Silent Noon with Fretwork and Iestyn Davies

Fretwork ensemble with instruments

October 27, 2019 | 3:00PM
Mandel Hall

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Silent Noon: Works by Byrd, Gibbons, Lawes, Jenkins, Handel, and others

2:00 PM lecture with Robert Kendrick

As a teenager in the 1990s, British-born singer Iestyn Davies was drafted into what could have become the next chart-topping boy-band of the decade. The boy from York, who began his singing career as a chorister at St. John’s College, Cambridge, lent his “hammy pop tenor” voice to a group called Cage, almost signing a deal with Sony. Luckily for audiences of Renaissance and Baroque vocal music, however, the “almost” remained just that, and Davies turned his “warmly coloured and subtly toned” (The Daily Telegraph) falsetto talents to music of a different era.

Davies returns to Chicago in October in a renewed collaboration with the greatest viol consort in the world. For more than 30 years, Fretwork has been introducing audiences to the Renaissance viol and the breathtaking centuries-old music written for it. Regarded as stars of the early music world and hailed for bringing “flair and feeling” to the centuries-old viol repertoire (The Times), Fretwork has done as much to develop the contemporary music for the instrument, commissioning a roll call of contemporary composers to write new music for the ensemble.

Fretwork returns to the Howard Mayer Brown Early Music Series with Iestyn Davies to open the season with Silent Noon: music by Byrd, Gibbons, Lawes, Handel, and others. Before the performance, Professor of Music Robert Kendrick explores the night’s program in a pre-concert lecture.

Supported in part by the Nicholson Center for British Studies.