Brighton Early Music Festival 2017: Reviews

Bach: Christmas Oratorio
BREMF Singers and Players directed by John Hancorn
Sunday 12 November 2017 at St Martin’s Church, Brighton

‘Conductor John Hancorn maintained a brisk pace but never at the expense of the Christmas story’s essential tenderness. Alert and responsive as ever, the BREMF Singers delivered plenty of excitement and agility alongside some very sensitive singing.’

Andrew Connall, Latest Brighton, 15 November 2017


‘John Hancorn conducted with a florid grace which kept the music tight and graceful while allowing the complex interactions of Bach’s melodies to entwine and entice us.’

‘The BREMF Singers are unparalleled in their precision, diction and singing in the original German provided an authentic feeling to the evening. I never fail to be impressed by the quality of the BREMF singers; they provided a superb level of choral singing which adds impressively to any event they are part of. ‘

Eric Page, GScene, 14 November 2017

‘Sing and Discover’ with Richard Wigmore

John Hancorn and Richard Wigmore have launched ‘Sing and Discover’ day workshops for experienced singers, choirs and music lovers – a detailed exploration of the very best baroque choral music, including unique musical insights, historical context, recordings, and lots of singing. Repertoire includes Bach, Handel, Haydn and Purcell. Full details here.

Brighton Early Music Festival reviews

‘…this was far more than a choral society performance, and the choir gave performance which had a great deal of charm with a nice lightness of touch.’

Planet Hugill on Handel Acis and Galatea, Brighton Early Music Festival, BREMF Singers and Players, 7 November 2015

Critical Acclaim for BREMF Singers performance

‘… the BREMF Singers and Players who were flawless if not stunning in Purcell’s Ode To St Cecilia. John Hancorn, the director, pulled together a sprightly and authoritative performance with great momentum, perfectly suited to this music. If the solo singers made Purcell’s often florid lines seem effortless, the BREMF chorus was surprisingly powerful, whilst remaining light-footed, clear and crisp.

In Eternal Source of Light Divine and the Utrecht Te Deum the difference in style of the two composers was noticeable, but both pieces were nevertheless delivered with the same panache and lightness of touch.

This was an uplifting finale to the 2014 edition of the increasingly successful Brighton Early Music Festival.’

Terry Walker, The Argus, 10 November 2014

Scarlatti workshop for North West Early Music Forum

John led a very successful day workshop for the North West Early Music Forum in Didsbury on 14 May 2014, exploring Scarlatti’s wonderful 10-part Stabat Mater. Mark Flinn, chair of NWEMF, said ‘John Hancorn led an outstanding day of music making when we studied and performed Scarlatti’s amazing ten-part Stabat Mater. John’s love for the piece, his musicianship and his talent for getting the best out of a group of singers ensured a most successful and enjoyable day. We’re inviting him back next year’

The workshop also features on a blog here

Domenico Scarlatti
Domenico Scarlatti

Battle of Lewes Cantata – world premiere

John will conduct the world premiere performance of Helen Glavin’s Battle of Lewes Cantata ‘The Sword of Freedom’ on Tuesday 13 May 2014 at Lewes Town Hall as part of a month of celebrations of the historic battle in Lewes in May 2014. ‘The Sword of Freedom’ will be performed by The Everyman Ensemble and features regular Everyman soloist Oliver Hicks accompaned by troubadours and a group of specially invited professional musicians.