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Sophia Brumfitt has performed as an oratorio soloist, with renaissance and medieval ensembles. Her versatile and agile voice has enabled her to work in areas spanning the entire spectrum of early music; from Medieval to Early Classical, through traditional Celtic and Sephardic song.

Sophia has just completed her Masters in Musicology at Royal Holloway University of London writing on Medieval Song, on Performance Studies and Ethnomusicology. This has left less time available for singing projects, although 2016 saw the airing of music arranged and performed by Sophia, featured within the BBC4 series ‘Renaissance Unchained’. Waldemar Janusczcak heard her singing in a local church, employing her on the spot as the ideal performer to illustrate the power of text, and ‘the heavenly in music’. Recordings with medieval ensembles Bardos Band and Daughters of Elvin have played on BBC Radio 3, and she has appeared on BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour talking about the enduring love song.

A trip to Vancouver Early Music Festival in 2015 fulfilled a long-standing ambition to study the Early Troubadours and Trouvéres with Benjamin Bagby and members of Sequentia within their Summer Programme.

Listen

"The beautiful voice, stage presence and clear diction of Sophia Brumfitt created a real sense of occasion which lifted everyone's spirits.."
Aude Gotto
King of Hearts Arts Centre, Norwich

"A range of vocal colouration some, much better known singers, would do well to emulate."
Rex Harley
'Music & Vision Daily'

"I quite thought that Bordoni would jump out of her picture-frame and start beating her up out of jealousy."
Ruth Harris
'Thames Valley Early Music Forum'      

Sophia Brumfitt News

 

A busy summer, which keeps giving, although not without setbacks and decisions that I need to make over the coming year. 

 

Further details about the Musicke in the Ayre programme Awake, My Lute on George Herbert have now firmed up:  

The Salisbury concert on Sunday 4th June at 3pm, will now be followed by a slightly extended musical concert of the same programme on Friday 15th June at 7.30 at St. Anne’s Church, West Hill, Highgate.

The first concert in George Herbert’s own parish, will be performed at St. John’s Place in Bemerton with Sonia Woolley reading texts by and about George Herbert. The music will feature setting of Herbert’s own poems and work by his extended family and colleagues. This programme has been devised for the George Herbert at Bemerton Society, who are handling bookings. Tickets are free, but there will be a retiring collection. To book a seat, call +44 (0)1722 238301 or mob) +44 (0) 7815107009.

The second concert at St. Anne's is just by Hampstead Heath at the foot of West Hill. Tickets are available online for £11, £9 for seniors (£5 for under 16s) through www.ticketsource.co.uk , or on the door for £12, £10 for seniors (£6 for under 16s).

 

Tickets for Stroud Green Festival, on 24th June 3.30pm Scherzi Musicali by Monteverdi are now available through www.eventbrite.co.uk for £13 (£10) as event 19.

 

This is a lovely programme in North London, featuring duets with the lovely Emily Atkinson, and instrumental music violin flute and theorbo by Eleanor Harrison, Stephen Carpenter and William Summers. 

I will also be appearing with the Turner Consort for ticket holders to Turner's House on 28th June, performing social and domestic music from the beginning of the 19th cent. with William Summers playing classical flute, and Taro Takeuchi playing HarpLute and English guitar. Further information to follow- I really should add a concert dates page... 

 

 

Lent and Easter are a busy time for music in the church year, and a particularly exciting time for singing the Mezzo arias from the Bach Passions.  Cantoring at St. Anne’s, West Hill, Highgate has given me a wonderful opportunity to sing so many of these wonderful arias, but the Good Friday Recital will give three of the regular cantors an opportunity to sing more secular songs and lied from more recent eras. Resident organist Matthew Power playing piano, at St. Anne's just below Parliament Hill. 

Other Lenten and Easter music from Medieval England will feature in All Saint’s Church in Kingston-upon-Thames on 25th March. With Mike Parker on Medieval harp and William Summers on medieval flute. We found that, where much of the Northern French music and texts of Spring are pastoral love and nature songs, the Anglo-Norman songs are much more devout and reflective.

