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
These concerts are such a joy, during 2019 SJB invited a young professional we hadn't worked with before to join us for each concert. We figured it would be nice thing to share the experience!
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 very sad that we could not invite anybody to listen in.
2021 December 3rd
Handel's Messiah with Scott Price and the Schola Cantorum of Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School, at St. John's Smith Square