Welcome to 2019!! - Message from Chalium Poppy

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Welcome to 2019!!


When planning a season for the Scholars, I always try to consider if there are any major birthdays or anniversaries of composers upon which we might capitalise. 2019 in fact marks two major milestones for two of the giants of English baroque choral music. This year marks 260 years since the death of Handel and 360 years since the birth of Henry Purcell.

Handel is perhaps a composer who requires very little explanation. His music speaks for itself. His works are often found on Scholars programmes, most recently, their fantastic 2018 performance of his "Dixit Dominus" and "Coronation Anthems". Not to mention our annual performance of Messiah with our good friends at NZBarok. A true cosmopolitan composer, he was born in Germany, studied in Italy, and settled for the rest of his life in London where his music has never lost its timeless appeal.

Henry Purcell, on the other hand is often forgotten. Although his efforts essentially paved the way for Handel to triumph in England. His untimely and unnecessary death left such a musical vacuum in England, it was easy for Handel to simply step in and pick up where Purcell had left off. Purcell portrayed all the youthful genius of Mozart. His music is oftentimes extremely experimental and forward looking. He pushed the boundaries of composition unapologetically and was rewarded for his efforts and brilliance by being appointed the youngest ever (and subsequently ONLY) composer to be appointed Organist & Choirmaster at both Westminster Abbey and the Chapel Royal SIMULTANEOUSLY.

Making music at this level and standard is never easy. Singers, musicians and conductor all work very hard to bring performances of the very highest quality to our local community in Tauranga Moana. What's more, it is a costly undertaking to perform along side the very finest orchestras and soloists. The Scholars Baroque Aotearoa therefore is eternally grateful to the very generous financial support provided by our two local sponsors Legacy Trust and Fame Trust without whose support this year, the 2019 season simply couldn't have gone ahead.