In June, a concert in my home town of Salisbury, will be a lovely opportunity to sing again with Din Ghani in a programme devised around local cleric and poet George Herbert. The programme Awake my Lute is constructured around texts by him and members of his family with accompaniment on Renaissance Lute.  Later in the month, a concert with Loki Consort featuring Scherzi Musicali of Monteverdi and other duets with the wonderful Patricia Hammond will take place in the Stroud Green Festival- ticket details to follow.

In September the Jane Austen Consort will return to Garrick’s Temple to Shakespeare in Richmond with Taro Takeuchi on the very rare and beautiful Harp Lute and William Summers on flute. The music featured all sourced from the library of Jane Austen’s family.

The year came to a lovely start with a Musicke in the Ayre recital at The National Portrait Gallery with Din Ghani. The music was ‘Songs from the Shows- Stuart Style’ and included texts by William Shakespeare, Ben Johnson and music by Alfonso Ferrabosco, Robert Johnson and Henry Purcell.

 Now February is set to mark a series of concerts with the very wonderful, and super talented Rebecca Austen-Brown, and joined for two concerts by Jon Banks- another extraordinary multi-instrumentalist, who will be mostly playing medieval harp for the purposes of our Celtic inspired programme The Oak of Two Greens. 

The Trio will headline with The Oak of Two Greens on Saturday 10th February, 7.30 at Bridewell Theatre, and at the lunchtime concert on Monday 12th February. Tickets available through https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/oak-of-two-greens-and-sound-of-the-arctic-tickets-39833542197

The duo Maiden in the Moor will appear at the lunchtime concert on 28th February and evenings on 22nd February and 1st March with A Song of Nothing. This programme features music from the 12th century Occitan Troubadours and examines their influence throughout France, Italy and Spain through the time of the Albigensian Crusades. 

For more information go to http://marchlandseason.co.uk/calendar/category/music/list/

The last year has been a year of great achievements. While not doing as much singing as I would have liked, I have completed my Masters in Musicology from Royal Holloway University of London. Writing my thesis on Troubadour and Trouvère songs in early medieval manuscripts took up the majority of my summer, alongside settling into a new home and being adopted by a family of stray cats!

The most notable performance project was creating a performance for a BBC4 documentary, produced and presented by Waldemar Januszczak. 

Renaissance Unchained

2016 saw the airing of music arranged and performed by Sophia, featured within the BBC4 series ‘Renaissance Unchained’. Waldemar Janusczcak heard her singing in a local church, employing her on the spot as the ideal performer to illustrate the power of text and ‘the heavenly in music’. 
Performers
Anne Allen
Sophia Brumfitt
Jennie Cassidy
David Hatcher
Kate Hawnt

Concerts with Mediva this weekend!

Friday 27th June 1pm
voluntary donation
St Mary at Hill, Lovat Lane, London

Friday 27th June 7.30pm 
tickets on the door £12 (£8 concs)
St. Anne’s, Highgate, N6 6AP 

Ann Allen- Director- shawms & recorders
Corina Marti- recorders
David Hatcher- fiddle recorders & shawm
Tim Garside- percussion
Sophia Brumfitt- voice

So many people have asked when I will be doing a concert near to home, and I rarely have any news of anything around London.  I think some of my non-music friends are beginning to suspect that I'm not an active musician at all!  So I'm delighted that Mediva will be doing a lunchtime concert in the City on Friday, and an evening concert at St. Anne’s Church, Highgate.  

Mediva don’t do many concerts in the UK, since the director Ann Allen and many of her musicians live between Basel and Paris.  It is a joy to play music with her and the friends and musicians she draws together,- the music is always bright and imaginatively crafted, but always informed and respectful of the enormous heritage this ancient music carries. I can’t wait to meet up with them tomorrow for rehearsals and catching up.  The weather seems made for bright, brisk music making.

Give your ears a treat! The sweet sound of English 14th and 15th century music- was known as ‘Contenance Angloise’- a style admired throughout Europe for its rich textures and harmonies. Come and enjoy upbeat dances and some of the sweetest hymns to the Virgin Mary ever written.

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