. Florence is passionate about discovering neglected chamber repertoire and exploring interesting instrumental pairings.
 

Thomas Allery is an organist, choral conductor and harpsichordist based in London and Oxford. He enjoys a varied career spanning work as an organist and choral director in church music, continuo playing, research and teaching. Thomas is the Director of Chapel Music at Worcester College, Oxford, where he is responsible for the musical development of the Chapel choirs and organ scholars. He directs and trains the two Chapel choirs, of mixed and boys’ voices, for regular chapel services and for a busy schedule of concerts, tours and recordings. In addition to his role at Worcester College, Thomas is Director of Music at St Mary-le-Bow Church, Cheapside, a historic Wren church in the heart of the City of London.

 Following his undergraduate studies as an organ scholar at Oxford University, Thomas spent a year as the organ scholar of Canterbury Cathedral before pursuing study at the RCM, simultaneously holding the position of organ scholar at St Paul’s Church, Knightsbridge. Thomas graduated with Distinction from the Masters programme at the Royal College of Music, London in 2014, where he studied organ with Margaret Phillips and harpsichord with Terence Charlston. As an experienced harpsichordist and continuo player, Thomas has a particular interest in the instrumental music of the seventeenth century Stylus Phantasticus, and is currently undertaking research of historical continuo treatises from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and exploring how they can be used in keyboard education today. In 2014-15, Thomas was a Junior Fellow in Harpsichord/Continuo at the Royal College of Music, where he supported the work of the Historical Performance department, accompanying classes, recitals, and concerts. Thomas is currently a scholar at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama where he is undertaking an Artist Diploma in Harpsichord.

Kathleen Gilbert BFA, BEd, MA has developed an international career in Highland dance. For over twenty years she has been an exponent of this dance form and now enjoys a varied career performing, teaching, lecturing and adjudicating all over the world. Kathleen enjoyed early success in competitions while growing up in Western Canada. From the outset, Kathleen began exploring the use of dance to tell stories and started choreographing projects in collaboration with other arts forms. In addition to Highland dance, Kathleen also works in ballet, tap, jazz, modern, musical theatre and in various ballroom styles. She also has a passion for musical theatre where she directs and choreographs shows with a focus on new writing. Kathleen is also a trained schoolteacher and has extensive experience working with ages 3 through to 18 and is proud of combining academic and theoretical principles with aesthetics in her teaching. As a Fellow with the SDTA (Scottish Dance Teachers Alliance), Kathleen is proud to kindle enthusiasm in dance and keep the traditions of Highland dance alive in her preparation of students for exams and competitions. In 2010 she became a member of the SOBHD (Scottish Official Board of Highland Dancing) Judge’s Panel, a role which has led to adjudication tours on both sides of the Atlantic. She also serves as the secretary for the HDTAE (Highland Dance Teachers Association of England). Highland dancing has led Kathleen to all corners of the world, enjoying working in dance in different contexts. In the wider public eye, she has performed for Queen Elizabeth II, taught an MTV host how to do the Fling and has worked with Torvill & Dean to aid in choreography for ‘Dancing on Ice’. She prides herself in her technical perfection in her own performance and in her teaching. Kathleen is committed to championing Highland Dance and to bringing it to a wider audience.

Ensemble Hesperi is a dynamic and innovative early music ensemble based in London. It is dedicated to showcasing the infinite colours and possibilities of the instruments, presenting programmes through the lens of colourful characters from the musical past. Its members have a particular interest in promoting unpublished and previously undiscovered Scottish Baroque repertoire, and in exploring the fascinating links between Scotland, London and the continent through baroque music during the eighteenth century.

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