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
Armonico Consort
© Chris Hall @ Ceejay Shots Photography

Armonico Consort

Armonico Consort began life in 2001, set up by Christopher Monks and a group of university colleagues with a shared passion for music from the Renaissance to Baroque, coupled with the imagination to find new and unusual ways to present concerts.

Audiences seemed to love their engaging and imaginative approach, and most concerts in the first years sold out. “That gave us confidence, energy and self-belief to carry on and do more, also to take more risks with our programming, and keep on experimenting,” says Christopher.

The ideas kept flowing, as did the titles (“many of them were created down the pub”) including the concert programmes Naked Byrd and Supersize Polyphony, and newly-created operas Monteverdi’s Flying Circus, Too Hot to Handel and Baroque Around the Block. Their horizons broadened to include later repertoire but at the heart remained music of the Baroque and Renaissance, including some rarely-heard gems, performed by the finest singers and players using period instruments. “We take great care to craft programmes which bring as much little-known music to life as possible, and find new and imaginative ways to bring this music to audiences. I’m particularly proud of Supersize Polyphony where we perform forty and sixty-part works by Tallis and Striggio completely in the round, interspersed with Hildegard of Bingen”. It earned the group their first five-star review, from The Times, and there were plenty more to follow.

Among many notable events were their Wigmore Hall debut in 2003, performing at the Hampton Court Palace Festival with violinist Nicola Benedetti (beginning a continuing musical friendship), Mozart’s The Magic Flute at the Barbican and giving the first performances of Francesco Scarlatti’s music in Italy (Naples) and Tel Aviv.

An education programme was fundamental to Armonico Consort from the outset and now encompasses six AC Academy after-school choirs and an in-school Choir Creation programme which trains teachers as choir leaders, leaving a strong legacy in each school. This Choir Creation scheme became the backbone of AC Academy reaching 15,000 children a year. By 2020, Armonico Consort aims to create 300 children’s choirs and 300 new choir leaders.

Armonico Consort counts Dame Judi Dench, Jeremy Irons, Nicola Benedetti, Sir Willard White, Ian Bostridge and Catrin Finch among their many guest artists. They have developed relationships with major concert halls across the UK and their recordings are regularly featured on BBC Radio 3, Classic FM and radio stations across the world. They continue to produce innovative new projects including Oz & Armonico Drink to Music with wine writer and broadcaster Oz Clarke, as well as touring their flagship programmes and seeking out new relationships.

Albums

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Complete works available for download

Alphabetical listing of all musical works

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