Recommendations

‘This evening’s music was superb, it’s almost as if the BREMF was saving the best till last but this year’s programme has excelled in the quality of its music and tonight was no exception. 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 Bach: Christmas Oratorio, Brighton Early Music Festival 2017

‘… 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  Purcell: Ode to St Cecilia; Handel: Utrecht Te Deum; Handel: Eternal Source of Light Divine, Brighton Early Music Festival 2014

John Hancorn, conductor; Andrew Griffiths, Evangelist ; Bach: St Matthew Passion
John Hancorn, conductor; Andrew Griffiths, Evangelist ; Bach: St Matthew Passion

‘Perfection is not demanded, but it is rather sweet when you come across it, as in this involving and virtually flawless performance. Under John Hancorn’s direction, the pace of the music was finely judged – never ponderous and never hurried… The effect was to make Bach’s music seem effortless as well as profound, and Hancorn’s overall conception was satisfyingly unified.’

Terry Walker, The Argus, 12 November 2013
Bach: St John Passion, Brighton Early Music Festival 2013

 

 

 

‘I first knew John Hancorn as an excellent Baritone, but in recent years he has taken to the podium as conductor, and I have had the pleasure of singing with him in that capacity, as well as enjoying his performances as a member of the audience. He is such a skilful, sensitive and experienced musician and he brings great beauty and drama to whatever piece he conducts in the

John Hancorn rehearsing with Sir John Tomlinson, Lewes Town Hall
John Hancorn rehearsing with Sir John Tomlinson, Lewes Town Hall

most natural, unforced, but telling way. He has a seemingly easy rapport with singers and players alike which brings out the best from his musicians, but at the same time demands alert concentration; an effective combination of security and discipline with lively creativity. Our performance of Handel’s ‘Saul’ had these qualities in abundance, and I look forward greatly to an equally fine Bach’s ‘St Matthew’ next year.’

Sir John Tomlinson

‘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.’

Mark Flinn, Chair, North West Early Music Forum, following day workshop, May 2014

‘I must thank you for all you contributed, over many years, to my time as Director of Dartington International Summer School – as a soloist, as a vocal coach, as director of madrigal and chamber choir workshops, and as conductor of the ‘main choir’.  You gave us some truly inspirational performances, and all who took part will have the happiest memories of the times shared in making music together.  The Trinity College connection also gave some promising students an exceptional experience.’

Professor Gavin Henderson CBE, Principal, Central School of Speech & Drama, University of London

 

The Finnish Prisoner by Orlando Gough and Stephen Plaice, conducted by John Hancorn
The Finnish Prisoner by Orlando Gough and Stephen Plaice, conducted by John Hancorn

‘I have collaborated with John Hancorn on two insanely ambitious choral projects in which large numbers of amateur singers and children have sung extremely challenging new music. He has directed these pieces with a wonderful mixture of humour, perfectionism and determination which has inspired the singers and led to the kind of amazing performances that surprise both the performers themselves and the audience.’

Orlando Gough, composer

 

‘I just want to reiterate our thanks for yesterday’s excellent workshop. Everybody I’ve spoken to greatly enjoyed it and thought your direction was excellent, and it’s such a splendid piece. Your pacing of the day was perfect, enabling us to get through the whole thing and at the same time do a decent amount of work on it, and we all appreciated your expertise, humour and forbearance.’

Edwin Griggs, Midlands Early Music Forum following day workshop on Domenico Scarlatti’s 10-part Stabat Mater, January 2013

 

John Hancorn directs a workshop with the East Sussex Bach Choir
John Hancorn directs a workshop with the East Sussex Bach Choir

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