Group biography

Formed in 1988 by the Early Music Network of Great Britain, the Orlando Consort rapidly achieved a reputation as one of Europe’s most expert and consistently challenging groups performing repertoire from the years 1050 to 1550. Their work successfully combines captivating entertainment and fresh scholarly insight; the unique imagination and originality of their programming together with their superb vocal skills has marked the Consort out as the outstanding leaders of their field. The Consort has performed at many of Britain’s top festivals (including the BBC Proms and the Edinburgh International Festival) and has in recent years made visits to France, Holland, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Poland, the Czech Republic, Estonia, the USA and Canada, South America, Singapore, Japan, Greece, Russia, Austria, Slovenia, Portugal and Spain.

The Consort's impressive discography for Saydisc, Metronome, Linn, Deutsche Grammophon and Harmonia Mundi USA includes a collection of music by John Dunstaple and ‘The Call of the Phoenix’, which were selected as Early Music CDs of the Year by Gramophone Magazine in 1996 and 2003 respectively; their CDs of music by Compère, Machaut, Ockeghem, Josquin, ‘Popes and Anti-Popes’, ‘Saracen and Dove’ and ‘Passion’ have also all been short-listed. Their 2008 release of Machaut’s ‘Messe de Notre Dame’ and ‘Scattered Rhymes’, an outstanding new work by the young British composer Tarik O’Regan and featuring the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, was short-listed for a BBC Music Magazine Award. The ‘Dart of Love’ (January 2015) is their second recording in a series for Hyperion exploring the polyphonic songs of Guillaume de Machaut; the first release ('Le Voir Dit') was selected by New York Times critics as one of their favourite classical CD releases of 2013. Their most recent release is their second disk dedicated to the music of Loyset Compère.

The Consort’s performances also embrace the spheres of contemporary music and improvisation: to date they have performed over 30 world premières and they have created striking collaborations with the jazz group Perfect Houseplants and, for a project exploring historic Portuguese and Goan music, the brilliant tabla player Kuljit Bhamra. The Consort currently holds a residency at Nottingham University and recent concert highlights include their return visit to New York's Carnegie Hall. As well as presenting the ‘Voices Appeared’, a live soundtrack devised from music from the era of Joan of Arc's life to accopany screenings of Dreyer's La Passion de Jeanne d'Arc, throughout 2016, the Consort will be maintaining its busy schedule of recitals throughout the UK, Europe and North America.

 

For individual biographies of the Orlando Consort members - past and present - please click below:
Robert Harre-Jones
Matthew Venner
Charles Daniels
Mark Dobell
Angus Smith
Donald Greig

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What am I listening to?

You are listening to Ave mundi rosa, a piece from the fourteenth-century, typically English in its use of sweet parallel harmonies. It is the latest in our ongoing series of recordings for Hyperion, a survey of English choral music from the late thirteenth to the early fourteenth centuries. You can hear more on the Hyperion website, read the engaging liner notes, and order or download tracks or the entire album in a number of formats.