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Collegium Musicum

Patrons: Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Sir Roger Norrington
Artistic Director: Margaret Faultless
Associate Director: Martin Ennis
Student President: Rachel Stroud

The Cambridge University Collegium Musicum is a vibrant ensemble that invites students to experience historical performance, giving them the rare opportunity to perform on period instruments and learn historical performance techniques.

Maggie 1-1

The ensemble was launched in 2006, when the Faculty of Music commissioned copies of baroque instruments from leading makers in this country and abroad with a vision to ignite a passion for early music in the next generations of musicians and thinkers. These instruments are made available to interested students, who then receive coaching in historical performance techniques and perform regularly under the direction of Margaret Faultless, an internationally-renowned Baroque violinist, and head of Historical Performance at the Royal Academy of Music.

Chamber Ensemble (Sublime)

Collegium Musicum aims to push the boundaries of performance expectations, giving daring and energetic performances in some of Cambridge’s best performance spaces. Recent projects have included a semi-staged performance of Handel's Acis and Galatea, John Blow's Venus and Adonis and a complete Brandenburg Concerto Cycle in the Round Church, a conductor-less performance of Bach’s St John Passion with Nicholas Mulroy and the University Chamber Choir in St John’s College Chapel and Girton College Hall, and a performance of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio in King’s College Chapel. The group also regularly collaborates with other professional groups and musicians, including His Majesty's Sagbutts and Cornetts and an annual side-by-side workshop with the Academy of Ancient Music directed by Richard Egarr.

Our 2018–2019 season will begin with The Glories of Handel on 16 November in West Road Concert Hall. We are delighted to be joined by members of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and to welcome historically informed performance expert and scholar John Butt who will conduct this spectacular celebration of Handel's music.

Handel is justly celebrated for his lyrical vocal style, together with his luscious writing for strings; but he is equally a master of the virtuoso vocal style. This is particularly clear during his Roman period when he first encountered Italian singers on their home turf. This environment engendered the wonderful Gloria for solo soprano, but also, most extraordinary of all, the Dixit Dominus, which takes the same coloratura principles, almost manically, to a polyphonic level.

In February we will return to St John's Divinity School for our popular annual performance in the Cambridge University Lunchtime Concert Series.

Collegium Musicum highlights 2018–19 >>