Orlando Consort set to retire

The Medieval and early Renaissance vocal quartet, which has been together 34 years, will be retiring in one year's time

Published: June 21, 2022 at 11:01 am

The Orlando Consort have announced that they will be retiring in one year's time. The Medieval and early Renaissance vocal quartet, whose core repertoire stretches 500 years from the earliest polyphony to the music of Josquin Desprez, will have been together 35 years when they give their final concert together in June 2023.

Known for their expert singing, scholarly insight and imaginative programming, which also embraces jazz, contemporary music, film and world music, the group have performed all over the world. In their final season, they will be appearing in the UK, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, Canada and the USA, and completing a recording project of the complete polyphonic songs and motets of Guillaume de Machaut for Hyperion Records.
On their coming retirement, the four current members of the quartet - Matthew Venner, Mark Dobell, Angus Smith and Donald Greig - say: 'There is a list of people to whom we, as a group (and that includes the two other original members, Robert and Charles), owe a massive debt of thanks...The music we have been privileged to sing has continually been a revelation to us for its sophistication, complexity, humour and extraordinary beauty, and despite its age it remains a living testament to the skill and imagination of composers in the Middle Ages and Renaissance. The Consort has developed its own individual interpretation of this astonishing repertoire, but we have also aimed to harness the same creative spirit of our forebears through our collaborations and projects with musicians from contemporary, world and jazz music who have the same urge as us to find commonality rather than differences. It has all been a joy!'
Photo: Eric Richmond


Hannah Nepilova is a regular contributor to BBC Music Magazine. She has also written for The Financial Times, The Times, The Strad, Gramophone, Opera Now, Opera, the BBC Proms and the Philharmonia, and runs The Cusp, an online magazine exploring the boundaries between art forms. Born to Czech parents, she has a strong interest in Czech music and culture.

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