News: New historical performance ensemble launches with concert of St John Passion

Aiming to introduce a new generation of musicians to the classical scene, Figure is a newly established and energetic historical performance ensemble. The ensemble’s aim is to bring compositions to life in the way their composers intended for a dynamic and diverse audience, while championing talented young British musicians from all backgrounds.

Figure’s repertoire will range from the Renaissance to the beginning of Modernism in music – anything which would have been originally performed on gut strings is their domain. Figure wants to bring a freshness and dynamism to works known and loved by all by exploring the authentic instruments and techniques appropriate to them.

Their inaugural performance of Bach’s St John Passion will be held in their new home, St Bartholomew-the-Great with the orchestra led by Gabriella Jones (Instrumental Award holder at Cambridge University). Singers include Handel House Artist and CMF Artist Richard Robbins and OAE Rising Star Rowan Pierce.

Inspired by the work of scholars and performers including Bruce Haynes and John Butt, Figure will explore the expressive potential of different aspects of music, from articulation to tone colour to flexibility of tempo, to maximise the drama of performance and connect with its listeners as closely as possible.

Founder and musical director Frederick Waxman (founder of Ante Terminum) says, It has been a tumultuous year and a half in the arts – music has been hit doubly by the pandemic and by Brexit. With touring no longer viable for British musicians, it is essential to nurture the rising generation of musicians. St Bartholomew-the-Great is in the heart of London and has survived change and adversity from the Reformation to the Blitz – it is the perfect home for us to enter this new phase of life in the performing arts.

Figure will be releasing a programme for 2021/22 ahead of its launch.

St John Passion is playing on 17 September.


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