Welcome to Hyperion Records, an independent British classical label devoted to presenting high-quality recordings of music of all styles and from all periods from the twelfth century to the twenty-first.

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Artist Hyperion Records
© Nick White


In 2016, Fretwork celebrated their 30th anniversary. In these last three decades, they have explored the core repertory of great English consort music, from Taverner to Purcell, and made classic recordings against which others are judged.

In addition to this, Fretwork have become known as pioneers of contemporary music for viols, having commissioned over 40 new works. The list of composers is like a role call of the most prominent writers of our time: George Benjamin, Michael Nyman, Sir John Tavener, Gavin Bryars, Elvis Costello, Alexander Goehr, John Woolrich, Orlando Gough, Fabrice Fitch, Peter Sculthorpe, Sally Beamish, Tan Dun, Barry Guy, Andrew Keeling, Thea Musgrave, Simon Bainbridge, Poul Ruders, John Joubert, Duncan Druce and Nico Muhly. The group now frequently presents programmes consisting entirely of contemporary music. In 2008, they recorded two tracks on Ryuichi Sakamoto’s album Out of Noise.

They now tour the United States most years, and made their Carnegie Hall debut in February of 2010. In that year, they also curated a week-long series of concerts at the dynamic London concert hall, Kings Place. The culmination of this week was the world premier of The World Encompassed by Orlando Gough, a 70-minute piece describing in musical terms Drake’s circumnavigation of the globe in 1577-80.

In 2011, The National Centre for Early Music, in collaboration with the BBC, hosted a competition for young composers to create a four-minute piece for Fretwork. They workshopped the shortlisted pieces at the NCEM in York in October, and then the winning entries were premiered in Kings Place in December 2011.

The following year, they premiered My Days for The Hilliard Ensemble and Fretwork by one of today’s most exciting young composers—Nico Muhly—in Wigmore Hall. While 2013 was their busiest year for a decade, they played no fewer than ten concerts in London’s major chamber music halls: Wigmore Hall, Kings Place, Cadogan Hall and the Royal College of Music.

In 2014 they continued to concentrate on the music of John Dowland with a major tour of the UK with one of today’s greatest tenors, Ian Bostridge. They also spent a week in the Britten Studio in Aldeburgh re-working Orlando Gough’s The World Encompassed, to incorporate a spoken narrative drawn from contemporary accounts.

Another new work by Nico Muhly was premiered in 2015 at Kings Place, and they collaborated with celebrated actor Simon Callow in the revised version of The World Encompassed at the Dartington International Summer School—this version was subsequently recorded and released to critical acclaim on Signum in 2016.

They celebrated their 30th anniversary with a star-studded concert at Kings Place in June 2016, and recorded four new albums including The World Encompassed. They made their longest tour of America, taking in the USA, Canada & Colombia. They are looking forward to further tours of North America and preparing to celebrate Michael Nyman’s 75th birthday in 2019.


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Complete works available for download

Alphabetical listing of all musical works

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