Stour Music

17 to 26 June

This vibrant early music festival founded by Alfred Deller in 1962 and now under the artistic direction of I Fagiolini’s Robert Hollingworth is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year with a bang. For a start, three mini-operas – by Rameau, Handel and Purcell. Then we’ve many artists that are new to Stour: John Butt and the Dunedin Consort, the many trumpets of Spiritato and even The Swingles (how have they never been before?). Welcome also to debutants Musica Secreta, whose all-female Convent soundworld of the 16th century is changing how we think about Renaissance sacred music: and in a completely unrelated Argentinian twist, ‘Tango Siempre’ with a pair of fabulous Tango dancers. Dancers, too, in our grand opening – Tudor Night: a fabulous Elizabethan extravagance featuring voices, (welcome Fieri Consort!) wind and reed players, virginals, dancers, a proper ‘Broken Consort’ (that’s a good thing) – and if you come a bit early, jugglers and other hidden joys.

Stour Music Festival occurs each year in late June and early July; ten concerts take place in the large Pilgrim church of All Saints’ Boughton Aluph. In its early years, Stour provided the platform for the first concerts in England by Nikolaus Harnoncourt and the Concentus Musicus from Vienna, Collegium Aureum from Cologne, and artists such as Gustav Leonhardt, Frans Brueggen and David Munrow.

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