* featuring BREMF Live! participants and alumni


Sat 28 Sep

10.30am &

12 noon


Brighton Unitarian Church

Two concerts for our youngest music-lovers – suitable for 2-5 year olds and their parents and grandparents.

Sun 29 Sep


Gawain Glenton

Polychoral Transformations

Ralli Hall, Hove

Choral & instrumental workshop  

Large scale renaissance music orchestrated.

Open to experienced instrumentalists, plus choral and ensemble singers.

Sat 5 Oct






Ensemble Hesperi*

Kathleen Gilbert Highland dancer




Ceilidh for all             


St George’s Church

Learn a selection of simple dances, with basic steps as well as the fascinating history of Highland dance. The workshop will be accompanied by live 18th-century music from members of the ensemble and participants will have the opportunity to take part in the final performance.


Ensemble Hesperi are staying on to play for a unique Ceilidh. A great social evening whether you want to dance, watch or just listen to the music.

Sat 12 Oct

10.30am &



2.30pm in Whitehawk

Three family events:


Really Classical

Jonathan Rees* director


Friends’ Meeting House


**2nd perf at Whitehawk




The Musical Forest – a bug’s ear view

For babies and young children (<6 yrs) and the young in spirit


Perseus, Andromeda and the Sea-monster**

A monstrous Greek myth in words and music, with audience participation

for children (c. 5-12 yrs) and the young in spirit

Music by Dittersdorf (Perseus & Andromeda - a programmatic symphony) with live improvisations and audience participation.

Devised and narrated by Jonathan Rees with thanks and apologies to Ovid.

Sat 19 Oct


Festival Introduction Day

Friends’ Meeting House

A day of talks, live music, discussion and a chance to find out more about BREMF, early music and our 2019 theme METAMORPHOSIS. Meet festival artists and hear previews of festival events.



Weekend 1

Fri 25 Oct


Darkness into Light

The making of music – new discoveries in the digital age


Musica Secreta

Deborah Roberts & Laurie Stras directors

Hannah Ely, Deborah Roberts, Yvonne Eddy sopranos; Sally Dunkley, Katharine Hawnt, Bethany Horak-Hallett mezzo-sopranos; Kim Porter, Caroline Trevor, Laurie Stras altos

Alison Kinder bass viol

Claire Williams organ

Presented by Laurie Stras


St Martin’s Church


BREMF opens with a new way of exploring the making of music; a live ‘docu-concert’ that includes the first public performance in modern times of Antoine Brumel’s complete set of Lamentations for Good Friday, recently identified by Laurie Stras in a Florentine manuscript. Programme also features other rare gems of renaissance convent music from a Florentine manuscript by the same copyist, clearly commissioned by nuns; and a chance to interact with copies of pieces from this convent choirbook.


Podcast from recent feature on BBC Radio 3’s Music Matters:


Sat 26 Oct 1pm


Stories from Ovid


Dramma per musica*

Rory Carver tenor

Jonatan Bougt theorbo

Harry Buckoke viola da gamba


St Paul’s Church

Ovid’s masterpiece, Metamorphoses brought to musical life. This programme explores the Europe-wide influence of the epic stories and characters from this 2000- year-old collection throughout the 17th century. It reveals that, despite the many ways in which each European culture has transformed, we share a heritage in human passion and emotion.


Includes music by Lully, Purcell, Gagliano, Caccini, Lawes and Monteverdi.


Sat 26 Oct



Metamorfosi Trecento


La Fonte Musica

Michele Pasotti director & lute

Other names tbc

(from Pavia, Italy)


St George’s Church

Italian ensemble La Fonte Musica present music from their latest Diapason D’or-winning recording of 14th-century Italian music. The same magazine also selected it among ‘the top 100 albums all music lovers need to know’. Accompanied by projections of weird and mysterious chimeras from medieval manuscripts.


