Ensemble Hesperi is a dynamic and innovative London-based period ensemble, with a passion for showcasing Early Music through intelligent, distinctive programming. The members of Ensemble Hesperi met during their studies at the Royal College of Music in London, and the varied talents of each member of the Hesperi constellation combine to produce an infectious energy, leading to joyful collaborations with singers, dancers, and actors. Whether performing as the core ensemble of recorder, baroque violin, baroque cello and harpsichord, or with friends for larger projects, Hesperi’s performances embody the spontaneity of true chamber music.
Since 2019, the ensemble has gained a strong reputation for championing rarely-heard music, bringing forgotten stories to life through original historical research. Funded by a Lottery grant from Arts Council England, its debut project, “The Pheasant’s Eye”, celebrated Scottish eighteenth-century music, featuring special choreography from Highland dancer Kathleen Gilbert. More recently, the ensemble embarked upon a new project, supported by the Continuo Foundation, “From Caledonia to the Capital”, which told the stories of Scottish composers who settled in eighteenth-century London. In early 2022, the ensemble received a second grant from the Continuo Foundation for its latest project, “Then I play’d upon the Harpsichord”, an immersive concert exploring the musical tastes and talents of Queen Charlotte, consort to George III.
In 2020, Hesperi was selected as Britten Pears Young Artists on the Chamber Music Residence scheme, and in November 2020, won first prize at the London International Festival of Early Music Young Ensemble Competition. In September 2021, the ensemble was delighted to win third prize at the prestigious International Van Wassenaer Competition in Utrecht, and released its debut album with EM Records, “Full of the Highland Humours”, later that year. In December, the ensemble was selected as City Music Foundation artists 2021. Hesperi has appeared regularly on Radio 3’s Early Music Show, recorded in studio for Classic FM, and has performed at leading festivals and venues across the United Kingdom and Europe, including Brighton Early Music Festival, LIFEM, Petworth Festival, Lichfield Festival, King’s Lynn Festival, St Martin-in-the-Fields, Snape Maltings, Festival Alte Musik Knechtsteden, and Festival Oude Muziek Utrecht Fringe.
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