Handel Messiah by Candlelight
Saturday 21 December 2019
7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Handel – Messiah
English Chamber Choir
Belmont Ensemble of London
Elizabeth Weisberg Soprano
Ciara Hendrick Mezzo Soprano
Ben Thapa Tenor
Philip Tebb Bass
Peter G Dyson Conductor
The English Chamber Choir is one of London’s leading and busiest vocal ensembles and for over 40 years it has been at the forefront of London’s musical life. The Choir takes great pride in its versatility, from renaissance to rock, polyphony to pop, and classical to cabaret.
The Choir has performed in all the major London concert halls and currently appears frequently at the Royal Albert Hall, at St Martin-in-the-Fields and at the famous Temple Church. The Choir has also sung by invitation for the Lord Mayor of London at the Mansion House and for HM The Queen at both Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle. Abroad, it recently returned from performing at the prestigious Patmos Festival of Sacred Music in Greece – the first British choir to appear.
Recent notable concerts include performing with the legendary Procol Harum live at the London Palladium, two Harry Potter films and Gladiator with live music to screen at the Royal Albert Hall, as well as Handel’s Messiah and the Fauré and Mozart Requiems at St Martin-in-the-Fields.
The Choir appears on a number of commercial albums, most notably those of Vangelis. It is also credited on Ridley Scott’s Bladerunner and 1492: Conquest of Paradise, Steven Spielberg’s Band of Brothers, and Eric Levi’s Les Visiteurs film scores and the ERA series of albums. The Choir has a long association with Rick Wakeman, from the original Journey to the Centre of the Earth with the London Symphony Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall in the 1974 to its revival 40 years later at the Royal Albert Hall and at venues all over Britain. The Choir also took part in the return of Wakeman’s King Arthur at the O2 Arena in 2016. The Choir is currently (November 2018) high in the charts featuring on Wakeman’s Piano Odyssey.
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 700 concerts at the famous Trafalgar Square Church where they are firmly established as the most popular of the principal orchestras, attracting large international audiences to their fortnightly concerts. A recent highlight was a concert given in the presence of HRH Princess Alexandra.
The Orchestra was originally established to enable exceptional music graduates the opportunity to bridge the gap between leaving conservatoire and finding full-time employment, within a professional environment.
Now a seasoned fixture on the London musical scene, the orchestra receives no subsidies or sponsorship, relying purely on enterprising programming and box office receipts.
In 1996 the Ensemble made their acclaimed debut at the Purcell Room, and in 1998 made their sold-out debut at the Queen Elizabeth Hall.
The Orchestra has appeared at The Banqueting House in Whitehall, St Clement Dane’s Church, St Paul’s Church Covent Garden, The Blackheath Halls and they have established an ongoing concert series at St James’s Church, Piccadilly. As well as performing in the capital, the Ensemble has appeared at numerous Festivals and Music Societies around the country, from Somerset to Sussex, Ludlow to Northampton as well as a recent concert in Chelmsford Cathedral.
Belmont has close links with Classic FM, which has included giving the stations first ever Christmas Day Concert, since then Classic FM has broadcast many Belmont Ensemble concerts live from St Martin-in-the-Fields.
In 1994 The Orchestra recorded Walton’s Façade, and other works incorporating the poetry of John Betjeman and Roald Dahl, narrated by Benjamin Luxon CBE. This received critical acclaim in the USA “The orchestra’s playing is light, playful and precise”.
Belmont Recordings was quickly established, releasing more CDs including Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and Mozart’s two Sinfonia Concertante. The Ensemble also appeared in a Channel 4 TV documentary, as well as the recent Channel Five TV series about St Martin-in-the-Fields.
The Belmont Ensemble is a highly flexible group with a dedicated core of string players for baroque music; it can adapt to encompass forces for large romantic concertos and choral works, to contemporary commissions.
Belmont Ensemble members, past and present, can be found playing in all of the leading British orchestras including The Philharmonia, LPO, LSO and RPO, CBSO, Britten Sinfonia, English Concert and OAE and well as The Royal Opera House and English National Opera Orchestras.
Peter G 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”.
Founder, Musical Director, and Manager of The Belmont Ensemble of London, it is his enterprise and vision that has seen the orchestra perform more than 700 concerts at St Martin-in-the-Fields, more than any other orchestra in the history of the famous Church. A recent highlight was a concert given in the presence of HRH Princess Alexandra.
A graduate of the highly acclaimed Advanced Conducting Course at the Royal Academy of Music, Peter studied with Colin Metters, Sir Colin Davis, Sir Simon Rattle, Leonard Slatkin, Sir Roger Norrington, Claus Peter Flor, George Hurst, and the pedagogue Ilya Musin from St Petersburg Conservatory. Peter was elected as an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music in 2000, an honour reserved for the Conservatoires’ most eminent graduates.
He has conducted the New Queens Hall Orchestra in London, including a live broadcast on BBC Radio 3; He has appeared regularly with the Latvian Philharmonic Orchestra in Riga, the Guatemala National Symphony Orchestra in Guatemala City, the Macedonian Philharmonic Orchestra in Skopje, the Filharmonie Ceske Budjedovice, Filharmonie Hradek Kralove and South Bohemian Chamber Orchestra (Czech Republic).
In 2013 and 2015 Peter travelled to Australia as Guest Conductor with The Chamber Orchestra at St Paul’s (Cathedral) performing at the Melbourne Recital Centre. He has been invited to return to conduct in Melbourne in 2018.
A former choral scholar, has conducted the BBC Singers in concert for BBC Radio 3, and has worked with the Philharmonia Chorus, the English Chamber Choir, the Tallis Chamber Choir, the Joyful Company of Singers, the New London Singers, St Martin-in-the-Fields Choir and Choral Scholars, St Martin’s Voices, the Codina Singers, the Northampton Bach Choir, the Chameleon Arts Chorus, Sevenoaks Philharmonic Choir, Vox Cordis and Barts Chamber Choir.
He has conducted at London’s premier venues including St.Martin-in-the-Fields, Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room, St.John’s Smith Square, St.James’s Piccadilly, The Banqueting House, and has broadcast on BBC Radio and TV, ITV, Channel 4 TV, Channel Five TV and Classic FM.
Dates, Times & Book
|Sat 21 Dec||7:30 PM||£36/£30/£25/£18/£10||Book|
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