Sun 27 Oct 7.30pm


Great renaissance masterpieces miraculously reworked


BREMF Consort of Voices

Deborah Roberts director


St Martin’s Church

Composers frequently reworked their own music into later compositions, but this programme looks at some substantial transformations and expansions of earlier works by later composers. Includes music by Josquin, Rore, Senfl and Gombert; with movements from Monteverdi’s 1610 mass In illo tempore, based on Gombert’s motet. As a striking contraction the programme includes a recent version of Tallis’s 40-part motet, Spem in alium arranged for 11 voices by Mick Swithinbank.

Midweek theatre/Weekend 2

Thu 31 Oct 8pm

Burying the dead

London transformed through the eyes of Henry Purcell



Emily Owen & Jenni Harper sopranos

Satoko Doi-Luck harpsichord

Kate Conway cello

Toby Carr theorbo

Niall Ashdown as Henry Purcell

Clare Norburn script

Thomas Guthrie director


St George’s Church


This imaginary piece of music theatre takes the audience on a journey through 17th-century London reimagined through the eyes of composer Henry Purcell. As he reviews his all too short life, he reflects on two major events that transformed the city of London: the Great Plague and the Great Fire. Not to mention his relationship with his wife as well as with actresses in the theatre.


Promotional trailer:


Fri 1 Nov


Her Father’s Voice

A play with music exploring the early years of composer Barbara Strozzi (b.1619)

written and directed by Henry Bauckham


Fieri Consort*

Helen Charlston, Hannah Ely, Josh Cooter, Ben McKee singers

Harry Buckoke bass viol

Toby Carr theorbo

Aileen Henry harp


Wise Child Theatre


Susanna Austin

John J Draper

Tama Phethean

Ruby Richardson

Simon Weir


St George’s Church

At a time when opera was being birthed and women were commonly trapped into lives of prayer or servitude, a 17th-century Venetian woman, Barbara Strozzi, became one of the most prolific published composers of her age. Within an immersive theatre experience, this talented team of young performers tells the true story of Barbara’s life: the support of her libertarian father, her loves, losses and success. It challenges the slanders against her reputation and highlights the plight of female composers throughout history.


Music by Strozzi, Nicolò Fontei and Claudio Monteverdi.


Promotional film to follow

Sat 2 Nov



Gawain Glenton masterclass*

Exciting ornamentation, or learning your improv chops!


Friends’ Meeting House

Four auditioned singers* work on improvised ornamentation, as well as original embellished versions of songs composed in the 16th century. Part of a year-long training project leading to a concert with Gawain’s ensemble, In Echo, in the 2020 festival.


Sat 2 Nov


BREMF Live! Showcase*


St Paul’s Church

At the very heart of the festival, our highly popular annual showcase of the newest talent emerging on the musical scene. A chance to spot the stars of tomorrow from 20 musicians in four or five ensembles.


Sat 2 Nov


BREMF Live! Clubnight 1*

The Rose Hill

Featuring the same BREMF Live! artists from the afternoon in a more alternative programme


Sun 3 Nov 4pm

Bach: A Musical Offering


The Bach Players

Marion Moonen flute

Nicolette Moonen violin

Reiko Ichise viola da gamba

Silas Wollston harpsichord


St Paul’s Church

The first of three concerts today featuring the music of J S Bach and his contemporaries seen in new and transforming guises. Opening with music by Buxtehude displaying the quasi improvisatory stylus phantasticus, the performers will explore the full emotional spectrum of Bach’s highly rhetorical style, providing a chance to hear Bach’s famous piece with fresh ears.


Sun 3 Nov 7.30pm


The Art of Moog

21st-Century Hyper-Bach on Synthesizers


Robin Bigwood, Martin Perkins, Steven Devine keyboards

Annabel Knight winds


St Martin’s Church

Looking more like a Kraftwerk gig than a classical concert, and with boundary-crossing audience appeal, this event brings Bach’s eternal music to everyone. The band is made up of some of the UK’s best harpsichordists and baroque specialists who bring their combined skill and imagination to this thrilling re-colouring of Bach’s masterpieces.


