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Ex Cathedra has announced a series of events to celebrate the 70th birthday of its founder, Jeffrey Skidmore OBE.
Jeffrey founded Ex Cathedra in 1969 and has since given trailblazing performances of early music, conducted world premieres by both well-established composers and new young talent, pioneered research in neglected choral works and championed music education and music for wellbeing.
These achievements will be celebrated with a series of events, including the release of a free online audio visual 'spectacular', Ex Cathedra: Around The World, on Saturday 27 February at 7.30pm.
The BBC Radio Three Early Music Show will include an extended feature and interview with Jeffrey on Sunday 28 February.
And, supported by Birmingham City Council, Jeffrey will record Baroque Passion with Ex Cathedra, released via the Idagio Global Concert Hall on Sunday 12 March.
Ex Cathedra: Around The World is a free, 40-minute online concert celebrating Jeffrey’s varied interests, his research trips, and the many journeys in music he has conducted with the choir. The concert starts in 1960s America, a life-changing decade for Jeffrey in which his family emigrated to New England. He returned alone and founded Ex Cathedra. There will be music from the Latin American and French Baroque, the Italian Renaissance and Jacobean era, and traditional favourites from Sweden and Scotland.
The concert will be streamed on the Ex Cathedra website, Facebook page and YouTube channel on Saturday 27 February at 7.30pm.
This event is available to view free of charge, but Ex Cathedra is asking those who are able to make a donation in lieu of a ticket. Donations can be made via the Ex Cathedra website.
Baroque Passion will be the second online concert to celebrate the occasion. Scheduled for release on Passion Sunday, 21 March, at 4pm on the Idagio Global Concert Hall, the programme will actually be recorded at Symphony Hall over Jeffrey’s birthday weekend.
Baroque music has been at the heart of Jeffrey’s career, and this concert presents a programme of sinuous, poignant Lenten music by Kuhnau, Lotti, Monteverdi and Purcell, ranging from the heart-rending - as Mary weeps at the foot of the cross in Domenico Scarlatti’s Stabat Mater - to the optimism of Bach’s “true path to life” in Komm, Jesu, komm.
Tickets, priced £12.50, are available from excathedra.co.uk. Those with tickets will have access to the concert until 11 April, with no limit on viewing during this time.
At 2pm on Sunday 28 February, Jeffrey will join Hannah French on the BBC Radio Three Early Music Show to talk about his career in music and his life both on tour and in the studio with Ex Cathedra. The broadcast includes a unique chance to hear excerpts from archive recordings of two very special concerts Jeffrey conducted with Ex Cathedra and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment in 2008 and 2009 - recreating the sound worlds of the Messiah 1784 concert that launched the Birmingham Triennial Music Festival, and the Dream Of Gerontius as Elgar might have heard it at its premiere at Birmingham Town Hall in 1900.
Read our most recent interview with Jeffrey Skidmore HERE
More information on all upcoming events can be found at excathedra.co.uk/diary.
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