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The King's Consort (Period Instrument Orchestra)

Founded: 1980 - England

The King's Consort (= TKC) is one of Europe's leading period instrument orchestras. Founded in 1980 by Robert King, TKC and its equally renowned Choir of The King's Consort have toured in five continents and appeared in almost every European country, in Japan, Hong Kong and the Far East, as well as North and South America. With 95 CD's in the catalogue, and more than one million CD sales, TKC is one of the world's most-recorded historical instrument orchestras.

For twenty-nine years The King's Consort has presented an adventurous variety of repertoire spanning from 1550 to the present day, in many of the greatest European concert halls, including those of Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey.. Highlights have included seven appearances at the BBC Proms; performances of the spectacular Coronation of King George II; performances of the Venetian spectacular reconstruction of Lo Sposalizio in Vienna, across France and in major British halls and festivals; J.S. Bach's Mass in B Minor (BWV 232) to capacity audiences at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Warsaw Philharmonic Hall, Paris Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Avignon Opéra and London Queen Elizabeth Hall; a tour with J.S. Bach's St Matthew Passion (BWV 244) widely across Britain and Europe; a live TV concert in Prague's Rudolphinum in the presence of Queen Elizabeth and President Havel; staged performances of Purcell The Fairy Queen in Spain and Britain; the opening concert of BBC TV's Purcell celebrations; W.A. Mozart's Requiem in in the spectacular surroundings of Granada's Alhambra Palace. Other staged operas have included George Frideric Handel's Ottone in Japan and Britain; G.F. Handel's Ezio at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris and Purcell's The Indian Queen in the historic theatre in Schwetzingen, Germany; The Fairy Queen in Britain and Spain. Tours further afield have included concert and opera performances in in Tokyo, Osaka and across Japan, in Hong Kong and the Philippines, in Mexico, Brazil and Argentina, and across the USA and Canada. Other recent projects have included further performances of J.S. Bach's Mass in B Minor (BWV 232) and the Four Orchestral Suites across Europe, stagings of Lo Sposalizio, and G.F. Handel's oratorios Israel in Egypt, Judas Maccabaeus, The Choice of Hercules and Messiah, Haydn's The Creation, W.A. Mozart's Requiem and C minor Mass and Felix Mendelssohn's Elijah.

TKC's ninety-five, highly-acclaimed recordings with Hyperion have won many international awards and sold over one million copies. The orchestra is especially regarded for its many recordings of music by G.F. Handel and Purcell, but its catalogue also includes instrumental and choral music by dozens of composers from Tomaso Albinoni to Jan Dismas Zelenka, including concertos by Haydn and Hummel, J.S. Bach's Mass in B Minor (BWV 232), G.F. Handel Arias with James Bowman, Heinrich Schütz' The Christmas Story, W.A. Mozart's Epistle Sonatas, Gabrieli Motets, vocal music by Dowland, Alessandro Scarlatti, Johann Adolf Hasse and François Couperin, and concertos by Georg Philipp Telemann, T. Albinoni and Antonio Vivaldi, Rossini's Petite Messe Solennelle, W.A. Mozart's Sacred Music, the Stabat Maters of Giovanni Battista Pergolesi, Astorga and Boccherini, G.P. Telemann's Wassermusik and the massive Venetian reconstruction Lo Sposalizio. Twenty-five world-premiere recordings of Purcell's complete Odes and Welcome Songs, Secular Solo Songs and the Sacred Music have established The King's Consort as the world's leading performers of this composer's music. The Consort is also renowned for its recordings of G.F. Handel oratorios and operas, including Acis and Galatea, Ottone, Joshua, Deborah, Judas Maccabaeus, The Occasional Oratorio, Joseph and his Brethren and Alexander Balus, as well as the Four Coronation Anthems, the Musick for the Royal Fireworks and the Water Music.

TKC's recent CD projects include a much acclaimed new series, The Complete Sacred Music of Monteverdi, including the Vespers of 1610: this series follows the success of ten volumes of Antonio Vivaldi's complete Sacred Music, including the oratorio Juditha Triumphans, which won international awards. Similarly fêted have been the the massive Venetian reconstruction Lo Sposalizio; a series exploring rare German music, Bach's Contemporaries, including highly-acclaimed discs of sacred music by both Johann Kuhnau and Sebastian Knüpfer; best-selling recordings of The Coronation of King George II and G.F. Handel's colourful Ode for St Cecilia. Released to great acclaim were also Boccherini's rarely-heard Stabat Mater of 1801 and G.F. Handel's L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato. Other recent releases include a critically-acclaimed recording of Michael Haydn's Requiem (winner of BBC Music Magazine’s 2006 Best Choral Recording), and a large-scale disc of W.A. Mozart Sacred Music with soprano Carolyn Sampson. In the world of Hollywood TKC's choir feature in the sound tracks of Ridley Scott's epic The Kingdom of Heaven, and in The Chronicles of Narnia, Pirates of the Caribbean, Flushed Away and The Da Vinci Code.

TKC's projects over the coming season (2009-2010) include J.S. Bach's St Matthew Passion (BWV 244) at the Lucerne Easter Festival, in the Amsterdam Concertgebouw and in Madrid's Auditorio Nacional, together with projects both large and small across the UK and Europe.

Members of The King's Consort:





Elenor Bowers-Jolley
Julie Cooper
Rebecca Outram
Olive Simpson
Julia Wilson-James

Ian Aitkenhead [MB]
Stephen Carter
Christopher Field
Natanya Hadda
Polly Jeffries
Carris Jones
William Missin
Peter Nardone
Jan Zwerver

Hiroshi Amako
Daniel Auchincloss
Philip Cave
Mark Dobell
Nicholas Keay
Graham Neal
Tom Phillips
Richard Rowntree
Paul Tindall
Nicholas Todd

Neil Bellingham
Robert Evans
William Gaunt
Robert Macdonald
Charles Pott
David Stuart
Giles Underwood

MB = Missing Biography. If you would like to contribute a biography of the artist, please send me a message. My e-mail address and the instructions can be found at the page: Short Biographies - Explanation.

Source: The King’s Consort Website; The King's Consort (August 2006, October 2009); Gramophone Website (January 2009)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (June 2001, April-May 2015); The King's Consort (September 2006, October 2009)

Robert King: Short Biography | The King’s Consort | Recordings of Vocal Works | Recordings of Instrumental Works
Individual Recordings:
Bach Cantatas 54, 169, 170 (for Alto) - R. King | BWV 232 - R. King

Recordings of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works




Edward Higginbottom


BWV 243, BWV 248/1

Links to other Sites

The King's Consort (Official Website)
The King's Consort (Hyperion)

Biographies of Performers: Main Page | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z
Explanation | Acronyms | Missing Biographies | The Sad Corner


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Last update: Wednesday, September 06, 2017 22:16