• Special Projects
  • Curlew River

  • Special Projects
  • Curlew River

    In Autumn 2014, Askonas Holt took the Barbican’s Britten Centenary production of Curlew River on tour to the United States. Britten’s Church Parable Curlew River is a “once heard, never forgotten” work, exploring the themes of community, suffering and redemption through the unforgettable figure of the Madwoman and the loss of her child.

    The production is by multimedia director and video artist Netia Jones, and the premiere featured an outstanding British cast led by Ian Bostridge as the Madwoman, alongside Neal Davies and Mark Stone with Britten Sinfonia and Britten Sinfonia Voices.

    In 2017, we reunited with Ian Bostridge and the Britten Sinfonia to bring a concert performance of the work to Hamburg’s new Elbphilharmonie, as part of their Lux aeterna Festival.

  • Period & Chamber
  • Ensemble Pygmalion

    Founded by Raphaël Pichon in 2006, Pygmalion is the product of the union between a choir and a period-instrument orchestra. Its repertory is nurtured by the filiations that link Bach to Mendelssohn, Schütz to Brahms, and Rameau to Gluck and Berlioz.

    Pygmalion is in residence at the Opéra National de Bordeaux and appears regularly at the leading venues in France (Philharmonie de Paris, Opéra Royal de Versailles, Aix-en-Provence, Beaune, Toulouse, Saint-Denis, La Chaise-Dieu, Royaumont, Nancy) and internationally (Cologne, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, London, Beijing, Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Barcelona, Brussels).

    Among its recent projects to have earned public and critical attention are J. S. Bach’s Köthener Trauermusik and Passions, the late versions of Rameau’s tragédies lyriques, Mozart’s C minor Mass and a programme of his music for the Weber sisters, Stravaganza d’Amore (the birth of opera at the court of the Medici), Mendelssohn’s Elias, and a choral trilogy devoted to the canon from the Romantic era to the twentieth century.

    Pygmalion works with stage directors such as Katie Mitchell, Michel Fau and Jetske Mijnssen, who have brought an innovative approach to works including the Bach cantatas (Trauernacht), Rameau’s Dardanus and Luigi Rossi’s Orfeo.

    After releasing the complete Missae breves of Bach and a version of Dardanus for Alpha, Pygmalion has recorded for harmonia mundi since 2014, a collaboration that has so far produced Bach’s Köthener Trauermusik, Rameau’s Castor et Pollux, Rheinmädchen, a new version of Dardanus, Rossi’s Orfeo (both on DVD), and the present release, Stravaganza d’Amore. Also released recently was Mozart and the Weber Sisters with Sabine Devieilhe (Erato).

    The ensemble’s discography has received prizes in France and abroad, including a Gramophone Award 2016, CD des Monats (Opernwelt), Diapason d’Or de l’Année, Choc de Classica, ffff de Télérama, a Victoire de la Musique 2015, an Edison Klassiek Award 2016, a Grand Prix de l’Académie Charles Cros for 2016, and Best Classical Recording 2016 on Forbes.

  • Period & Chamber
  • Europa Galante

    Europa Galante, led by the renowned violinist and director Fabio Biondi, is one of the most loved baroque ensembles in the world. Based in Parma, the group’s repertoire ranges from the operas of Handel and Vivaldi and the oratorios of Alessandro Scarlatti, to the great instrumental works of the 19th century. They have a close collaboration with the Fondazione Santa Cecilia in Rome to find and restore 18th century Italian operas.

    Askonas Holt first worked with the ensemble in 2000, when they performed at the BBC Proms with the tenor Ian Bostridge. Since then, Askonas Holt has toured the group around the world in concert and opera performances. They have performed in North, Central and South America including at the Mostly Mozart Festival in New York and Walt Disney Hall in Los Angeles. In the UK, Askonas Holt has brought them regularly to the Barbican Centre and elsewhere, and tours to Europe have included visits to the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Lisbon Gulbenkian, Bergen Festival, the Azores and Istanbul. Askonas Holt has also toured Europa Galante several times to Asia, and as far as Australia and New Zealand.

  • Youth Ensembles
  • European Union Youth Orchestra

    Askonas Holt is delighted to be collaborating with the European Union Youth Orchestra (EUYO) on its ‘Capital Sounds’ project to mark their 40th anniversary.

    ‘Capital Sounds’ will be composed of 28 events in the coming years, each event a performance in a different EU capital.  The events will include a keynote speech by a significant cultural figure of that country, a concert featuring the EUYO, and performances by young people – separately curated in each country – to reflect the musical tradition of that country. The ‘Capital Sounds’ project is presented in association with Askonas Holt, and is being developed jointly with the EUYO’s network of 28 National Associate Partners and 28 grant-giving organisations in all the EU’s member states.

    It launched in Bratislava on 7 August 2016, in a joint celebration of the EU Presidency and the 40th anniversary of the Orchestra’s founding.

    The 2017 focus was in the Baltic region with concerts in Latvia and Lithuania.