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Orpheus Britannicus - new Ensemble in Residence at Trinity Hall

11 November 2008

One of the UK’s most dynamic period instrument and vocal ensembles has taken up a position at Trinity Hall.

Orpheus Britannicus, founded by Trinity Hall’s Director of Music Andrew Arthur, has become the ‘Ensemble in Residence’ at the College.

In addition to its public concert performances, during its residency, the group will offer opportunities to current Trinity Hall students to engage with the musicians in the context of ‘open’ rehearsals, master-classes and private lessons. 

Andrew said: “This association with Orpheus Britannicus will help me to bring my own specialist field of research and performance into play at the College, and it is my hope that in time, Trinity Hall will develop a unique reputation as a centre of excellence for ‘Early Music’ in Cambridge”.

Based in London, the group has enjoyed great success, building a reputation in particular for its expressive and emotional approach to the rich vocal chamber repertoire of the 17th and 18th centuries.   Recent performances have included Handel’s newly discovered Gloria for Soprano and strings, Zelenka's Lamentations, Buxtehude’s cantata cycle Membra Jesu nostri and numerous solo songs and dialogues of Henry Purcell. Ongoing commitments include the performance of J.S. Bach’s complete cantatas for solo voice.

Orpheus Britannicus also regularly assumes orchestral proportions, and has enjoyed some fine collaborations with the London-based Chandos Chamber Choir. Recent performances in this guise have included J.S. Bach's Johannes Passion, Handel’s Dixit Dominus, Messiah and verse anthems and Welcome Odes by Henry Purcell. Future engagements include J.S. Bach’s Messe in H-moll and the 'Lutheran' Missae.

Orpheus Britannicus’ first Cambridge Concert takes place on Sunday 16 November at the Church of St Edward, King & Martyr at 9 pm.  Conducted by Andrew Arthur, the Orpheus Britannicus Vocal Consort, together with Gavin Roberts on the Organ, will perform music by Orlando Gibbons (1583-1625), Thomas Tomkins (1572-1656) and Thomas Weelkes (1576-1623). This will be the first in a series of early music related concerts to be held annually at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, or associated concert venues.

For further information, please visit: www.andrewarthur.com

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