Workshops/Festivals 2011

Workshops/Festivals 2011: (UK) Birmingham Early Music Festival Concert: "Binchois Consort ‘A Coronation for the Virgin'" (20 nov 2011)

Contributed by Admin on Nov 17, 2011

BEMF is delighted to present the Birmingham début of this award-winning Hyperion-label ensemble (Binchois Consort), and of its director, Andrew Kirkman, who takes over as Barber Professor of Music in Autumn 2012. This newly-devised programme is inspired by the beautiful Midlands alabaster sculpture in the Barber Institute, ‘The Coronation of the Virgin’. Fashioned from stone quarried in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, the sculptures functioned as the focus of religious devotion, the power of the prayers often being enhanced by being set to glorious music.

There will a pre-concert talk about the sculpture by Robert Wenley, Deputy Director of the Barber, and Head of Collections: ‘The Barber Institute’s Coronation of the Virgin and English Medieval Alabasters’. Carved alabaster panels with religious imagery were one of England’s greatest exports during the late medieval period. They were shipped to Europe in huge quantities from various Midlands workshops during the 14th and 15th centuries. The Barber Institute is fortunate to possess a particularly large and fine single panel, representing the Coronation of the Virgin, still with traces of paint and gilding. It probably originally formed the central element of an imposing altarpiece, flanked by figures of the Apostles. This short talk will discuss the masterpiece and provide a sense of its cultural context.

Visit the Birmingham Early Music Festival website for more information and ticket availability. There are also some photos from the first two concerts available for viewing.