Ensemble Hesperi - bringing you Scottish Baroque!

by Ensemble Hesperi in London, England, United Kingdom

We did it
On 18th March 2018 we successfully raised £1,755 with 44 supporters in 21 days

Our project, 'The Pheasant's Eye', will bring Scottish Baroque music to new audiences, through performances and workshops throughout the UK.

by Ensemble Hesperi in London, England, United Kingdom

New stretch target

If we were to raise more than £1,500, we will invest even more in the digital element of our project - enabling us to produce more educational resources, and reach even more young people!

We are Ensemble Hesperi – a young early music ensemble based in London.  Over the past few years, our Scottish roots have inspired us to research and promote Scottish Baroque music, and we want everyone to enjoy this amazing music, which is just as fresh and charming as it was when it was written 250 years ago!

'The Pheasant's Eye': bringing Scottish Baroque music to you!

Our latest project is a very exciting one.  We have toured our duo programme, 'The Pheasant's Eye', to great acclaim throughout the UK and further afield, winning the Audience prize at the Utrecht Early Music Fringe Festival, and broadcasting the full programme on BBC Radio 3's Early Music Show in December 2017. Now, we've devised a brand new programme with an expanded ensemble (recorder, baroque violin, baroque cello and harpsichord), and we can't wait to perform it!  We've already secured provisional dates from 7 UK festivals for performances in 2018/2019, so our plans are well under way - all we need is funding!

Although we'll be performing the works of several Scottish eighteenth century composers as part of our project, we're focusing on the life of the composer James Oswald, whose amazing career saw him rise from small beginnings in a village near St Andrews, to the position of Chamber composer to King George III.  In a way, he was our 18th century counterpart, promoting Scottish music in London, to the delight of audiences and players alike!  Undoubtedly one of his most incredible achievements was his collection of 96 short instrumental airs, each named after a different flower or plant - we'll be performing several of these as part of our programme.

Oswald was also a dancing master in his early career, and many of his 'Airs for the Seasons' are made up of marches, jigs and hornpipes - traditional Scottish dance movements which can't fail to get you tapping your feet!  So, for this project, we're collaborating with a Highland dancer, who will choreograph solo dances to bring a new and dynamic visual element to our programme. 

Education and Community

Scottish Baroque music has a true simplicity which appeals to everyone. You definitely don't need to be a classical music buff to appreciate the beautiful folk tunes which composers such as James Oswald and Francesco Barsanti set to Baroque accompaniment.  Before many of our concerts, our Highland dance expert will be offering a dance workshop so that our audiences can join us on stage, and dance with us as part of our performance!  

We're also planning to produce educational resources,  based on James Oswald's airs, for use by school instrumental ensembles of every level. These editions will be available digitally for download - increasing access to Early Music is very important to us. We have already had great fun giving workshops based on Scottish music in schools, and we know that this wonderful music can capture the imaginations of young people while also providing an excellent basis for teaching rhythm, melody, and a life long love of music.

In order to bring our project to life, we need to raise £1,500 by the 17th March!

We are applying to Arts Council England for a grant towards our project, but they won't be able to fund it outright. When we submit our application form in late March, we must be able to prove to them that you - our potential audience members - love our project, and want to hear more.  The clock is ticking...

So, please back our project! We have some wonderful rewards to offer, including...

  • 2 tickets to a 'Pheasant's Eye' performance of your choice
  • A demo CD showcasing selections from our 'Pheasant's Eye' duo programme
  • A recording of a James Oswald air of your choice - pick your favourite flower!
  • A private recorder or harpsichord lesson at our London studio
  • A private concert at your home

Every donation counts, no matter how small. And please also help us by spreading the word to your friends, families, and colleagues, as well as on social media and through e-mail.



This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£10 or more

Demo CD: Selections from 'The Pheasant's Eye'

A short Demo CD, showcasing selections from our duo programme, performed to great acclaim throughout the UK and further afield. Featuring works by James Oswald, John Reid, Francesco Barsanti, William McGibbon, and Francesco Geminiani.

£20 or more

2 free tickets to 'The Pheasant's Eye'

2 tickets (reserved priority seating) for any performance of 'The Pheasant's Eye, to be arranged during 2018 or 2019. We will be performing 8 concerts between June 2018 and November 2019.

£50 or more

A Recording of a Flower of your Choice!

James Oswald composed 96 short airs, each named after a different flower or plant. Following the close of our crowdfunding appeal, we will contact you, and ask you to pick your favourite. We will then produce a personalised video recording of your choice!

£100 or more

Private Harpsichord or Recorder Lesson

An individually tailored private harpsichord or recorder lesson at our West London studio, focusing on repertoire of your choice. Your session will take place with Thomas Allery and Mary-Jannet Leith, Ensemble Hesperi's harpsichordist and recorder player, using the ensemble's 2016 Alan Gotto single manual harpsichord, a beautiful instrument after an anonymous 1667 French model. Lessons are suitable for complete beginners!

£250 or more

Private Concert at our West London Studio

A private concert of Scottish Baroque music, with drinks and nibbles, at our West London studio. This reward can be claimed any time before the 31st December, 2018.

£500 or more

Private Recital in your own Home

An exclusive recital in your own home (or at a location of your choice), for you and up to 10 guests. We will contact you to discuss your choice of programme, and what format of concert you would prefer (we can offer lecture recitals as well as straightforward performances). This reward is available to those within 100 miles of Greater London, and can be redeemed before 31st December 2018.

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