ADVENT REFLECTIONS MUSICAL DIRECTOR: Peter Leech with CANZONA Director: Theresa Caudle Bristol Evening Post Advent Reflections Peter Leech Even though the charming Magnificat once A musician with over 20 years experience as a choral and attributed to the famous Italian composer orchestral conductor, his repertoire ranges from medieval Giovanni Battista Pergolesi (1710-36) might to contemporary, specialising in late Renaissance and be by his teacher, the much less famous early Baroque periods. An international award-winning Francesco Durante, the work itself is no less conductor (First Prize at the Mariele Ventre International exciting, or inspiring. Join Harmonia Sacra Choral Conducting Competition, (2003), he has directed and Canzona as we celebrate the 300th anni- European and Australasian amateur and professional versary of Pergolesi’s birth with a perform- ensembles with critical acclaim. ance of this delightful work, alongside a rare In the UK Peter’s current conducting posts comprise Salve Regina by the Polish baroque master, Aylesbury Choral Society, Collegium Singers, Harmonia Grzegorz Gorczycki, ushering in the Advent Sacra, Cappella Fede and Wells Tallis Voices, with past season with the ethereal and uplifting sounds permanent or guest directorships having included Bristol of baroque choral music accompanied by Bach Choir, City of Oxford Choir, Cathedral Singers of orchestra in the superb acoustics of St Tho- Christ Church, Oxford, Royal Scottish National Orchestra mas the Martyr. Chorus, Yeovil Chamber Choir, St Hugh Singers, Bristol The concert will run for 75 minutes with- Philharmonic Orchestra, Frideswide Ensemble, Canzona, out an interval and Chameleon Arts Orchestra. In recent years he has also conducted Coro Euridice (Bologna), the Coro di Concessions: Ages 12-18 yrs & over 65’s Teatro Comunale (Bologna), City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong, The Song Company (Sydney), Ensemble Eszterhaza (Melbourne), and New Holland Baroque St Thomas (Adelaide). Peter has also led choral workshops with the Martyr Harpenden Choral Society, Daventry Choral Society and Cantemus Chamber Choir (Wales), amongst many oth- ers, and with the majority of UK Early Music Fora. Peter is Chairman of the South West Early Music Forum and an Honorary Research Fellow in the School of Arts and Humanities at Swansea University. He is a regular contributor to Early Music, and has written for other scholarly journals such as Eighteenth-Century Music, Music & Letters and Archivum Historicum Societatis Iesu. Peter’s recently rediscovered keyboard manuscript of music attributed to the Jesuit composer Antoine Selosse (1621-87) has been recorded on the Deux Elles CD label by Terence Charlston. Canzona Since its formation in 1992, Canzona has established itself as one of England’s leading ensembles specialising in performing baroque music on period instruments. The core of the group comprises two violins and continuo, but Canzona is regularly enlarged to orchestral proportions, The Church of St Thomas the particularly for its collaborations with various choirs. Martyr The ensemble has performed with many eminent col- leagues such as the conductors Stephen Layton, Harry Directions: St Thomas Street; south west Christophers and Brian Kay, and singers Emma Kirkby, of Bristol Bridge near intersection of Red- James Bowman, Ian Bostridge and Peter Harvey. It has cliff Street and Victoria Street. given performances in the Spitalfields and Three Choirs Accessibility: The church has ramp for Festivals and appeared at St. John’s, Smith Square and the interior step, but there are exterior steps The Royal Festival Hall to mention just a few; and was up from the footpath at both doors. Ensemble in Residence at Magdalen College, Oxford in Parking: There is metered parking on the 2003 and 2004. road outside of the church, and in neighbour- Canzona’s recording of Campra motets has met with ing roads near the church. much critical acclaim.
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