John Dowland (1563-1626)
Thomas Campian (1567 - 1620)
Henry Lawes (1596 - 1662)
Henry Purcell arr. Kenny
Robert de Visée (c.1655 - 1732/3)
Clear or cloudy
Author of Light
Folorn Hope Fancy
Be welcome then great sir
Amarillis by a stream
Theatre Ayres for theorbo
By beauteous softness
Suite in D
’Tis Nature’s Voice
Robin Blaze is firmly established in the front rank of interpreters of Purcell, Bach and Handel, and he works with most of the distinguished conductors in the early music field including Christophers, Gardiner, Haïm, Herreweghe, Hogwood, Koopman, Goodwin, Leonhardt, King, Kraemer, Mackerras, Pinnock and Suzuki.
He regularly appears with The Academy of Ancient Music, Bach Collegium Japan, Collegium Vocale, The English Concert, The Gabrieli Consort, The King’s Consort, Florilegium, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and The Sixteen. Other engagements have included the Berlin Philharmonic, the National Symphony Orchestra, Washington, Royal Flanders Philharmonic, BBC Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Northern Sinfonia and the Philharmonia Orchestra.
He has visited festivals in Ambronay, Beaune, Boston, Edinburgh, Halle, Iceland, Jerusalem, Innsbruck, Karlsruhe, Leipzig, Lucerne, Saintes and Utrecht, and has given recitals in Tenerife, Paris, Karlsruhe, Innsbruck, Göttingen, at the York Early Music, Three Choirs Festivals, for BBC Radio 3 and at the Wigmore Hall.
Opera engagements have included Athamas in Semele (Covent Garden, ENO); Didymus in Theodora (Glyndebourne Festival Opera); Arsamenes in Xerxes, Oberon in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Hamor in Jephtha (ENO & WNO) and Bertarido in Rodelinda (Glyndebourne, Göttingen Handel Festival).
Robin's many recordings include the ongoing Cantata Cycle with Bach Collegium Japan, Handel Oratorio Duets (OAE/Kraemer), several recital discs of lute songs with Elizabeth Kenny, Didymus Theodora (Gabrieli Consort/McCreesh), Vivaldi, Kuhnau and Knüpfer (The King's Consort), Purcell Odes (Collegium Vocale Gent/Herreweghe) and Thomas Adès’ song cycle The Lover in Winter.
Recent and future highlights include Handel’s Israel in Egypt with the Choir of King’s College Cambridge and the Academy of Ancient Music, Buxtehude’s Membra Jesu with the Ricercar Consort, Bach’s St Matthew Passion with the Bach Choir, Messiah in Annapolis and with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Hamor in Jephtha with The Sixteen, Barak in Deborah with Laurence Cummings as part of the London Handel Festival, Bach’s Christmas Oratorio with Kammerorchester Basel, performances with Florilegium and the King’s Consort at Wigmore Hall, and Robin also continues his collaboration with Bach Collegium Japan and Masaaki Suzuki.
[Look up Robin Blaze in Wikipedia for more information and music samples].
Elizabeth Kenny is one of Europe’s leading lute players. Her playing has been described as “incandescent” (Music and Vision), “radical” (The Independent on Sunday) and “indecently beautiful” (Toronto Post). In twenty years of touring she has played with many of the world’s best period instrument groups and experienced many different approaches to music making. She is a principal player and initiator of seventeenth century projects with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. Her research interests have led to critically acclaimed recordings of Lawes, Purcell and Dowland, leading to the formation of her ensemble Theatre of the Ayre . (see below) Her recital CD Flying Horse: The ML LuteBook was released by Hyperion Records in 2009. She guest-edited a Dowland themed issue of Early Music, bringing performers and scholars together in celebration of the 450th anniversary of the composer’s birth, in 2013. She is an artistic advisor to the York Early Music Festival, where has been involved in programme planning from 2011 to 2014. Liz Kenny taught for two years at the Hochschule der Künste, Berlin, is professor of Lute at the Royal Academy of Music, and a Reader in Performance at Southampton University.
Theatre of the Ayre is Elizabeth Kenny’s platform for bringing dramatically-minded singers and players together to create inspirational programmes of seventeenth century music. Their first project, The Masque of Moments, drew on research undertaken during her AHRC Fellowship in the Creative and Performing Arts at Southampton, and toured England, Belgium and Germany in 2007-8, being broadcast in all three countries. They followed this with a tour of John Blow’s Venus and Adonis, a live recording of which was released on the Wigmore Live label in January 2011. Several smaller-scale projects (Ayres and Dialogues, Dowland; Anniversary Collection and Setting the Baa High: English pastoral) toured the UK in 2013, as well as a unique collaboration with members of the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain: Lutes and Ukes. Its education arm, Youths Lutes and Ukes involved the players teaching and performing with a total of 360 children in London and York. They finished the year with a project centred around Marc-Antoine Charpentier in which students collaborated with the ensemble in its appearance at Southampton’s Turner Sims Concert Hall.