Academy of Ancient Music (AAM) has unveiled plans for its 2022/23 season, following the stunning success of its inaugural season under Music Director Laurence Cummings in 2021/22. The orchestra presents a year-long exploration of the environment and our place within it, entitled ‘Tis nature’s voice. The season includes performances at the Barbican, Milton Court Concert Hall, West Road Concert Hall in Cambridge and The Apex in Bury St Edmunds.
Tues 4 Oct 2022 (Barbican Hall, London)
Haydn’s life-affirming oratorio of nature launches the 22/23 season, conducted by AAM Music Director Laurence Cummings and brought vividly to life with striking new visuals in a co-production with the Barbican. The Seasons embraces the whole of nature, brimming with all the generosity, humour and uninhibited humanity that only Haydn could supply. It’s exactly what you’d expect from a sequel to The Creation. If you heard Cummings conduct The Creation last year, you’ll have some idea of what to expect from this performance – including specially-commissioned digital projections from Nina Dunn Studios, designed to pull the imagination into Haydn’s creative world. Add a world-beating team of soloists, including Sophie Bevan and Jonathan Lemalu, plus some of the best tunes Haydn ever wrote, and this should be a magnificent launch for ‘Tis nature’s voice.
Weds 9 Nov (West Road Concert Hall, Cambridge) & Thurs 10 Nov 2022 (Milton Court Concert Hall, London)
Laurence Cummings conducts a virtuosic baroque celebration of nature and music. All of nature is here, in music that’s alternately playful, touching and elemental in its ingenuity and power. Cummings directs soloists from within AAM, and begins with arguably the most astonishing natural wonder in all baroque music: the ear-tingling chaos with which Jean-Féry Rebel opens his suite Les Élémens. Music that was ahead of its time then – and more timely than ever today.
Fri 16 Dec 2022 (Barbican Hall, London)
AAM joins an internationally acclaimed cast of soloists for a seasonal performance of Handel’s Messiah, a landmark of European culture. AAM became the first orchestra ever to record Handel’s Messiah, complete,on period instruments in 1980. Over four decades on from that landmark achievement, it has become normal to hear Handel’s masterpiece played in an historically-informed style. But Messiah always has something new to say – and AAM is always thrilled to share it. With Laurence Cummings at the harpsichord, plus a cast headed by the outstanding American soprano Amanda Forsythe, it’ll come up as fresh as new paint.
Weds 1 Feb (The Apex, Bury St Edmunds), Thurs 2 Feb (West Road Concert Hall, Cambridge) & Fri 3 Feb 2023 (Milton Court Concert Hall, London)
JS Bach wrote his Musical Offering for King Frederick the Great of Prussia. It was a collection of pieces designed to put the nature of music itself to the ultimate technical, intellectual and emotional test. Dazzlingly imagined and endlessly rich, this masterwork has since fascinated performers and scholars for centuries. AAM tells its story and unfolds its secrets.
Weds 8 March (West Road Concert Hall, Cambridge) & Thurs 9 March 2023 (Milton Court Concert Hall, London)
AAM takes Henry Purcell’s Ode to Saint Cecilia, the patron saint of music, as the starting point for a musical journey through the whole of creation. Purcell’s music has a special place in the Academy’s story: directed by Laurence Cummings, it’ll sound livelier and more joyous than ever.
Thurs 20 April (West Road Concert Hall, Cambridge) & Fri 21 April 2023 (Milton Court Concert Hall, London)
Bojan Čičić opens the baroque era’s musical jokebook for an evening of novelties, parodies and flights of fancy. Humanity is part of nature too – and never more so than when we’re transforming the world around us into music. For
the composers like Biber, Schmelzer, Farina and Schedt, there was nothing that wasn’t musical: a fencing school, a busy street, a city belltower or the chaos and clamour of battle. You’ll hear them all in this flamboyant sonic extravaganza from six baroque masters letting their imaginations run off the leash.
Weds 10 May (West Road Concert Hall, Cambridge) & Thurs 11 May 2023 (Milton Court Concert Hall, London)
Laurence Cummings rediscovers the eternal truths (and very real delights) of Handel’s spectacular Italian oratorio, The Triumph of Time and Disillusionment. Still relatively unfamiliar in the English-speaking world, it’s an absolute knockout: flamboyant, expressive and containing some of Handel’s very greatest melodies. Emotions take on a startlingly human form, sung by some of the most charismatic vocalists on the current baroque scene, Sophie Junker, Anna Dennis, Reginald Mobley and Nick Pritchard.
30 June 2023 (Barbican Hall, London)
For AAM’s season finale, Laurence Cummings takes the orchestra on a rare adventure into the nineteenth century: joining violinist Rachel Podger in the teenage Mendelssohn’s exuberant Violin Concerto, and relishing all the serenity and power and of Beethoven’s very personal hymn to nature, his Pastoral Symphony.
For tickets and further information, please visit https://aam.co.uk/concerts-projects/