is an ensemble of young British singers, now established as one of the most original and exciting voices in its field. Much in demand in concert, the group performs regularly throughout Europe and North America. Their recordings on the harmonia mundi label have enjoyed great success, winning awards including the Diapason d’or de l’année and the Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik, and have twice attracted GRAMMY nominations. Their release Song of Songs won the 2009 Gramophone Award for Early Music and reached the top of the US Classical Chart.
Working without a conductor, the members of Stile Antico rehearse and perform as chamber musicians, each contributing artistically to the musical result. Their performances have repeatedly been praised for their vitality and commitment, expressive lucidity and imaginative response to text. Stile Antico’s recent engagements include debuts at the BBC Proms, London’s Wigmore and Cadogan Halls, the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, early music festivals in Boston, Bruges, Barcelona and Utrecht, and at the Cervantino Festival in Mexico. The group has toured extensively with Sting, appearing across Europe, Australia and the Far East as part of his Dowland project Songs from the Labyrinth, and is regularly invited to lead courses at Dartington International Summer School.
Few ensembles can match the breadth of Fretwork’s repertory, which ranges from the first printed collection published in 1501 in Venice to music commissioned by the group this year. In the 25 years since its debut, Fretwork’s pioneering work has taken its members all over the world. Their consistently high standards have brought music old and new to audiences hitherto unfamiliar with the inspiring sound-world of the viol.
Fretwork’s acclaimed recordings of the classic English viol repertory – Purcell, Gibbons, Lawes, Byrd – have become the benchmark by which other performances are measured. Its arrangements of the music of J. S. Bach have garnered particular praise. Released in 2009, the harmonia mundi recording of Purcell’s Complete Fantazias won the Gramophone Award for Baroque Chamber Music.