La Nuova Musica is a vocal and instrumental ensemble dedicated to the music of the European Renaissance and Baroque. In less than five years since its foundation by countertenor David Bates, it has shot to prominence in the UK and abroad. Already a regular guest at the foremost Early Music venues and festivals, including Kings Place, Wigmore Hall, Aldeburgh, Spitalfields and London Handel festivals, La Nuova Musica is establishing itself amongst critics and audiences as both a fixture and a breath of fresh air.
Across a steadily developing repertoire, La Nuova Musica performances are characterised by vividness and ardour. The London Times wrote of its 2009 performance of Handel’s Acis and Galatea at the London Handel Festival: “[Bates] breathed life, meaning and shape into every phrase. His speeds were properly brisk and his little band responded with playing of robust vigour.” At the 2009 Aldeburgh Easter Festival, the group’s interpretation of Schütz’s Musikalische Exequien proved in the words of the Eastern Daily Press “to be one of the sensations of the weekend…effortlessly sung.” Recent audiences were thrilled by La Nuova Musica’s account of Monteverdi’s Seventh Book of Madrigals at the Spitalfields Winter Festival: “extrovert, free-spirited and alive to every sob, sigh and smile” (The Times, London).
In 2011, La Nuova Musica made two further appearances at Aldeburgh, performing Schein and Gesualdo madrigals at the Easter Festival and Bach motets and cantatas at the International Festival in the summer. A performance of Handel’s Messiah marked the ensemble’s debut at St George’s, Bristol. In 2012, La Nuova Musica embarks on an exciting new relationship with Kings Place, curating the winter concert season around its own performance of Monteverdi’s Orfeo. A recital with renowned countertenor Robin Blaze, and a performance of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio follow in 2013. In March, 2012 La Nuova Musica will give concert performances of their newly-recorded project, Handel’s Il pastor fido, featuring Lucy Crowe, Katherine Manley and Clint van der Linde. This marks the group’s harmonia mundi début.
Header image: © Graeme Robertson 2012; Long image: © Ash Mills 2008 Text: courtesy of harmonia mundi