Soak up a sixteenth-century atmosphere in Beverley this weekend

Published: Friday 19th May 2017 by Courtney Farrow

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Beverley and East Riding Early Music Festival is back for its 30th year and it’s a great opportunity to experience something a bit different.

The prestigious event takes place from Friday 26 until Monday 29 May, with certain exhibits running until mid-July. We spoke to Dr Delma Tomlin MBE, Director of the festival, to find out more.

“Beverley is the perfect setting,” enthuses Delma. “The architecture fits well with the fifteenth and sixteenth-century music that’s on offer. Beverley Minster is a fantastic venue, especially with the medieval minstrel carvings.”

For 2017, the National Centre for Early Music has organised something extra special. Collaborating with their colleagues in Belgium, they have curated a free exhibition of illustrated musical manuscripts:

“These texts are absolutely beautiful,” Delma tells us. “We have some 2D displays as well as a newly-created media installation.”

There will also, of course, be music concerts happening across the weekend. On Friday evening, La Serenissima will perform Vivaldi Double Concertos at St Mary’s Church. This great Italian composer is famous for his incredible collection of work, including around 500 concertos. Celebrate his genius in the historic venue of this medieval parish church.

Meanwhile, Beverley Minster will host the fantastic Tallis Scholars as they present Masterpieces of the Sixteenth Century. Much-loved at festivals across the world, the vocal ensemble is set to be a huge hit at Beverley.

If you’re visiting with family, children can join in the fun by picking up a Discovery Pack. With these they will be able to learn more about early music and what’s going on at the event.

There will also be a fun, family-friendly show at Toll Gavel United Church on Monday. Made especially for children aged 7-12, Dr Dee’s Daughter and the Philosopher’s Stone is a magical puppetry extravaganza.

On Sunday, The Carnival Band will take to the stage at St Mary’s Church with Vivien Ellis. Prepare for an entertaining combination of musical styles, genres and instruments.

“Beverley Early Music Festival attracts audiences from all over the place,” Delma continues. “Our visitors are usually those who are already in love with early music.”

Nevertheless, the NCEM are keen to welcome those who are completely new to the concept:

“For those who are wanting to explore the world of early music, I’d recommend The Marian Consort show at East Riding Theatre,” she tells us.

“This show is theatre mixed with early music. Seeing actors engaging with the sounds can be a great introduction to the style.”

In the meantime, if you’re wanting to get involved, head to Patrick Craig’s Choral Workshop on Saturday 27 May. Here you will be able to practice your vocal skills and perform at an informal event that afternoon.

“In the busy world that we live in, it’s nice to just sit back and hear medieval music,” Delma points out. “I think, for many people, coming to a place like Beverley and listening to incredible performances is very special.”

You can purchase tickets for Beverley and East Riding Early Music Festival by visiting the National Centre for Early Music website. Alternatively, call the box office on 01904 658338.

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Published: Friday 19th May 2017 by Courtney Farrow

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