The Kantanti Ensemble is a group of young professional singers and instrumentalists founded by the London-based conductor Lee Reynolds that gives performances throughout the year.
The ensemble was formed in August 2009 on a cross-channel ferry from St Malo to Portsmouth during a concert tour of Brittany – there was a shared desire among the young musicians on the tour to make some really high-class concerts happen, and to create a performance group with a personality – something vibrant, energetic and professional.
The group’s inaugural concert series (Handel Messiah) took place in December 2009, and since then the group has gone from strength to strength, performing Mozart Requiem and Faure Requiem to enthusiastic, growing audiences, and most recently giving two regional premieres of Lotti’s Requiem to great critical acclaim.
The group made its London debut in August 2010, and this January saw the launch of the new Kantanti Soloists series: chamber recitals programmed to complement the main ensemble performances. Plans for the future include music education work and ventures into theatre repertoire. The Ensemble’s activity is always led by the main concert programming, and the group will be tackling more adventurous repertoire and continuing to bring in top young international soloists.
Why Lewes? Lewes is the ideal location for Kantanti concerts because of its thriving arts scene, and the musically savvy and discerning audience that goes with this, who are used to the presence of the world-class stage of Glyndebourne. The group is also directed and led by two native Lewesians – Lee Reynolds and violinist, Beatrice Phillips.
You have a great opportunity later this month to hear the Kantanti Ensemble do its stuff––they’re performing Bach’s St. John Passion on Saturday 23 April. The concert is being held at St John Sub Castro here in Lewes and begins at 7.30pm.
The performers are as follows:
Lee Reynolds, conductor
Nick Allen, tenor Evangelist
Alexander Baker, bass Christus
Robert Cross, countertenor
Elizabeth Drury, soprano
William Petter, tenor
Piran Legg, bass
Biographies of the singers can be found here.
Praise for the Kantanti Ensemble:
‘The best musicians make old music sound new’
(Argus, January 2011)
‘Some of the finest instrumental playing possible’
(Sussex Express, August 2010)
‘A performance which at least equalled, if not bettered, the only recording’ (Sussex Express, January 2011)
‘Classical music on your doorstep doesn’t get much better than this.’
(Argus, January 2011)
by Paul Austin Kelly