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Cambridge Early Music

Add Cambridge Early Music to your Itinerary

Cambridge Early Music


Trinity College


Tel: 01223 847330

Cambridge Early Music is a registered charity, which offers concerts and educational courses for adults in medieval, renaissance and baroque music. 

In 2013 we celebrate twenty years of running international summer schools, which have been attended by many hundreds of professional and amateur musicians from all over the world.  The courses are taught by professional ensembles: musicians who are noted for their teaching ability as well as their excellence in performance.  Over the years our tutors have included The Hilliard Ensemble, Sirinu, Musica Antiqua of London and The Parley of Instruments.  The minimum age for attendance is normally 18, though younger musicians may apply.

Our summer schools are held in Cambridge colleges; our usual ‘home’ is Sidney Sussex College, which provides the accommodation, meals and teaching spaces, as well as beautiful gardens and peaceful surroundings for leisure time.  Being in the centre of historic Cambridge is another attraction, as it is easy to pop out to buy music or books, or to spend a couple of hours on the river in the free afternoons.

The courses typically welcome 40-50 participants, which we have found to be the optimum size for the group, giving everyone the opportunity to get to know everyone else, and ensuring that everyone receives plenty of attention from the tutors and administrators.  The level of care taken in forming ensembles (normally different each day) and accommodating every individual is highly prized by our participants.  Each day of the course holds music-making sessions in a variety of formats, such as technical sessions for each instrumental group and for singers, chamber music in all sorts of different combinations, and full sessions with everybody taking part together.  At the end of the week the participants and tutors give a public concert together, presenting a selection of the music they have studied during the previous days.

Alongside these ‘student’ concerts, Cambridge Early Music runs a series of professional concerts throughout the year.  During the summer school weeks, usually in early August, our tutor ensembles perform music matching the theme of the courses.  Our other concerts feature top-class musicians from the UK and Europe, bringing superb-quality music to Cambridge audiences.  We have a very loyal following, and are continuously expanding our audience through imaginative programming and a wide variety of music.  Our performers in 2013 include Michael Chance, Nigel North, Stile Antico, La Morra, Magnificat, Jakob Lindberg, the Musical and Amicable Society, Mediva, Adrian Butterfield and Rachel Brown.

Since 2011 Cambridge Early Music has started running high-profile festivals – intense periods of concerts and other events in which both local audiences and visitors to Cambridge can immerse themselves in music for an entire weekend.  Performers have included the London Handel Players, Ensemble Amaranthos, organist Mark Williams, The Sixteen, Joel Frederiksen, Encantar, John Potter, Pavlo Beznosiuk and Paula Chateauneuf, La Serenissima, VivaBiancaLuna Biffi, and I Fagiolini (performing Striggio’s amazing Mass in Forty Parts in King’s College Chapel).

Cambridge Early Music’s thriving Friends and Patrons schemes has over 140 members who support our work through regular attendance at concerts and other events, and through payment of an annual subscription.  Benefits enjoyed by the Patrons and Friends include priority booking, reserved seats at concerts, and invitations to special events such as our black tie Dinner Concert and our annual party.  CEM is run largely by voluntary effort, and our loyal Friends and Patrons form the backbone of our support network.  We know that our work is valued when we receive such priceless and enthusiastic help!

Opening Times

Opening Times (1 Jan 2019 - 31 Dec 2019)

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