European Union Baroque Orchestra: Handel etc.

Handel and his London Colleagues
European Union Baroque Orchestra (EUBO)
Lars Ulrik Mortensen, director, Jan Van Hoecke, recorder
Royal Greenwich Early Music Festival
St Margaret’s, Lee Terrace, Blackheath. 22 November 2016

Galliard: Dances from Pan & Syrinx;  Handel: Concerto Grosso Op 6/2;  Babell: Recorder Concerto Op 3/1; Handel: Ballet music from Alcina; Sammartini: Recorder Concerto in F
Geminiani; Concerto Grosso Op 3/2; Handel: Water Music Suite No 3.

For most of my reviewing career, one of the musical highlights has been the visit of the European Union Baroque Orchestra (EUBO) to the UK. This extraordinary orchestra was founded in the UK in 1985, during European Music Year and the anniversaries of Bach, Handel and Scarlatti. Over the intervening 30 years or so, through their concerts and recordings, they have carved out an enviable reputation as an exciting orchestra whose professional and musical standards are always of the very highest. Many people listening to a EUBO concert for the first time are amazed to find out their unusual story. Not only is the orchestra made up of young post-graduate instrumentalists, broadly around the mid-20s age range, but every year the entire orchestra is disbanded, to be reformed the following year after a round of auditions.

Eubo Blackheath 2.jpg

Around 100 musicians attend one of two four-day residential training courses. All attendees gain from specialist training in their instrument as well as experience of playing in small groups and as an orchestra. From these courses, Continue reading

European Union Baroque Orchestra: ‘A Taste of the Baroque’

European Union Baroque Orchestra: ‘A Taste of the Baroque’
Lars Ulrik Mortensen, director
St John’s, Smith Square, 3 December 2015

Muffat: Sonata No. 5 from Armonico Tributo
Biber: Sonata 10 and 4, from Sonatae tam aris quam aulis servientes
Marcello: Concerto for oboe in D minor
Telemann: Overture, Suite and Conclusion in D from Tafelmusik II

In the unlikely event of you ever feeling despondent about the future of music performance, or of the younger generation, an evening with the European Union Baroque Orchestra (EUBO) will soon restore your faith. This remarkable orchestra, formed in 1985, re-forms each year after intensive and educational, auditions held in the spring. They then meet several times during that year to rehearse and tour a series of programmes under a team of experienced ex-EUBO concertmasters and distinguished directors. This year’s season has been truncated because of a complicated bidding process for EU funding (which only partly covers EUBO’s costs). One of their partners in the newly formed ‘EUBO Mobile Baroque Academy’ is London’s St John’s, Smith Square concert hall. Continue reading

Inspired by Italy: European Union Baroque Orchestra (EUBO)

Inspired by Italy: European Union Baroque Orchestra (EUBO)
Lars Ulrik Mortensen, director, Zefira Valova, concertmaster
St John’s, Smith Square, 22 October 2015

Handel: Ouverture to Alessandro HWV21, Sonata in G HWV399, Concerto Grosso in F Op. 3 No. 4; Vivaldi: String Sinfonias in D RV124 & G minor RV157; Albinoni: Concerto for 2 oboes in F Op. 9 No. 3; Corelli: Concerto Grosso in D Op. 6 No. 4.

The European Union Baroque Orchestra was formed in 1985, and has recently successfully negotiated its way through a difficult period of financial uncertainty. It celebrated its renewed, if short term security with the first short series of concerts for the newly formed orchestra of young musicians. They are selected anew each year through combined educational and selection courses and then usually meet five or six times a year to rehearse and then tour a new programme. One of the key features of EUBO is giving the musicians the chance to experience life as a touring orchestral musician, evidenced on this occasion by Continue reading