The Cantate Choir perfomed with the London Pro Arte Orchestra and London Pro Arte Baroque Orchestra during the Magnificat concert as part of the Tudely Festival in January 2003.
London Pro Arte Orchestra
Originally founded in 1985 as the Orchestra of St James, the London Pro Arte Orchestra is now in its fourteenth Season. Murray Stewart became Artistic Director and Principal Conductor in 1985, and since that time the Orchestra has given over 100 concerts both at home and abroad. The Orchestra made its South Bank debut in 1986, appearing at St John’s, Smith Square the following year. It appears regularly in all of London’s major Concert Halls, making its Barbican debut in 1995, as well as the Fairfield Hall in Croydon. The Orchestra has regularly appeared at the Colston Hall in Bristol.
The London Pro Arte Orchestra has toured abroad in France and Denmark, being invited to give the opening concert at the Vendsyssel Festival, when it broadcast on Danish Radio. The London Pro Arte Brass Ensemble (one of three associated Ensembles of the Orchestra) has since returned to Denmark, recording once again for Danish Radio.
A number of distinguished soloists have appeared with the Orchestra, including the late Manoug Parikian, Erich Gruenberg, Peter Katin, Marie-Louise Langlais, Peter Katin and Tim Hugh. The London Pro Arte Orchestra has appeared in three South Bank Festivals, Beethoven Plus, the French Bicentenary Festival, and the Szymanowski Festival. It also gave the UK Premiere of Aulis Sallinen’s Iron Age Suite in the presence of the composer.
Having made its Royal Festival Hall debut in 1991, the London Pro Arte Orchestra took part in the Herbert Howells Centenary Concert the following year, when it gave the London Premiere of Howell’s Sine Nomine. The Orchestra has since returned to the Festival Hall to give a performance of Britten’s Noye’s Fludde with Finchley Children’s Music Group.
The London Pro Arte Orchestra has a commitment to premiering contemporary works. It has given London Premieres of works by Paul Patterson and Piers Hellawell, as well as premiering several works by Jean Langlais at the South Bank. The Orchestra gave the UK Premiere of Naji Hakim’s Organ Concerto, and the World Premiere of Robert Walker’s Mele Livida. Two more Premieres will be given this Season, the Oboe Concerto by Kenneth Leighton, and Naji Hakim’s Violin Concerto. The Orchestra’s first CD, of works by Jean Langlais, was released in 1998 by Koch International. The London Pro Arte Orchestra also made the premiere recording of Richard Maunder’s edition of the Mozart Requiem, in its entirety, and on modern instruments.
In 1997 the Orchestra began a Residency at the People’s Palace Concert Hall, Queen Mary and Westfield College, London. Last Season the Orchestra appeared as part of the International Orchestral Concert Series at the Fairfield Hall, Croydon. It has also appeared at the Henley Festival and in open air Concerts at Portchester Castle and Tredegar House, as well as the 650th Anniversary celebrations at Trinity Hall, Cambridge. The Orchestra has twice appeared at ‘Music in the Air’ in Hampshire, playing before its largest audience ever of ten thousand people on both occasions. Future concerts this Season include St John’s, Smith Square, St Martin in the Fields and St Giles’, Cripplegate in London. A return visit to ‘Music in the Air’ will be made in 2003.
London Pro Arte Baroque Orchestra
An associated ensemble of the London Pro Arte Orchestra (founded in 1989), the London Pro Arte Baroque Orchestra, formed in 1995, brings together some of the finest young musicians specialising in playing period instruments.
The Orchestra made its London debut at St John’s, Smith Square in November 1995, and has since concentrated its activities around the major choral works of J S Bach. This has included acclaimed performances of Bach’s Mass in B minor in France.
Members of the orchestra play in some of the most prestigious Orchestras and Ensembles, including the Academy of Ancient Music, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, the English Concert, the London Classical Players and Floregium, under the direction of such distinguished conductors as Sir Charles Mackerras, Sir Roger Norrington and Christopher Hogwood. Between them, members of the Orchestra have taken part in many recent and highly praised recordings of renaissance, baroque and classical music.
The Orchestra appears regularly at the London venues of St John’s, Smith Square and at St Martin in the Fields. Last Season’s highlights included performances of Bach’s Easter Oratorio and Handel’s Messiah at St John’s, Smith Square, as well as a Bach programme at the Henley Festival. This Season the Orchestra performs Handel’s Judas Maccabeus with the East London Chorus at St John’s, and later gives a performance of Bach’s Mass in B minor. Tours to both France and Denmark are planned for the end of the Season in the summer of 2003.
Further details can be found on the orchestra’s website.