First concerts of 2018

Bristol Holy Trinity Saturday 6 January at 7.30pm | Salisbury St Martin’s Sunday 7 January at 3pm

We are looking forward to ringing in the first weekend of the new year with performances in Bristol and Salisbury. On Saturday 6 January 2018, we return to Holy Trinity Church in Westbury-on-Trym to conclude their 1300th anniversary celebrations. We then travel to Salisbury to perform for the third time in St Martin’s Church. Both programmes are centred around music for Epiphany, and will feature renaissance and contemporary works intermingled with plainchant. Featured composers include Sir John Tavener, Herbert Howells, Arvo Pärt and Cheryl Frances-Hoad. Tickets are just £10, with a £5 reduced rate for students.

Programme to include
Tavener The Lamb
Cornelius Three Kings from Persian lands afar
Pärt Morning Star
Byrd Praise our Lord all ye Gentiles
Eccard When to the Temple Mary went


BRISTOL – 6 JANUARY 2018 at 7:30 PM


SALISBURY – 7 JANUARY 2018 at 3:00 PM

Review of German debut

We’re grateful to Andrew Benson-Wilson for writing this review of our first concert in Germany, given as part of Tage Alter Musik Regensburg in June 2017.

“The late night (10.45pm) concert in the Schottenkirche St. Jakob (with its extraordinary sculptures) was given by the young British a cappella vocal group The Gesualdo Six, directed by Owain Park, making their German debut with their programme Journey through the Music of the English Masters. With composers ranging from Dunstable to Tomkins they explored some of the finest music ever produced from the British Isles in a well-balanced and varied programme. They were particularly good at the distinctively English false relations heard in Taverner’s Quemadmodum and Loquebantur from Tallis, the master of such scrunchy harmonic twists and turns. His cadence on Alleluia must be amongst the most beautiful in the history of music, almost equalled by the final cadence of his Suscipe quaeso Domine. These pieces were contrasted by the relative simplicity of Sheppard’s Libera nos II and White’s Christe, qui lux es et dies. The emotional intensity and changes in volume in, for example, Byrd’s Vigilate, were well handled, sounding completely natural to the music. The two countertenors, Guy James and Alex Chance were very impressive. The audience response was particularly enthusiastic, and rightly so.”

Read the complete review of the festival here: https://andrewbensonwilson.org/2017/07/12/regensburg2017/

A look back at our 2017 Spring Season

Guy James reflects on our first concerts in the North of England, CD recording and performance at the SJSS Holy Week Festival 2017.

An early start heralded the beginning of our Spring projects, with me meeting Owain, Joseph, and the familiar rented 7-seater just outside Cambridge on Sunday morning. Engineering works on the Great Western Railway, a hasty U-turn and three hours of driving later saw more of us than we were expecting arriving together in the car in Monmouth for a concert as part of Wye Valley Music’s 2016/17 season. Our programme spanned the whole range of our repertoire, featuring several pieces that would be recorded later in the week! The church and Monmouthshire were stunning and we really enjoyed performing there and seeing some familiar faces in the audience, many of whom had travelled down from Herefordshire. Being one of the members of the group who suffers from standing at a normal height, I then found myself in the familiar position of being pressed up against Josh and our luggage in the back of the car for the drive back to Cambridge to begin our much-anticipated recording in the beautifully sunny Trinity College.

We were very happy to be recording some of our very favourite repertoire, that of the English Renaissance Masters. The whole group have grown up singing and loving the works of such composers as William Byrd, Thomas Tallis, John Sheppard and Orlando Gibbons and it was a real privilege to be able to work intensely on their music with Adrian Peacock and David Hinitt in Trinity College Chapel where we gave our first concert over three years ago. This work completed we headed off to further our first ever Spring Tour with a concert in Kingston Parish Church on one of the most beautiful days of the year, preceded by tea and croquet kindly provided by our very generous hosts.

The following days saw our tour continue, for the first time headed northwards! One of several highlights for me included working with the brilliant Blackburn Cathedral choristers on Allegri’s Miserere as part of a concert featuring highlights from our tour repertoire. The cathedral is a wonderful modern building, perfect for some of our more ethereal pieces and I particularly enjoyed performing Lukaszewski’s Recessit Pastor Noster alongside two of Bach’s Passiontide Chorales in the warm acoustic. The next day brought a further personal highlight, a day in Bolton alongside the energetic and inspiring Bolton Music Service, enjoying performances by many local amateur choirs and ensembles before a workshop with the gathered company and a short performance by ourselves. It was marvellous to see local live music making in such rude health and to see so many people brought together by music and performance supporting each other. Long may this ethos and such friendships flourish.

