Musicians of the Globe • Biography
In 1993 the late Sam Wanamaker asked Philip Pickett to form an associate ensemble to carry the name and ethos of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre around the world through concerts, recordings and broadcasts.
Determined to achieve the highest possible standards of musical performance, Pickett immediately formed the Musicians of the Globe from among the very best of England’s early music instrumentalists. Together with distinguished vocal soloists they explore a colourful and varied repertoire of Elizabethan and Jacobean music, much of it inspired by Shakespeare.
The nucleus of the group – a 6-part English consort of violin, recorder, cittern, lute, bandora and bass viol – can be expanded to perform large-scale programmes of 17th-century music.
Following their Purcell Room debut in 1994 the Musicians of the Globe were invited to make three live broadcasts for BBC Radio 3, to give a concert in the 1995 Purcell Room lunchtime series and to appear at the Seville, Aldeburgh and South Bank Centre Early Music Festivals. In June 1997 they began a summer concert series at the Globe Theatre, and brass, wind and percussion players from the group provided the music for Richard Olivier’s production of Henry V. Highlights of 1998/9 included four fully-staged performances of Blow’s opera Venus & Adonis at the Globe, A Restoration Tempest for the City of London Festival, and concerts in Belgium, Italy, Sicily, at the BBC Proms, London’s Purcell Room and Queen Elizabeth Hall, Rome’s Accademia Filarmonica and Barcelona’s Palau de la Musica.
More recently they have visited South America and Hungary, toured Japan twice, returned to Rome, Barcelona, Seville, Bruges, London’s South Bank Centre and the City of London Festival, made their debut at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam and Cité de la Musique in Paris, and appeared at the Antwerp, Turin, Ravenna, Sienna, Utrecht, York, Sandwich, Chester, Cheltenham, Neuss, Dubrovnik, Mexico City, San Luis Potosi, Carinthian Summer, Prague Spring, Buxton, Cambridge Summer Music, Seville, Estrella, Logrono, Victoria and Almagro Theatre Festivals. In June 2008 they were invited by the Singapore Arts Festival to take part in Awaking, a staged production featuring the Musicians of the Globe, Singapore Chinese Orchestra and Northern Kunqu Opera Theatre. In June 2009 they were invited by Marianne Faithfull to perform as part of her carte blanche at the Cité de la Musique in Paris.
Highlights of the last two seasons have included performances at Manchester Bridgewater Hall, London Cadogan Hall, Rotterdam De Doelen, Antwerp De Singel, Bruges Cultuurcentrum, Eindhoven Philips Hall, Cheltenham Music Festival and Zagreb Summer Music Festival.
Among their forthcoming projects for 2012/13 the Musicians of the Globe will collaborate with Celtic star Carlos Nuñez, performing a new programme of early Celtic music on tour in major concert-halls and festivals throughout the UK. Other plans include performances at various French festivals, as well as concerts in Bygdoczsz and at the Vienna Konzerthaus.
The Musicians of the Globe recorded 7 CDs for Philips Classics ranging from Shakespeare’s Musick through Purcell’s Fairy Queen and Linley’s Shakespeare Ode to Henry Rowley Bishop’s music for the early 19th-century Shakespeare revivals at Covent Garden. Their very first US release in 1997 was nominated for the coveted Grammy Award for Best Small Ensemble Performance.
In Spring 2010 Philip Pickett and his ensembles were appointed Associate Artists of Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall.
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