top of page


Lewes Baroquefest Performers 2024

The small county town of Lewes is blessed with a diverse and exceptionally large group of highly talented baroque artists. Both professional and amateur groups flourish in the area. Lewes Baroquefest will be showcasing top professional virtuoso instrumentalists and singers, alongside outstanding local choir the Baroque Collective Singers.

download (3).jpg
Alison Bury

Alison Bury was a founder member and regular leader of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, appearing and recording with them as leader, soloist and director. As leader of the OAE she was usually to be found at Glyndebourne Festival Opera for performances of the operas of Handel and other baroque composers. In the 2007 season, she led the OAE in the Glyndebourne dramatisation of Bach’s St Matthew Passion and in 2009 she was there for Purcell The Fairy-Queen and Handel Julio Cesare. For the 2012 season, she played with the OAE in Purcell Fairy Queen and Mozart Nozze di Figaro. For over 20 years, Alison was the leader of the English Baroque Soloists and has taken part in numerous recordings and toured in Europe, Australia, the U.S.A. and the Far East, including the Millennium Tour of Bach’s Cantatas.

Alison Bury started playing the baroque violin while a student at the Royal College of Music. After completing her studies there she won a Boise Scholarship to study at the Salzburg Mozarteum with Sandor Vegh and Nikolaus Harnoncourt. While in Austria she performed and recorded with Concentus Musicus of Vienna. Alison also plays with the Raglan Baroque Players and accompanied them on their visit to the Baroque Music Festival in Australia. Recent chamber music activities include performances of the Beethoven Septet with other members of the OAE and recitals with harpsichordists Nicholas Parle, Maggie Cole and Malcolm Proud. She is highly regarded by singers with whom she has worked, including Andreas Scholl and Daniele de Niese, with whom she worked on a recording of Mozart arias.

Additional solo work includes performances and recordings with the Academy of Ancient Music, the Raglan Baroque Players and the Taverner Players

ATE Vocal Ensemble

ATÉ, a vibrant new music ensemble, emerges as a beacon of female collaboration and innovation in the realm of choral music. The name "ATÉ" embodies our collective spirit, resonating with the Greek concept, meaning folly, daring, and the pursuit of something greater than oneself. ATÉ is not just a choir; we are pioneers on a mission to expand the horizons of choral music. While our foundation lies in the rich tradition of choral singing, we are unafraid to venture into uncharted territory. Our repertoire spans a diverse spectrum, from classical masterpieces to contemporary compositions, all reimagined through the lens of female interpretation. A key aspect of our mission is the celebration of female composers whose voices have often been hushed throughout history. At the heart of ATÉ's vision lies a passion for reinvention. We are driven by the desire to breathe new life into familiar music, uncover hidden gems, and shed light on the voices of the past that have long been silenced. Through our commitment to reimagining the familiar and embracing the unfamiliar, we aspire to ignite a spark of curiosity and wonder in all who listen.

ATE photo.jpg
Screenshot 2022-05-12 at 14.37.57.png
Baroque Collective

The Baroque Collective is a period instrument orchestra based in Lewes, East Sussex.

Directed by conductor and singer John Hancorn and violinist Alison Bury, The Baroque Collective offers an enticing and flexible range of programmes from Locke and Purcell to Mozart and from trios to major works with chorus. Performances include Handel’s Messiah with the East Sussex Bach Choir and Bach’s St John Passion with the Esterházy Chamber Choir in Lewes;  Purcell’s King Arthur with the Fletching Singers; ‘The Cares of Lovers’ at the Uckfield Festival and Handel’s Acis and Galatea at the Montpelier and Powis Festival, Brighton; and regular performances of major baroque choral works with the East Sussex Bach Choir and the Baroque Collective Singers.


Founded by conductor John Hancorn in 2013, The Baroque Collective Singers is a chamber choir made up of the very best singers from Lewes and the surrounding area. The choir aims to explore a wide range of repertoire, a cappella and with instruments, with a focus on baroque.

BCS will premiere Orlando Gough’s ‘Out Of My Head’ on Saturday 17 September 2022 in a series of outdoor, a cappella, flashmob-style performances on Saturday 17 September 2022 in Lewes and will sing Christmas music by Bach on Wednesday 21 December 2022.


Baroque Collective Singers
David Wright
David Wright_MG_6021.jpeg

David specialises in performing on early keyboard instruments. Originally from London's East End, David was self-taught until his late teens. He then studied at the Royal College of Music where he won numerous international prizes, including the Broadwood Harpsichord Competition. 

He pursues a busy career as soloist, chamber musician and continuo player. He has recently recorded with The Academy of Ancient Music and has an extensive discography.

After recording the monumental Goldberg Variations in 2007 David toured as a soloist before joining the world-renowned group Red Priest, with whom he performs from America to the Far East. Other recent engagements include a tour with Joshua Bell.