The next week we concluded our spring projects with a return to St John’s Smith Square for their inaugural Holy Week Festival alongside Tenebrae and several of our other favourite artists. Our concert featured several modern pieces including the London Premiere of Owain Park’s Sequence: ‘In Parenthesis’. Requiring the unusual forces of 5 voices and a narrator I have had the opportunity to listen to this piece several times in churches across England and it has quickly become one of my favourite pieces in our repertoire. It was a perfect conclusion to our spring projects to hear it performed in London for the first time alongside Thomas Tallis’s Lamentations of Jeremiah in a very moving exploration of loss and lament for Holy Week.


Josh Cooter writes about Arvo Pärt’s Passio

We were incredibly honoured to be asked to continue our connection with St John’s Smith Square to perform Arvo Part’s ‘Passio’ in the opening concert of London’s International A Cappella Choral Competition on the 25th June. We were thrilled that the composer himself was able to attend to see us perform the parts of Jesus, Pilate and the Evangelist quartet, with Owain conducting the soloists and instrumentalists alongside Stephen Layton and the Holst Singers in this remarkable setting of the Passion story. It truly was a very special evening for all involved!


Alexander Chance on our performance at Raynham Hall

Early in June we made a trip past Cambridge on to King’s Lynn, and thence into the depths of the gorgeous sun-soaked Norfolk countryside, to Raynham Hall. This is the home of Lord and Lady Townshend, who host an annual summer concert series in its stunning marble Great Hall. We had been invited to perform by the series’ musical advisor, Michael Chance.

After a delicious lunch, we had a chance to test and delight in the concert hall’s marvellous acoustic for several hours, before our important pre-concert ritual of garden cricket, featuring, in a testament to the depths of the Townshends’ cupboards, the rare luxury of actual stumps and bails.

The concert programme itself seemed a fitting one for a sultry May evening – Italian madrigals by Monteverdi and Gesualdo, as well as lesser-known but equally joyous works by their contemporaries Gastoldi, Anerio and Giovanelli. We sang to a greatly appreciative audience, who had travelled from all corners of this glorious and often under-visited county (where I lived with my family for ten years); the packed room did nothing to dampen the acoustic. We are immensely grateful to the Townshends for hosting us so warmly and generously, and we hope to return in the future.

Arvo Pärt’s ‘Passio’ in SJSS

We are really looking forward to presenting Arvo Pärt’s stunning Passio in St John’s Smith Square with Stephen Layton and the Holst Singers on 25 June. This concert will launch the London International A Cappella Choir Competition 2017, which celebrates Arvo Pärt as its featured composer.

G6 in SJSS - LIACC 2015

Completed in 1982, Passio is one of Pärt’s most popular works and employs his truly original tintinnabuli style.

Tickets can be booked here: https://www.sjss.org.uk/book?873571079.

Full competition details can be found at: liaccc.org.uk

G6 in SJSS April 2016

Spring Season

We are looking forward to a busy spring season, with our first performances in the North of England as well as in The Hague and at the Wye Valley Music Festival. We are also recording our first CD of English Renaissance Polyphony, before appearing at the inaugural Holy Week Festival at St John’s Smith Square, in partnership with Tenebrae.

Performance Dates

– 22 March: REMA European Day of Early Music in The Hague | Website

–  26 March at 3pm in Monmouth Priory Church | Website

–  30 March at 6.30pm in Kingston Parish Church | Tickets available by emailing Linda Rimmer

–  31 March at 6.30pm in Blackburn Cathedral (featuring the Cathedral Choristers) | Tickets

–  1 April at 5pm in Victoria Hall, Bolton (concert and workshop for Bolton Choirs Festival) | Tickets

–  2 April at 7pm in St Ann’s Church, Manchester | Tickets

–  10 April at 6pm in St John’s Smith Square (part of the Holy Week Festival) | Website

G6 Northern Tour 2017 Poster

Northern Tour 2017

St Anne's Manchester.jpgWe are delighted to be performing our first concerts in the North of England, taking place in Blackburn, Bolton and Manchester 31 March – 2 April.

“The coolest vocal group around – revel in the gorgeous sounds, the spellbinding music, the programmes with something for everyone. Don’t miss them, I guarantee you’ll have the best evening ever.” – John Rutter

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DATES

–  Friday 31 March at 6.30pm in Blackburn Cathedral. Featuring the Cathedral Choristers in a joint performance of Allegri’s stunning Miserere mei, Deus | Tickets (£8/Free under-18s)

–  Saturday 1 April at 5pm in Victoria Hall, Bolton. Concert and workshop for Bolton Choirs Festival | Tickets (£6/Free under-18s)

–  Sunday 2 April at 7pm in St Ann’s Church, Manchester. Featuring a work by local composer Douglas Mason as well as folksong and light music arrangements  | Tickets (£8/Free under-18s)

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ABOUT THE GROUP

The Gesualdo Six are a vocal consort directed by Owain Park. Formed in March 2014, the ensemble has since gone on to perform numerous concerts around the UK, including two summer tours.

