The Fitzhardinge Consort was founded in 2011, to bring challenging and rarely-performed choral music to Bristol and the South West. It has since continued to perform regularly across the region to great critical acclaim, and has quickly become known for its exciting and original interpretations of Renaissance and Baroque music, particularly of Victoria, Bach and, most recently, Buxtehude.
The choir consists of professional musicians from the across the West of England and South Wales, including many from the choir of Bristol Cathedral and alumni of the University of Bristol. The size of the Consort varies according to the size of the venue, the nature of the event and the repertoire being performed, but come to a concert and you may expect to see between ten and sixteen singers. Fitzhardinge is committed to encouraging young musicians, and a handful of university students are mentored by the more experienced members of the team. Many of these students go on to postgraduate vocal studies at conservatoires across the country and to perform with groups including Ex Cathedra, the Monteverdi Singers and The Sixteen.
While it performs in large venues such as Bristol Cathedral and Berkeley Castle, Fitzhardinge believes in taking expert-calibre choral music beyond the bubbles of big cities and prestigious concert halls. To that end, it performs regularly to growing and enthusiastic audiences in small, rural venues around Somerset, Wiltshire and beyond, always endeavouring, whenever possible, to make no charge for entry to concerts.
The Fitzhardinge Players is a group of chamber musicians which is assembled to accompany the Consort. This may vary from a single continuo team of organ and cello, to a small orchestra.
Peter Wagstaff became Director of The Fitzhardinge Consort in September 2014. Recent and substantial additions to the repertoire under his direction have included the three most virtuosic motets of J. S. Bach (Komm, Jesu, Komm; Lobet den Herrn; and Singet dem Herrn) and Dieterich Buxtehude’s epic cantata cycle for Passiontide, Membra Jesu Nostri.
If you are interested in performing with The Fitzhardinge Consort or Players, please click here