Harry Christophers and the Sixteen

Article excerpt

Celebrating their 30th Anniversary in 2009

2009 is a year of significant musical anniversaries - not only those of Handel, Haydn, Purcell, Mendelssohn and James MacMillan, but also the thirtieth anniversary of The Sixteen. To celebrate this extraordinary year, The Sixteen is undertaking an ambitious season of concerts in the UK and abroad; focusing on three of these particular composers, with corresponding releases on their record label CORO.

The launch of their celebrations on 17 September took place at the Foundling Museum, a fascinating place, rich in history, restored to former glory and decorated with lovely portraits. Of course it also has a strong Handel connection, housing as it does a first class Handel exhibition. The composer George Frideric Handel was a Governor and benefactor of the Foundling Hospital as it was originally known, and annual performances of Messiah provided vital sources of income for the Hospital. In addition to the score and parts of Messiah bequeathed to the Hospital by Handel, the Museum now holds the Gerald Coke Handel Collection internationally important coll- ection of material relating to Handel and his contemporaries, including manuscripts, printed books and music, libretti, paint- ings and engravings, memorab- ilia, art works and ephemera.

After a short talk from patron Simon Russell Beale and Harry Christophers about the 30th anniversary Mark Padmore unleashed his magnificent voice. …