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Birmingham International Recorder and Early Music Festival at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire

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by Andy Coleman (subscribe)
I'm a freelance writer living in Birmingham. I like Classic Rock, 70s pop music, football and interviewing celebrities. Follow me on Twitter: @andycoleman9
Event: -
Competitions, concerts, workshops and demonstrations
An innovative music festival, featuring professional concerts, demonstrations and competitions, takes place at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire between February 15 and 18, 2018.
Highlights of the Birmingham International Recorder and Early Music Festival include a young recorder soloists competition, concerts by The Gonzaga Band, London Handel Players and Bonfire Radicals, recorder masterclasses and an early music market.

Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, Birmingham City University, Birmingham International Recorder and Early Music Festival, Bonfire Radicals, London Handel Players, The Art of Moog, Dan Laurin and Anna Paradiso
Royal Birmingham Conservatoire (pic:Hulton/ Crow)



The recorder competition takes place on February 16 and 17 at Birmingham City University's city centre campus on Jennens Road. Open masterclasses will be held on the same days, with taster workshops for baroque instruments, including harpsichord, flute, violin and oboe, being held on February 17 and 18.

During the event a variety of instrument makers, shops and organisations will set up stalls in the foyer areas to create an early music market.

The festival has attracted some leading performers who can be seen in concert:

February 15

The Gonzaga Band: a UK ensemble dedicated to the authentic performance of 16th and 17th century music. They will present their recently recorded programme Venice, 1629.

Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, Birmingham City University, Birmingham International Recorder and Early Music Festival, Bonfire Radicals, London Handel Players, The Art of Moog, Dan Laurin and Anna Paradiso


Bonfire Radicals: the Birmingham-based contemporary folk band (pictured above) weave raucous woodwind, delicate vocals, progressive violin, hard-hitting bass, psychedelic electric guitar and percussive beats to create their own unique brand of music.

February 16

Dan Laurin and Anna Paradiso: Swedish recorder player Dan and harpsichordist Anna (below) will perform a mixed programme of Swedish baroque music.

Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, Birmingham City University, Birmingham International Recorder and Early Music Festival, Bonfire Radicals, London Handel Players, The Art of Moog, Dan Laurin and Anna Paradiso


London Handel Players: joining the performers (below) are baroque dancers Mary Collins and Steven Player to present a programme in full 18th-century costume.

Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, Birmingham City University, Birmingham International Recorder and Early Music Festival, Bonfire Radicals, London Handel Players, The Art of Moog, Dan Laurin and Anna Paradiso


The Art of Moog: to mark the 50th anniversary of Wendy Carlos' seminal Switched on Bach – in which Bach was played for the first time using synthesizers - multiple synthesizers will be used in the Art of Moog Plays Bach performance (below).

Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, Birmingham City University, Birmingham International Recorder and Early Music Festival, Bonfire Radicals, London Handel Players, The Art of Moog, Dan Laurin and Anna Paradiso


February 17

Annabel Knight and members of the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire Recorder Department: a performance of 20th Century Originals, influential recorder works from the mid-20th century.

Musical and Amicable Society: performance of Bach's concerto for four harpsichords, alongside the première of a Vivaldi concerto newly arranged for four harpsichords.

Jamie Savan: an experimental presentation blending old and new technology and featuring some of the earliest music written for cornett.

February 18

Royal Birmingham Conservatoire Early Music Department: a concert of music from the 16th to the 18th centuries.

Walter Bergmann 30th Anniversary Celebration Concert: a special event commemorating the life and achievements of the recorder player and early music pioneer Walter Bergmann, 30 years after his death. The concert will feature performances of Walter's music given by Ross Winters, Chris Orton and Annabel Knight, plus Conservatoire students and young recorder players.
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Why? Unique music festival
When: February 15 - 18, 2018
Phone: 0121 331 5901
Where: Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, Birmingham City University, 200 Jennens Road, Birmingham B4 7XR
Cost: Various
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