Scotland’s Baroque Ensemble
Dunedin Consort is one of the world’s leading baroque ensembles, recognised for its vivid and insightful performances and recordings. Formed in 1995 and named after Din Eidyn, the ancient Celtic name for Edinburgh Castle, Dunedin Consort’s ambition is to make early music relevant to the present day. Under the direction of John Butt, the ensemble has earned two coveted Gramophone Awards – for the 2007 recording of Handel’s Messiah and the 2014 recording of Mozart’s Requiem – and a Grammy nomination.
Dunedin Consort performs regularly at major festivals and venues across the UK, including the BBC Proms, Edinburgh International Festival and Lammermuir Festival, with whom it enjoys close associations. In 2017, Dunedin Consort announced its first residency at London’s Wigmore Hall, which continues to this day and complements its regular series of events at home in Scotland, as well as throughout Europe and beyond. The group’s growing discography on Linn Records includes Handel’s Acis and Galatea and Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos, both nominated for Gramophone Awards. Other Bach recordings include Mass in B Minor, Violin Concertos, Magnificat, Christmas Oratorio, Matthew Passion and John Passion, which was nominated for a Recording of the Year award in both Gramophone and BBC Music Magazine. A recording of Handel’s Samson, in its first version of 1743, was released in October 2019 to wide critical acclaim.
Alongside its performance and recording work, Dunedin Consort is committed to a wide ranging education programme both in schools and in the wider community. This annual programme of activity includes Bridging the Gap (a mentoring scheme for emerging young professional musicians), voice and instrumental clinics for non-professional performers, choral workshops for amateur singers, and an extensive programme of workshops in schools across Scotland. In inspiring and encouraging musical participation, developing vocal skills and fostering a love of classical music, historical performance and new music, Dunedin Consort aims to develop and nurture its potential audience and to encourage the performers of the future.
While Dunedin Consort is committed to performing repertoire from the baroque and early classical periods, and to researching specific historical performance projects, it remains an enthusiastic champion of contemporary music. In recent years the ensemble has commissioned and premiered new music by composers including Stuart Macrae, Ailie Robertson, Ninfea Cruttwell-Reade, William Sweeney, Nico Muhly, Peter Nelson, Stevie Wishart and Sally Beamish. In 2019 it premiered four new co-commissions with the BBC Proms, and in 2021 will premiere a new opera by Errollyn Wallen, co-commissioned with the Barbican Centre and Mahogany Opera.