Whilst focusing on early music, the group often programmes modern works, including pieces by Joanna Marsh, Sarah Rimkus and Paweł Łukaszewski in their recent concerts.

The group were St John’s Smith Square Young Artists 2015-2016, following a highly competitive audition process. The scheme invests in promising artists who show “enormous talent and energy”, endeavouring to help shape their futures.

The group’s first recording will be an album of English renaissance polyphony, due for release in late 2017.

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Click here for Facebook Events

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We are looking for some sponsorship with this venture. Read more in a blog post from Owain here: http://thinknowltd.com/guest-blog-owain-park-director-of-the-gesualdo-six/

Joseph on returning to Salisbury

Joseph Wicks – tenor Joseph Wicks - The Gesualdo Six (Leicester)

“I for one am hugely looking forward to returning home to Salisbury with the group for several reasons. Firstly, it will be a joy to give a concert once again at St Martin’s, a church in which I gave many a school concert, occasionally practised the organ and regularly visit to hear other local musicians perform. Secondly, we will also be singing to the children and staff of the cathedral school during their weekly assembly in the cathedral itself. This will not only be a magical moment for the ensemble to perform in such an iconic, vast and wonderful building, but will also be a magical moment for me, to sing to the current pupils of my alma mater! For a school to meet each week in Salisbury Cathedral is a privilege, and I’m so pleased that we are able to sing to the school.”

The Gesualdo Six perform in St Martin’s Church, Salisbury, on 9 December 2016 at 7.30pm. Tickets are available in advance from Eventbrite (click here).

Find out more about our Christmas Tour here.

Summer Tour 2016

This summer the group embarked on our second Summer Tour. We had a fabulous time travelling around England, performing in new venues revisiting some of our favourites from last summer. We also performed overseas for the first time, enjoying several days of beautiful weather and some beach cricket on the stunning Isle of Jersey. We all really enjoyed welcoming our newest members Alex and Josh, and we’re very excited about working together lots more over the coming months.

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Tuesday 30th August – CLODOCK
St Clydawg Church | 7.30pm

Wednesday 31st August – ABBEY DORE
Dore Abbey | 7.30pm

Thursday 1st September – BRISTOL
Westbury-on-Trym Parish Church | 7.30pm

Friday 2nd September – WELLS
St Cuthbert’s Church | 7.30pm

Saturday 3rd September – LEICESTER
St James the Greater | 7.30pm

Sunday 4th September – WORCESTER
St Martin’s Church, London Road | 3pm

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PROGRAMMES of MUSIC

Programmes spanned a wide range of repertoire, from early renaissance music to music by living composers, including:

– English renassiance polyphony by Sheppard, Cornysh, Tallis and Byrd
– Music from the continent by Schütz, Gesualdo and Monteverdi
– Folksong arrangements from the British Isles, featuring Molly Malone, the Oak and the Ash, Migildi Magaldi and Red Red Rose
– Modern works by Joanna Marsh, Sarah Rimkus and Joanna Ward
– Light music arrangements including My Funny Valentine, Silence is Golden and Miss Otis Regrets

The Gesualdo Six - Summer Tour 2016 Poster

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Visit this page to find out more about our tour to Jersey.

Jersey Tour 2016

For our first overseas venture, we are delighted to visit the beautiful island of Jersey for a four day tour.

The main event is a concert in the town church of Saint Helier on Saturday 20 August at 7.30pm. We will also be appearing live on BBC Radio Jersey, and singing at Durrell Wildlife Park to support their important conservation work.

Alongside stunning sacred and secular works from the renaissance, our programme for the St Helier concert will include light music arrangements and modern works by British composers, including Gabriel Jackson and Alexander L’Estrange.

“The coolest vocal group around . . . revel in the gorgeous sounds, the spellbinding music, the programmes with something for everyone. Don’t miss them, I guarantee you’ll have the best evening ever.” – John Rutter, 2016.

Later in August, we also embark on a second summer tour, performing varied programmes of music in Herefordshire, Bristol, Wells, Leicester and Worcester. For more, visit this page

Tickets: £15, available on the door. £10 tickets for under-18s, with proceeds from the concert supporting Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust.