Explore English Tudor Masterpieces with Rory McCleery
Time & Date:
3-5.30pm, Sunday 24 May 2020
Tithe Barn, Priory Green, Dunster, TA24 6RY
Rory McCleery | Dunster Festival Artistic Co-Director
£15 including music and refreshments
Two hours, thirty minutes (including tea break)
Join Rory McCleery, artistic director of The Marian Consort, for an afternoon workshop exploring some of the great musical masterpieces of Tudor England, written by composers closely associated with Henry VIII, Edward VI, Mary Tudor and Elizabeth I.
The workshop will begin with a gentle vocal and physical warm-up, and will end with an informal sing-through/performance of the music studied. Among the works selected for the workshop will be pieces by William Byrd, ‘the Father of British Music’ and his teacher and Chapel Royal colleague Thomas Tallis, as well as lesser-known works by William Mundy and John Sheppard.
Our workshop is open to all, although some prior choral experience and a familiarity with reading sheet music is recommended. Music will be provided on the day, and can also be sent out in advance as a pdf.
‘McCleery elicits performances that glow with golden purity and soul’ (The Scotsman)
Rory McCleery, ‘a countertenor and academic as well as conductor … combining boyish geniality with quite startling erudition’ (The Sunday Times), is the founder and director of Gramophone Award-nominated vocal ensemble The Marian Consort, with whom he performs across the UK, Europe, North America and the Far East. Under his direction, The Marian Consort has recorded eleven CDs with Delphian Records and has become renowned for its compelling interpretations of a wide range of repertoire, particularly the choral music of the Renaissance and early Baroque, but also works by contemporary British composers. Recent and upcoming performances include The Marian Consort’s Wigmore Hall debut, broadcast live on BBC Radio 3; a televised concert tour of Japan; and recitals in Finland, Croatia and in the Bascule chamber underneath Tower Bridge.
Rory began his musical career as a chorister in the choir of St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral, Edinburgh. He gained a double first in Music and an MSt in Musicology with Distinction from Oxford University, where he was organ scholar of St Peter’s College. As a countertenor, he greatly enjoys performing as a soloist and consort singer in concert and recording with other ensembles including The Dunedin Consort, Contrapunctus, The Monteverdi Choir, The Sixteen, The Gabrieli Consort, Le Concert d’Astrée, The Academy of Ancient Music, The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and The Cardinall’s Musick.
Recent solo performances have included Bach St John and St Matthew Passions; Handel Messiah, Dixit Dominus and Ode for the Birthday of Queen Anne; Pärt Passio; Purcell Come ye Sons of Art, Ode to St Cecilia and Welcome to All the Pleasures; Monteverdi Vespers of 1610; Rameau Grands Motets; and Britten Abraham and Isaac in venues including the Concertgebouw Bruges, the Royal Chapel of the Palace of Versailles and Edinburgh’s Usher Hall. Rory has appeared as a soloist and commentator for broadcasts on ARTE, Radio France, BBC Radio 3 and German, Italian and Polish national radio.
Rory is much in demand as a guest conductor and workshop leader, and has led singing courses, study days and choral workshops across the UK, Germany, Spain and the USA. He is a passionate believer in the importance of music education and singing for young people and is director of choral music at City, University of London.