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Our Artistic Directors

John Hancorn and Julia Bishop are the creative inspiration and force behind the Lewes Baroquefest 2024.


Julia Bishop discovered her love of Early Music whilst studying at the Royal College of Music and is now recognised as one of the leading Baroque violinists of her generation. She has toured the world and made extensive recordings with many period instrument orchestras in the UK including the English Concert and as concertmaster for 5 years with the Gabrieli Consort and Players.In 1997 Julia co-founded the ensemble Red Priest with recorder Piers Adams and enjoyed 19 years of huge success touring Europe, America and the Far East, and making 6 highly acclaimed recordings.


Recently Julia has become increasingly popular for her lively and informative teaching on workshops and courses around the UK and abroad. She heads the Early Music department at Chichester University and has been a guest teacher at the Royal Academy and Royal College of Music.

Julia is currently enjoying developing repertoire and performing concerts with soprano Ana-Maria Rincon and keyboardist Howard Beach in their chamber ensemble Purcell’s Muse.


John Hancorn is music director of the BREMF Singers, Baroque Collective Singers, East Sussex Bach Choir and Eastbourne Choral Society and co-director of The Baroque Collective and the newly launched Lewes Baroquefest!. Performances for the Brighton Early Music Festival include Bach’s St John Passion and B Minor Mass, Monteverdi Vespers, Handel Semele, and a staged performance of Purcell The Fairy Queen.
John leads vocal workshops and masterclasses specializing in baroque repertoire including regular visits to Early Music Fora and ‘Sing and Discover’ days and online workshops with Richard Wigmore throughout the UK. He is Associate Lecturer in Choral Studies at the University of Chichester Conservatoire, Choral Director at East Sussex Academy of Music and is a specialist examiner for Trinity Laban. He directed chamber choir courses at Dartington for many years and was a tutor at AIMS Summer School.
John directed the Orlando Consort in Tarik O'Regan Scattered Rhymes; the world premiere of Orlando Gough's opera The Finnish Prisoner with singers from the Finnish Opera; a critically acclaimed professional recording of Ed Hughes's Buried Flame and Purcell’s King Arthur for New Sussex Opera. He was Artistic Advisor for a large-scale concert at Glyndebourne for Homelink in November 2019.
Julia Bishop
John Hancorn

We are excited to bring you Lewes Baroquefest 2024, the only Baroque music festival in Lewes! We have taken on the concept of our initial event in 2019 and  bring exciting new performers to the festival as well as familiar faces.  This years programme events offers a pot-pourri of choices. There is something for everyone and we do hope that you will be able to support our festival.

Introducing Lewes Baroquefest

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