The festival this year is in honour of the Hilliard Ensemble, in their 40th and final year of singing together. The Hilliards were founded in 1974 and named for Nicolas Hilliard, Elizabethan painter of miniatures. For the most part they have performed early and Renaissance music, but are also associated with several contemporary composers, notably Arvo Pärt who said of them ‘The Hilliard Ensemble has infused my vocal music with life and has put its stamp on it. Their interpretation has led me to discover my own music; when I heard it for the first time, I could not believe I had composed it.’
The Hilliards will be performing in several concerts this weekend, as will vocal groups they have trained and mentored, such as Amarcord and Singer Pur. The festival begins on Friday at 1730 in Kings College Chapel in a free concert featuring music by Dunstable and Taverner, and continues in Trinity College Chapel with a concert performed by the Hilliard Ensemble of Perotin, Cornysh, Pärt and others. Here they are, singing Viderunt Omnes by Perotin:
And here they sing the beginning of Arvo Part’s Passio.
The Festival continues over the weekend – tickets are still available, here.