Regular performances in some of the world’s most prestigious venues have confirmed Florilegium’s status as one of Britain’s most outstanding period instrument ensembles. Since their formation in 1991 they have established a reputation for stylish and exciting interpretations, from intimate chamber works to large-scale orchestral and choral repertoire. Florilegium regularly collaborate with some of the world’s finest musicians including Dame Emma Kirkby, Robin Blaze and Elin Manahan Thomas.
Concert venues include Sydney Opera House, Esplanade (Singapore), Teatro Colon (Buenos Aires), Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), Konzerthaus (Vienna), Beethoven-Haus (Bonn), Handel-Haus (Halle) and Frick Collection (New York). Among the numerous residencies Florilegium have held was Ensemble-in-Residence at London’s Wigmore Hall from 1998 to 2000, performing several series of concerts each year and becoming actively involved in the Hall’s education work. Since September 2008 they have been Ensemble in Association at the Royal College of Music, where they take five string, wind and keyboard coaching sessions each term on 18th century baroque repertoire.
The 2017-18 season sees Florilegium travelling around the UK with concerts in London, Winchester, Cardiff, Bath, Cambridge, Somerset and Bristol. London concerts include Kings Place with a programme of virtuosic baroque music from Germany, England and France, two concerts at Wigmore Hall, culminating in the performance in March with acclaimed countertenor Robin Blaze, the performance of the complete Brandenburg Concertos at St George’s Hanover Square and the Royal Festival Hall for St Matthew Passion.
Florilegium’s recordings for Channel Classics have been awarded many prizes including a Gramophone Award nomination, Editor’s Choice from Gramophone, Diapasons d’Or and Chocs de la Musique. Florilegium’s CD of Telemann’s Paris Quartets Vol 2 received the Classical Internet Award from Classicstoday.com. The Bach Cantatas disc with Johannette Zomer was awarded a 2008 Edison Award, Dutch music’s most prestigious prize. The second volume of Baroque Music from Bolivian Missions was nominated for a 2008 BBC Music Magazine award, and BBC Music Magazine selected volume 3 as Disc of the Month for April 2010. A recording of Vivaldi, released in January 2012, was rated “Outstanding” by International Record Review and was Disc of the Week on BBC Radio 3’s CD Review. A disc of Florilegium’s arrangements of Bach’s Organ Trio Sonatas, released in summer 2012, was immediately awarded CD of the Week by The Sunday Times.
In 2014 Florilegium released their 25th recording, the complete Bach Brandenburg Concertos, which was awarded a Dutch Luister 10 Award, Classical CD Choice CD of the Month and was Classic FM Featured Album on 10 November 2014 (a week before its official UK release date). Last year’s release Telemann: Concertos & Cantata ‘Ihr Völker hört’ has received Gramophone’s “Editor’s Choice” in their September 2016 issue, was shortlisted for the Gramophone Awards and was elected “Recording of the Month” in the October 2016 issue of BBC Music Magazine. The latest release includes Handel’s German Arias and Trio Sonatas recorded with soprano Gllian Keith. Almost immediately Classics Today reviewed this recording suggesting it was “compelling”. Future releases include a double CD of Telemann’s Essercizii Musici.
“Florilegium takes a modern stance – one-to-a-part ‘period’ instruments at ‘Baroque’ pitch. Technically they’re superb: there’s immaculate intonation in pairs of unison strings…They’re characterful too: natural horns (No. 1) retain their outdoor personality; violas languish in reflective suspensions…But Florilegium’s lean forces reduce the natural dramatic contrasts between solo and tutti.”
“Remember their name. They are great poets, magicians who will hypnotise your mind in the magic of their music, touching the very heart of your soul.”
“sensitive phrasing, genuine rhythmic bounce, and when necessary, the smooth touch of a silk cravat.”
“Poised musical courtesies and superbly contained passion.”
The Sydney Morning Herald
“Florilegium, an expert period instrument group…their performance was exemplary. Ornamentation was gracefully executed, the phrasing in slow movements was shapely and affecting.”
New York Times, The Independent