Corelli Ensemble
   Home      About us

Who are the Corelli Ensemble?

The Corelli Ensemble was formed in 1989 by the joining of two string quartets under the direction of Adrian Davies and Adrian Shepherd to perform repertoire from the Baroque Era.
 
In 2008, Maeve Jenkinson became Musical Director and they now perform a wide range of repertoire, from Bach to Vaughan Williams, and Mozart to Tchaikovsky. Maeve brings to the Corelli Ensemble her experience from having been a member of the first violins in the London Philharmonic, and worked with world-class chamber orchestras such as the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields and I Solisti Veneti.

In 2011, Lord Denis Healey became their President, and the ensemble has continued to flourish, inviting award-winning soloists, such as violinist, Nathaniel Anderson Frank, cellist, Ella Rundle, and Tenor, Marcel Xerri. 

The concerts appeal to young and old, and include well-loved classics and lesser known gems. Recently the concert series has taken our audience on a musical “tour” of Europe, including Russia, Germany, Italy, England and France, each concert focusing on the music of one nationality. The Italian concert was met with a standing ovation and audience members blowing kisses!
Most concerts take place at 4pm on Sunday afternoons, with an hour of music, followed by refreshments and an opportunity to meet the performers and other audience members.
 
The ensemble has raised money for Street Child Africa and Child Aid, and is currently working with the CTLA to provide classical concerts for the elderly and housebound.
 



Who was Corelli?

 
Arcangelo Corelli was born on 17 February 1653 in the small Romagna town of Fusignano. Corelli initially studied music under a priest in the nearby town of Faenza, and then in Lugo, before moving in 1666 to Bologna. A major centre of musical culture of the time, Bologna had a flourishing school of violinists associated with Ercole Gaibara and his pupils, Giovanni Benvenuti and Leonardo Brugnoli. A remark Corelli later made to a patron suggests that his musical education focused mainly on the violin.
 
His compositions for the instrument mark an epoch in the history of chamber music. His influence was not confined to his own country. Johann Sebastian Bach studied the works of Corelli and based an organ fugue (BWV 579) on Corelli's Opus 3 of 1689. Handel's Opus 6 Concerti Grossi take Corelli's own older Opus 6 Concerti as models, rather than the later three-movement Venetian concerto of Antonio Vivaldi favoured by Bach.

Musical society in Rome also owed much to Corelli. He was received in the highest circles of the aristocracy, and for a long time presided at the celebrated Monday concerts in the palace of Cardinal Ottoboni.