The viol consort Newe Vialles was launched in 2015 by co-directors Henrik Persson and Caroline Ritchie. Its members are some of the finest period instrumentalists of their generation, having studied at some of Europe’s most prestigious institutions, including the Royal Academy of Music in London, the Schola Cantorum in Basel and the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, and with teachers such as Richard Campbell, Jonathan Manson, Sarah Cunningham and Randall Cook.
With a repertoire that runs from the early 16th to the late 17th century, Newe Vialles is equally at home with polyphonic music from across the European continent as it is with the music of the English ‘Golden Age’. Distinguished by its unique core sound, the group aims to engage with aspects of performance practice such as rhythmic flexibility and improvised ornamentation, resulting in a performance style that is both vibrant and engaging to the modern listener, and faithful to the vivid rhetoric of the music itself. Our interest in the rejuvenation of the viol consort tradition leads us to engage also with music by contemporary composers, and to explore different performance spaces and collaborations with artists from other disciplines.
Forthcoming projects include a tour with The New Cambridge Singers (under the direction of Graham Walker) to incorporate performances of all of Byrd’s Gradualia, alongside a new commission from Giles Swayne. Our first recording, of the music of William Lawes and his Italian contemporaries, is planned for the end of 2015. Other projects under discussion include performances at St Michael’s, Battersea, and Worcester Cathedral.