Cantores in Ecclesia Present the Twenty-Fourth William Byrd Festival, August 4-20 2023
The annual William Byrd Festival returns to Portland for its 24th year this August. Following the retirement of Dean Applegate last summer after 25 years as co-founding festival director, Blake Applegate succeeds his father as the Director of the William Byrd Festival, leading Cantores in Ecclesia
in their preparations to join musicians around the world in marking the 400th Anniversary of Byrd’s death in 1623. Festival Artistic Director Mark Williams (Informator Choristarum and Fellow in Music at Magdalen College, Oxford) writes:
‘This year’s Festival sees all the usual fixtures, including lectures, services and concerts, plus some exciting extras, including two short illustrated recitals led by Byrd experts, Ross Duffin (of Case Western University) and Will Dawes (of Oxford University and formerly Stile Antico). In this anniversary year, as we mark 400 years since the death of the composer who has been the focus of our festival for over 25 years, I greatly look forward to this annual celebration of some of the most beautiful music to come out of England in the Renaissance era.’
Alongside the illustrated recitals, the full Festival schedule features liturgical services and an opening concert sung by Cantores in Ecclesia directed by Blake Applegate, lectures by leading scholars Kerry McCarthy, William Mahrt, and Katie Bank; a recital by Mark Williams on the organ of Trinity Episcopal Cathedral; and a closing concert featuring Cantores in Ecclesia directed by Mark Williams performing a special program highlighting a number of Byrd’s most famous motets.