Performances 2020/2021

Concerts Update

Sadly, due to Covid-19, the vast majority of our concerts for the rest of 2020 have been cancelled or postponed. However, our harpsichordist, Thomas Allery, and recorder player, Mary-Jannet Leith, are performing every Friday lunchtime at 1pm on Facebook Live. 

We have also pre-recorded a fantastic concert for the English Music Festival, "Handel's Glorious Baroque", which will be broadcast on Monday 25th May. For more details, and to buy tickets, please see the concert details below.

Jan 31, 2020


Ensemble Hesperi presents a new programme at this fantastic series of lunchtime recitals.

Feb 21, 2020

7.30pm, Maidment Hall, Shrewsbury School

5.45pm: Highland Dance workshop for all levels (geared towards beginners!) with dancer Kathleen Gilbert

6.45pm: Pre-Concert talk on the fascinating world of Scottish Baroque Music - Mary-Jannet Leith

7.30pm: "The Pheasant's Eye: Dancing the Scottish Baroque" - Full Concert, showcasing the infectious charm and dazzling virtuosity of Scottish Baroque music linked to its roots in Highland dance. Distinctive for its folk influences, soaring melodies and catchy Celtic rhythms, the music of 18th century Scotland has timeless appeal, its ‘fusion’ style inspired both by Italian Baroque fashions and traditional music and dance. Bringing the dance elements to life, the ensemble is joined by Highland dancer Kathleen Gilbert with special new choreography.

Mar 03, 2020

1pm, Church of St. Peter and St. Paul, Tring

Ensemble Hesperi is delighted to have been selected as Chiltern Arts Festival 'Take Note' artists for 2020. They will present their programme "The Temple of Apollo" as part of the festival's theme, "Passion Prevails". 

Join Ensemble Hesperi in London in 1745, during the Jacobite Rebellion, where Scottish-born musicians fought and won against a culture of anti-Scottish sentiment to create beautiful works, bringing together traditional Scottish folk melodies with fashionable ‘Baroque’ style. Despite the risk of exile or worse, Scottish “expat” musicians in the capital – such as James Oswald, John Reid, and the eccentric Earl of Kellie, ‘Fiddler Tam’, secretly sided with the Jacobites, and expressed their support through their music. Oswald and his immediate circle of musicians formed a secret society, ‘The Temple of Apollo’, which was supported by Frederick, Prince of Wales, son of George II, who openly supported the rebellious Scots against his father. For musical Scots, foreigners in a hostile London, passion certainly prevailed – not only did they survive, but their music thrived and drew audiences from near and far to hear the sounds and soul of the Highlands!

May 24, 2020

English Music Festival - "Handel's Glorious Baroque"

We are delighted to be performing our programme 'Handel's Glorious Baroque'' at the English Music Festival Online, which will consist of recordings from some of our recent concerts, and some high quality home recordings as well - and even a new layered video recording with all four of us!  The concert will also feature spoken introductions to the pieces from us all, recorded remotely, as well as instrument demos from Tom and Mary-Jannet at their home in West London.

Here's our programme in full: 

James Oswald (1710-1769)   
The Anemone – The Honeysuckle                            
From ‘Airs for the Spring’ and ‘Airs for the Summer’      

G. F. Handel (1685-1759)
Recorder Sonata in F major, Op. 1, No. 11, HWV 369
Larghetto – Allegro – Siciliana - Allegro

Henry Purcell (1659-1695)
Harpsichord Suite in C Major Z. 666                                                                                      
From ‘A Choice Collection of Lessons for the Harpsichord’
Prelude – Almand – Corant – Saraband

Anon (compiled J. Walsh)
Greensleeves to a Ground                                                             
From ‘The Division Flute'

Francesco Geminiani (1687 – 1762)                                                                  
Trio in F Major on ‘The Last time I came o’er the moor’                     
from ‘A Treatise in Good Taste in the Art of Musick’
Andante – Grave – Allegro  

G. F. Handel (1685-1759)
Harpsichord Suite No 3 in D Minor, HWV 428                                                   
Praeludium – Allemande

G. F. Handel (1685-1759) 
Twenty Pieces for a Musical Clock                                                                       
Sixth Air - Variations – Va Godendo

Giuseppe Sammartini (1695-1750)
Sonata VI from 12 Trio Sonatas                                                           
Adagio – Allegro – Largo – Allegro

You can buy tickets here:

It would mean so much to us if you were able to join us for this concert. A high percentage of the ticket sales will come straight to us, the artists, so if most of our supporters book a ticket, we may be able to receive a similar amount to our original fee!  We look forward to 'seeing' you there!

Sep 30, 2020

12 noon: Music Room, Hatchlands

Ensemble Hesperi at The Cobbe Collection: "The Temple of Apollo"

Ensemble Hesperi presents an instrumental programme of Scottish Baroque music, exploring the colourful lives of composers who migrated to London during the eighteenth century. Many Scottish composers such as James Oswald, and the eccentric Earl of Kelly, ‘Fiddler Tam’, moved to London to seek their musical fortunes in the capital. But this was a dangerous time for Scots to be in London: during the Jacobite Rebellions, they were often insulted in the streets and theatres, and Scottish musicians, led by Oswald, stuck close together, forming a mysterious society called ‘The Temple of Apollo’. This style represents a unique ‘fusion’ of Italian virtuosity, catchy dance rhythms and soaring melodies from traditional Scottish folk music. Many Italian composers such as Barsanti and Geminiani were captivated by Scots tunes, and adapted them for London audiences, who lapped up the ‘exotic’ harmonies and rhythms - such as the ‘Scotch Snap’. A highlight of this programme is James Oswald’s 96 ‘Airs for the Seasons’: these charming character pieces are each named after plants and flowers, transporting the listener to the soundscape of the Scottish Highlands.

Feb 13, 2021

Music in New Radnor

"Full of the Highland Humours"

Ensemble Hesperi perform for this Music in New Radnor.

Sep 18, 2021

Festival of Alte Musik Knechtsteden

"The Pheasant's Eye"

Ensemble Hesperi perform their "Pheasant's Eye" programme for the German Early Music festival, with Kathleen Gilbert, Highland dancer.

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© 2020 by Ensemble Hesperi.