Armonico Consort is one of the largest and most innovative organisations of its kind in the UK, existing to inspire audiences with its unique programmes. Through concerts such as ‘Supersize Polyphony’ and ‘Naked Byrd’, and operas in new English translations including ‘Too Hot to Handel’, ‘Baroque around the Block’ and ‘Monteverdi’s Flying Circus’, Armonico seeks to facilitate access to exceptional and exciting music for as broad an audience as possible.
The group works with the finest musical talent using authentic period instruments,
performing up to fifty concerts a year across the country and beyond. They regularly work with the best solo musicians in the world, with recent partnerships including Sir Willard White, Nicola Benedetti, Dame Emma Kirkby and Elin Manahan Thomas. They have received critical acclaim for their performances and recordings, with several five star reviews from The Times and The Independent.
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 and Carmina Burana with AC Academy singers at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. The group has worked with many inspirational names over the years, including Jeremy Irons, Dame Judi Dench and Dame Evelyn Glennie.
The proudest achievement of Armonico Consort is the foundation of the AC Academy, an initiative which seeks to provide free, first-class music education opportunities to children from all backgrounds across the UK. Over 100,000 children have benefitted from the 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 saw 1300 young singers perform at the venue in March 2013. 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 every school. In the next five years, the charity intends to create 200 choirs, which will see up to half a million children benefit from access to choral singing.
The group is proud to announce Russell Watson, the UK’s number one selling classical artist, as the official Ambassador for AC Academy. This special partnership will be launched with a concert at Symphony Hall Birmingham on 14 July 2014, where Russell will perform alongside 700 AC Academy singers.
Armonico Consort’s future plans include a tour of ‘Dido and Aeneas’ with Elin Manahan Thomas and the Christmas Oratorio with Sir Willard White, with appearances in the International Concert Series at Warwick Arts Centre, St David's Hall, Cardiff, Spitalfields Music and Poole Lighthouse.
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.