P a s t   W o r k s h o p s

Tallis: Kerry McCarthy presents her new biography

in conversation with David Allinson

Monday 26th October 2020 7pm

£10 full price, £8 concessions

We are thrilled to present this exclusive event celebrating the publication of Kerry McCarthy’s book on Thomas Tallis for Oxford University Press. Her latest contribution to the prestigious Master Musician series is a significant one for English musicology because, while Thomas Tallis is the most artistically significant and influential English composer of the 16th century, there is remarkably little recent writing about him. (This is partly, of course, because much of his biography is shrouded in obscurity.)


Mirroring the structure of her book, Kerry will trace Tallis’s career from his youthful appointment at Dover Priory to his years as a senior member of the Chapel Royal, revisiting the most important documents of his life and a wide variety of his musical works. The book also takes readers on a guided journey along the River Thames to the palaces, castles, and houses where Tallis made music for the four monarchs he served. 

Dr McCarthy is that rare creature: an academic who communicates complex knowledge in an accessible and engaging way. Her writing and speaking style is clear and unpretentious. A musician and author known for her work on early English music, she has spoken about Tudor composers to enthusiastic audiences in eleven countries. Her recent book on William Byrd, also in the OUP Master Musicians series, was praised in the London Review of Books, the New York Review of Books, and elsewhere. It also received the 2014 ASCAP Nicolas Slonimsky Award for musical biography of the year. Her new book about Byrd’s teacher, Thomas Tallis, completes a double portrait that has been more than ten years in the making.

The event will be introduced and hosted by David Allinson, who has focused strongly on Tallis’s music during his career. Attendees will be able to order the book at a discount

Clef, Custos, Canon, Cantus Firmus

Reading from 16th Century Manuscript Partbooks

Monday 5th October 2020 7pm

An online workshop with Rory McCleery

£12 full price, £10 concessions

Rory McCleery, Artistic Director of The Marian Consort, leads an online workshop exploring  the mensural notation found in late sixteenth-century English manuscript sources, and in particular the beautifully rendered Baldwin Partbooks, created by singer and scribe John Baldwin, who was also responsible for the instrumental collection My Ladye Nevells Booke. Featuring music by Byrd, Ferrabosco, and Tallis, the works will be studied and sung as part of the session (both original notation and modern scores will be provided!)


PDFs of scores will be emailed out in advance to all those signed up. The session is expected to last about 90 minutes.

In dulci jubilo! Make merry with David Allinson and the Renaissance Singers

Live Zoom session with David Allinson and members of the Renaissance Singers


Monday 21st December, 7pm

As we career towards the end of a year like no other, cosy up with the Rennies for a festive evening of music, quizzes and laughter. Our musical director David will choose half a dozen seasonal pieces that mean the most to him (mainly polyphonic early music!) and there will be a lighthearted quiz — with the chance to win a pair of tickets to a concert in 2021. All balanced by exhortations to eat and drink along in a coordinated (and vaguely responsible) manner! So far, David’s list of seasonal gems includes Mouton’s Nesciens Mater, Josquin’s Praeter rerum seriem and East 17’s seminal Stay Another Day — though we hope to have talked him out of the latter by the time of the event! 

Tickets for this event are free of charge subject to registering for free via our online store. Details of how to join the event will be provided upon registration

© 2020 The Renaissance Singers                                                Registered charity number 1015930

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