Handel Messiah by Candlelight
Handel – Messiah
English Chamber Choir
Belmont Ensemble of London
Elizabeth Weisberg Soprano
Ciara Hendrick Mezzo Soprano
Richard Rowntree Tenor
Philip Tebb Bass
Peter G Dyson Conductor
The English Chamber Choir is one of the best known and busiest groups of its size based in London. It prides itself on the breadth of its repertoire and the diversity of its engagements. Based in the City, local appearances have included performances of music by John Tavener in St Paul’s Cathedral and Tallis’ 40-part motet Spem in Alium at the Mansion House. It has sung in all the main halls in the Southbank Centre, at the Royal Albert Hall, the Barbican, St John’s Smith Square, and Cadogan Hall. It currently appears several times a year with the Belmont Ensemble at St Martin-in-the-Fields and presents its own recital programmes in several other London venues.
Further afield recent concerts have included the Barber Institute in Birmingham, Norwich and Rochester Cathedrals, and Hertford College Oxford, while in Europe the Choir has made several visits to Belgium, Bulgaria, Greece and Switzerland.
While the Choir’s live performances are predominantly classical, its recording credits cover an equally diverse selection of more commercial productions. It has featured on iconic film soundtracks such as Ridley Scott’s 1492, Conquest of Paradise with Vangelis, television titles include Steven Speilberg’s Band of Brothers, and numerous albums including the Era series with French composer Eric Levi which have sold many millions of copies in Europe and South America.
In May 2009 the Choir appeared at Hampton Court Palace singing The Six Wives of Henry VIII with Rick Wakeman, and a few weeks later accompanied Rick in his piano and orchestra programme P’n'O at Cadogan Hall.
The Belmont Ensemble of London was founded by its Musical Director, Peter Dyson in 1991, winning instant critical acclaim. It is now one of the busiest and finest chamber orchestras in the capital.
The Belmont Ensemble was the pioneering force in establishing the famous series of baroque concerts at St Martin-in-the-Fields in the early 1990s. They have now given over 500 concerts at the famous Trafalgar Square Church, where they are firmly established as one of the most popular of the principal orchestras, attracting large international audiences to their regular concerts. A seasoned fixture on the London musical scene, the orchestra receives no subsidies or sponsorship, relying purely on enterprising programming and box office receipts.
The orchestra has also performed regularly at London’s Southbank Centre and at numerous Festivals and Music Societies around the country, from Somerset to Sussex and Ludlow to Northampton.
Belmont have broadcast on BBC Radio 3, Classic FM, Channel 4 and Five Television and have recorded an eclectic range of CDs from Vivaldi and Mozart to Bach and Walton.
Peter Dyson is an outstanding English Conductor, described by The Times as a “Baroque specialist” and by the London Evening Standard as “An Internationally respected conductor”.
A graduate of the highly acclaimed Advanced Conducting Course at the Royal Academy of Music he was elected as an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music in 2000, an honour reserved for the Conservatoires most eminent graduates.
He has guest conducted orchestras around the world, from Guatemala to Latvia and the Czech Republic to Macedonia.
“The band played with gusto… a very good chamber group” The Independent
“Quite delightful, wholly witty and wonderfully rhythmic, the ensemble’s playing is light, playful and precise” American Record Guide
“One of the UK’s most exciting orchestras” Classic FM