Celebratory National Tour 2017/18: Music for Early and Traditional Instruments

A programme of music for early and traditional instruments looking forwards and backwards in time. This programme involves a sextet Sirinu of accordion, hurdy-gurdy/lute, voice, flute, oboe and percussion. Works performed include Skempton’s hurdy-gurdy and accordion chamber concertos, the ‘The Man Hurdy-Gurdy and Me’ and other pieces by English composers past and present. The tour will include workshops and outreach activities, and in some venues (Bath and Oxford), local musicians will perform Skempton’s music for church bells and services.

Touring 2017-2018. To book, see website contact details.

Joining Sirinu members Matthew Spring, Sara Stowe, Jon Banks and Isabelle Carré on this tour are percussionist Chris Brannick, founding member of ensemble Bash, and oboist Christopher Redgate, fellow at the Royal Academy of Music. Teaser clips viewable on Sirinu’s Facebook page and YouTube channel!

Sounding Space

On the 6th November 2017, Sirinu will present Sounding Space, a promenade concert inspired by space and the planets from the Middle Ages to the present, with projections in Oxford’s Museum of the History of Science, and including a new music-theatre commission by Martyn Harry.

New Programme: The White Rose and the Cross

Music from the sumptuous court of Margaret of York and Charles the Rash, celebrating their marriage 550 years ago.  As featured on Sirinu’s CD Bold, Fearless and Rash.

Christmas and the Lord of Misrule

Christmas music from the Tudor period performed on harp, lute, gittern, portative organ, flute, and voices.

Handel’s Hospital and the Music of Gin Lane

Hogarth Gin Lane

With lively introductions, Sirinu present a cross-section of early 18th century musical life: early pantomime music; pieces for the unusual ‘charivari’ street band of cleavers, saltbox, bum fiddle and hurdy-gurdy; Handel sonatas and music for the Foundling’s Hospital; a burlesque ‘Dust Cart’ cantata by James Oswald; some of the earliest published children’s pieces and songs and sonatas byThomas Arne.

Sirinu’s concert takes as its inspiration the benevolent work of Handel, William Hogarth and a group of fellow benefactors who together funded the creation of a safe home for destitute children living on the streets of London. Aided by benefit performances of the Messiah and through the selling of art works the Foundlings Hospital came in to being in 1739 and with the subsequent Gin Act of 1751 developed a process of care for orphaned children.

The Knight’s Tale

Knights tale

Sirinu’s concert follows the amazing life of William the Marshal – Knight (1147-1219). The noble Knight Marshal served six monarchs, from Queen Matilda and her son Henry II, to his sons Richard the Lion heart and King John. Renowned as a knight in combat, Marshal was not only present during the politically turbulent period surrounding the signing of Magna Carta but also lived alongside the exciting early developments in western polyphony and the new culture of European vernacular song.

Sirinu performs some of the newly fashionable songs from Normandy, Provence and Germany including works by Adam de Halle, Bernardt de Ventadorn and Neidhart von Reuental; polyphonic motets of Robin and Marion in Norman French and English; songs from the crusades and instrumental pieces from around 1300.   The life of William the Marshal is finally brought to life with entertaining readings from medieval chronicles.

Tunes for Troubled Times


Sirinu present a variety of music from both sides of the English Civil War.

Sirinu’s concert includes songs by court composer William Lawes, who died at the Siege of Chester in 1643, and by Nicolas Lanier ‘Master of the King’s Musick’ to King Charles lst.

Sirinu represent the ‘Roundhead’ side of the war with domestic music from Anne Cromwell’s Virginal book, masque songs set to Milton’s Comus and well-known instrumental tunes in John Playford’s book The Dancing Master.

Sirinu include and introduce topical ballads to represent music of the people and pieces that look forward to the Restoration of Charles II.

Sirinu tour programmes have also included:

‘The Frozen Jewel of Potosi’ (British Council Peru/Bolivia; Early Music Network)

‘The Cradle of the Renaissance’ (Early Music Network)

‘All Goodly Sport’ (Henry Vlll & Educational tour)

‘Drake’s Progress’ (Early Music Network Educational Tour)

‘Out of the Orient’ (British Council)