violone_logo PMcM_graphic

St James' Baroque

St. James' Baroque was started by Ivor Bolton in 1984.  It's one of the leading period instrument ensembles, appeared at every year of the Lufthansa Festival of Baroque Music and has also appeared at many other festivals - including four visits to the Proms.

Ivor Bolton made several recordings with St. James's Baroque.  James O'Donnell took over from Ivor as Music Director in 2005.

St. James' Baroque pays close attention to recent historical research, particularly stringing and the

set up of period instruments (or modern copies of old instruments).    

For many years, we have had a wonderful association with Britain's most celebrated choir, the Choir of Westminster Abbey.


St James' Baroque                                                  PHOTO: Stephen Boffey

If you are looking for a first rate period instrument ensemble, free thinking, and at the cutting edge of baroque performance practise, please email us

[email protected]

November 30th 2021 at 7pm

St. James' Baroque is very pleased to be playing Handel's Messiah at Westminster Abbey

for James O'Donnell and the Abbey Choir.

It was just too sad to pass a second year without playing a Bach passion during Holy Week.  Bach left a definitive score of the Matthew Passion, but we have an late revised score (not completed by Bach himself) and evidence for 4 different versions.

Much as folk revere Bach, they regularly ignore the written evidence that survives (often in his own hand).  We convened a rehearsal Monday of Holy Week and worked through the alternate pieces that survive for the John Passion, with close attention to the instrumentation & forces available to him in his early performances.  


It was a wonderful experience for us all - so seldom that working musicians have the time to do that.  It was a shame that we could not invite anybody to listen in!


December 3rd 2021  at 7.30pm

Handel's Messiah with Scott Price  and the Schola Cantorum of Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School, at St. John's Smith Square