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P a s t   W o r k s h o p s

Season 2020-21

Historical Music in a TV Series 

A chat with David Fallis, Historical Music Producer for The Tudors

Wednesday 12th May 2021, 7pm

£10 full price, £8 concessions

How does music get selected and recorded for a TV series about Henry VIII? Who makes final choices? Does historical accuracy ever rub up against “directorial vision”? What is the relationship between the historical music and the modern theme music?

David Fallis produced the historical music for the Showtime series The Tudors with Jonathan Rhys Meyers playing Henry VIII of England. In this discussion, he will share a “behind-the-scenes” look at the journey from script to on-screen in historical drama.


David Fallis is a conductor, singer and musical director based in Toronto. From 1990-2018, he was the artistic Director of the Toronto Consort, Canada’s leading chamber ensemble specializing in the music of the Middle Ages, Renaissance and early Baroque. He led the ensemble in many critically-acclaimed programs, including The Praetorius Christmas Vespers, The Play of Daniel, all three of Monteverdi’s operas in concert, Cavalli’s La Calisto and Carissimi’s Jephte, among many others, and directed the group in its many recordings and tours.


He is also one of Canada’s leading interpreters of operatic and choral/orchestral repertoire, especially from the Baroque and Classical periods. He is Music Director and Conductor for Opera Atelier and has conducted major operatic works by Mozart, Monteverdi, Purcell, Lully and Handel in Toronto and on tour to France, the US, Japan, Korea and Singapore. He has conducted for the Luminato Festival, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Houston Grand Opera, the Royal Opera House in Versailles, Utah Opera, Festival Vancouver, and the Singapore Festival. He is also the director of Choir 21, a vocal ensemble specializing in contemporary choral music. He was the Historical Music Producer for two Showtime historical dramas: The Tudors and The Borgias.

David Fallis headshot.jpeg

Josquin at 500: a remarkable tribute motet

Online workshop with Andrew Griffiths

Sunday 10th January 2021, 7pm

£12 full price, £10 concessions

Dum vastos Adriae fluctus by Jacquet of Mantua, published in 1554, hints at the esteem in which Josquin's music was still held fully a generation after his death in 1521, exactly five hundred years ago. Its poem mentions Josquin by name, and alludes to the texts of five of his most notable motets. At each reminiscence, Jacquet introduces direct musical quotations from the appropriate Josquin setting, so that the whole work functions as an affectionate act of tribute to the older master. This workshop with Andrew Griffiths (a member of Stile Antico, and a sought-after choral conductor) takes Jacquet as a guide, focusing on the five quoted Josquin works - Praeter rerum seriem, Stabat mater, Inviolata et casta es Maria, Salve Regina a5, and Miserere mei Deus - to reveal their beauty and their structure ingenuity.


Andrew Griffiths enjoys a unusually varied career as a conductor, vocal coach, and singer with the vocal consort Stile Antico. In the theatre he has conducted productions for The Royal Opera, The Royal Ballet, Welsh National Opera, Opera North, and Early Opera Company; concert work includes the Royal Northern Sinfonia and the Orchestra of the Swan. He is particularly experienced in early music, working regularly alongside such conductors as Christian Curnyn, Laurence Cummings and Maxim Emelyanychev as an assistant and continuo player.

In constant demand as a choral conductor, Andrew frequently directs the BBC Singers, and is musical director of Londinium and Kingston Choral Society. He is often invited to conduct the choirs at Dartington International Summer School, and regularly leads workshops for regional early music fora. As a member of Stile Antico since its foundation, he has a deep knowledge and understanding of Renaissance choral music, and is very much looking forward to sharing this with Renaissance Singers once again.

Andrew Griffiths credit Marco Borggreve.

Photo credit: Marco Borggreve

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


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.

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