A fine tribute to Wendy Carlos and her pioneering work with Switched-on Bach 50 years ago.


Sun 3 Nov


Clubnight 2 –

Ground Bass

Jazz Trio


The Rose Hill

Chill after all the excitement of Art of Moog to a jazz trio of keyboard, sax and bass playing jazz improvisation on famous baroque ground basses… over a pint.

Wed 6 Nov


From Folk to Fashion: Dancing the Scottish Baroque


Ensemble Hesperi*

Mary-Jannet Leith recorder

Magdalena Loth-Hill violin

Florence Petit cello

Thomas Allery harpsichord


Kathleen Gilbert Highland dancer


St George’s Church


Award-winning early music group Ensemble Hesperi present a taste of 18th-century Scotland through this unique collaboration. Inspired by the haunting traditional melodies and infectious dance rhythms around them, Scottish composers created a new 'fusion' of folk and high baroque fashion to save Scottish musical culture from extinction! This timeless music will be brought to life with special choreography by Highland dancer, Kathleen Gilbert. 


Supported by a Lottery Grant from Arts Council England


Thu 7 Nov 8pm


Clubnight 3

The Rose Hill

An evening of improvisation with 2019 BREMF Live! artists

Weekend 3

Fri 8 Nov


Hildegard Transfigured

A medieval trance



Victoria Couper, Clemmie Franks, Emily Burn

Celestial Sirens

Deborah Roberts & Laurie Stras directors

Innerstrings: Chris Tomsett visual artist TBC


St Martin’s Church

Mystic, philosopher, artist, scientist and musician, the nun Hildegard of Bingen has become a household name. Composed in the 11th century, when only a single line was normally notated, her soaring and haunting melodies lend themselves to countless transformations from simple drones and improvised organum to new arrangements and compositions.


In this programme Hildegard’s striking images are combined with

3-D lighting visuals to reproduce some of the transfiguring visions she experienced. Also includes medieval ensemble music from European convents.

Sat 9 Nov


Musical alchemy: transforming the bass



Fatima Lahham recorder

Elin White violin

Florence Petit cello

Johan Löfving chitarrone & guitar


St Paul’s Church

Alchemy is the ultimate metamorphosis, a transformation of base metal into gold. And in the musical realm, repeating bass lines are the foundation of some of the most imaginative musical transformations both composed and improvised. 


In this concert Improviso explores some of the most popular repeating ostinatoliterally ‘obstinate’ – bass lines of the 17th-18th centuries, presenting a varied programme of composed and improvised music by composers including Bertali, Leclair and J S Bach. 


Sat 9 Nov 7.30pm

Ovid and Handel

Tales from Ovid’s Metamorphoses


The BREMF Players

Alison Bury leader

The BREMF Singers

Auditioned soloists from BREMF Live*

John Hancorn director


St Martin’s Church

Ovid’s eternal stories set to music by Handel, to include his chamber cantata Apollo and Daphne and selections from his oratorios Semele and Acis and Galatea.

Sun 10 Nov 7.30pm

The Feast of Fools

A medieval farce for our times!


Leah Stuttard harp & musical director

Clare Salaman bowed strings

Ian Harrison winds & percussion

Jeremy Avis voice

BREMF Community Choir

Andrew Robinson baritone & director


JP Omari choreographer

Steven Player dancer

Children from Brighton and Hove schools

Thomas Guthrie stage director


St Martin’s Church

The world turned upside down!


A highly apt ending to our festival of so many transformations, the Feast of Fools originated in 11th-century France and spread throughout Europe until as late as the 16th century when it was finally banned. During this festival society was reversed, with a beggar made the Lord of Misrule, a child crowned Bishop, much cross dressing and even church music sung in imitation of animals, especially the ass!


Join our merry party in the ultimate metamorphosis, and enjoy medieval music as you’ve never experienced it.


Family-friendly event suitable for children allowed to stay up a bit later!