Armonico Consort is one of the largest and most innovative organisations of its kind in the UK. Through concerts such as ‘Supersize Polyphony’ and ‘Naked Byrd’, and new operas including ‘Too Hot to Handel’, ‘Baroque around the Block’ and ‘Monteverdi’s Flying Circus’, Armonico seeks to promote access to exceptional and exciting music for as broad an audience as possible.
The group works with the finest singers and instrumentalists using authentic period instruments, performing across the UK and beyond. It regularly works with some of the world’s greatest musicians, with recent partnerships including Sir Willard White, Nicola Benedetti, Dame Emma Kirkby and Elin Manahan Thomas. Armonico has received critical acclaim for its performances and recordings, including handfuls of four and five star reviews from The Times, The Independent, The Guardian and Financial Times.
Highlights of Armonico Consort’s past work include performing ‘The Magic Flute’ at The Barbican, joining forces with Nicola Benedetti for Vivaldi’s Violin Concertos at the Hampton Court Palace Festival, Elgar’s ‘Dream of Gerontius’ with The Philharmonia and large scale performances with thousands of AC Academy members at the Royal Albert Hall. The group has also worked with many inspirational names over the years, including Jeremy Irons, Dame Judi Dench and Dame Evelyn Glennie.
Armonico Consort’s current and future plans include a recording of Bach’s Cantatas for Soprano with Gillian Keith on the Signum label, performances of Mozart and Vivaldi with Nicola Benedetti, and a tour with wine critic and broadcaster Oz Clarke.
One of the proudest achievements of Armonico Consort is the foundation of AC Academy, an initiative which seeks to provide free, first-class music education opportunities to children from all backgrounds across the UK. Over 150,000 children have benefitted from AC Academy thus far, and the scheme currently reaches 15,000 young people a year.
AC Academy works in partnership with the Royal Albert Hall, in a relationship which sees regular performances with many thousands of AC Academy members with some of music’s biggest names. Directly tackling music education cuts, one of AC Academy’s biggest successes is its ‘choir creation’ scheme. This sees teachers trained as music leaders, mentored by the group’s specialist facilitators, leaving behind the legacy of a choir in each school. 2016 marks the half-way point in the project of creating 300 new choirs and choir leaders, which will see up to half a million children benefit from access to choral singing. AC Academy now works in partnership with six music hubs across the UK delivering their singing strategy.
Armonico Consort is grateful to many funders for making these ventures possible. Arts Council England, Youth Music and many regional authorities across the UK are just some of the statutory funders who invest in our work. However, our work would not be possible without the generous support of many charitable trusts, businesses and individuals, and we are enormously grateful to all of them.