High Wire 2_edited.png

High-Wire Baroque

High-wire Baroque Trio was brought together by a shared passion for bringing improvised music to audiences, alongside exploring the full gamut of historical repertoire, on period instruments. David Gordon, Jenny Bliss Bennett and Daniel Swani are all active performing musicians in the UK and between them have made collaborations  with groups such as the Royal Opera House, The English Concert and the Mediaeval Baebes. The ensemble have previously made appearances at both the Swaledale and Ulverston international musical festivals, and look forward to upcoming performances in London and the south coast.

Jack Gonzalez-Harding

Julia Bishop

Julia Bishop - 3 HR.JPG

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.


Photo: Robert Knights

Praised for his ‘brilliant infectious enthusiasm’ (The Spectator), British conductor and keyboardist Jack Gonzalez-Harding is a Ryedale Festival 2024 Emerging Artist. 

The 2024/25 season sees Jack join the Guildhall School of Music and Drama’s Opera Studio as a répétiteur. Jack returns to conduct the London Mozart Players with whom he is now a regular guest, to St. John’s Smith Square for Haydn’s The Creation and Mayfield Festival for Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius. As a keyboardist, Jack has enjoyed recent performances at Wigmore Hall, Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall and Barbican Centre’s Milton Court. 

Increasingly in demand as an assistant conductor for leading conductors and ensembles, Jack has worked as an assistant conductor for Sir Mark Elder, Hallé Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Jonathan Cohen, Arcangelo and Orchesta Haydn di Trento e Bolzano.

Born in Kent in 2003, Jack began his musical education studying the organ as a junior exhibitioner at the Royal Academy of Music. His harpsichord since tutors have included Pierre Hantaï (Paris), Carole Cerasi (GSMD) and David Gordon (Purcell School). Jack is mentored by John Carewe who was mentor to Sir Simon Rattle, whom Jack now regularly observes.

Jack Gonzales Harding.jpg

Photo: Beth Mercer

John Hancorn
The Purcell Singers
Purcell Singers temp.jpg
Laura Piras
Laura Piras french_edited.png

Laura specialises performing on historical flutes. She is Artistic Director and Principal Flute of The Vauxhall Band and Co-Principal Flute with The Hanover Band. Laura has performed and recorded with many other leading ensembles, including the London Handel Orchestra, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and the Academy of Ancient Music in venues such as Buckingham Palace, the Southbank, Wigmore Hall and overseas.

Laura received a MA in Historical Performance from the Royal Academy of Music, where she studied baroque and classical flutes, She won the Early Music Prize and graduated with Distinction.

Paula Chateauneuf

Paula Chateauneuf’s playing has been described as “one of the most exciting things on the pre-classical concert circuit”.  A Fulbright Scholar to London, she soon established herself there as one of early music’s leading soloists and ensemble players and became the linchpin of numerous groups including the Gabrieli Consort, New London Consort and Sinfonye.  She has also performed with the Academy of Ancient Music, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, His Majestys Sagbutts and Cornetts, The Instruments of Time and Truth, Handel and Haydn Society, Avison Ensemble, De Nederlandse Bachvereniging, and Jordi Savall’s Le Concert des Nations.  Paula’s knowledge and skill in the art of basso continuo has made her one of the most sought-after accompanists in early music, resulting in fruitful collaborations with many leading singers and international opera houses.  She has recorded for Decca, EMI, Deutsche Grammophon, Linn, and Hyperion.  She teaches at the Royal Northern College of Music and was a Creative Arts Fellow at the University of Birmingham from 2007–12.  In 2009 Paula was curator of Southbank Centre’s weekend festival of early improvisation, Take the Risk.  2009 also saw the establishment of her highly-acclaimed 17th-century-style improvising ensemble, The Division Lobby.

Paula Chateauneuf gate.jpg

One of London’s leading chamber choirs, The Purcell Singers was formed in 1994 by conductor and organist Mark Ford. We have performed extensively in London venues including St James’s Piccadilly, Southwark and St Paul’s Cathedrals, St John’s Smith Square, and the Royal Festival Hall, as well as outside London at the Brighton, Hurst and Howden Festivals, St Albans Cathedral and at the Langen Festival in Frankfurt. The choir has been awarded ‘Best Classical Performance’ at the Brighton Festival. The choir’s President is Sarah Walker CBE.

Our repertoire is wide, ranging from Gibbons to Tavener, via Bach, Howells, Poulenc, Barber and Britten, and we have developed a particular reputation for championing unusual late romantic works, notably those of the German composer Georg Schumann.

The choir has so far recorded four classical albums, including two première discs of works by Georg Schumann, the first of which was Gramophone Magazine’s Critics’ Choice in January 2002, and the second also described as a “hugely impressive disc” (Gramophone). Our recordings have been frequently broadcast on the radio, and we have appeared on television.

We are also active in session work, and can be heard on the cast album of Mary Poppins (the original West End production). We have recorded several discs for film and television at Angel Studios, as well as numerous film trailers at Abbey Road and Air Studios. You may recognise some of these tracks from the trailers for films such as King Kong, War of the Worlds, The Island, The Da Vinci Code, and Spider-man 3. We recorded Hans Zimmer’s soundtrack for Madagascar 2 and some numbers for the West End production of Flashdance – The Musical.

bottom of page