Norwich Baroque was founded in 2006 by a group of friends with a passion for early music and forgotten local gems. Under the quiet yet visionary leadership of the late Jane Slocombe, the group gradually built relationships with some of the brightest stars in the field, beginning with the patronage of countertenor Michael Chance.
They are now a professional ensemble with strong ties both to the region and to other artists on the national and international early music scene, under the joint artistic direction of violinist/violist Jim O’Toole and cellist Kate Bennett Wadsworth. In addition to regular performances with the Norwich Cathedral Choirs around Christmas and Easter, they run a series of concerts in more intimate historic spaces around Norwich, curating programmes that help to bring the city’s incredibly rich history to life.
Recent collaborations include a programme linked to the Norwich Castle Museum's exhibition on the last voyage of the Gloucester, a famous warship that sank off the coast of Great Yarmouth in 1682 and was only recently discovered; an educational project with the Norwich School Choral Society, exploring historical performance of 18th- and 19th-century music in a set of workshops and a final concert, plus a world premiere by composer Andrew Weeks; and a set of concerts with scholar-performer Emily Baines, whose astonishing ornamentation on the recorder is informed by her cutting-edge research on 18th-century musical automata.
They are grateful to their community of supporters, and in particular to the Assembly House Trust, the Statham Society of Norwich Cathedral, the Octagon Chapel, and the Friends of Norwich Baroque, for helping them to contribute to the cultural life of the place they love.