London Handel Players
Praised by the New York Times for their “soulful depth” and their “consummate skill and musicianship”, the London Handel Players captivate audiences across the world with their performances and recordings. Making their debut at Handel’s own parish church, St George’s Hanover Square, as part of London Festival in 2000, the Players appear regularly at the leading venues and festivals in the UK, Europe and North America, performing baroque chamber music and concertos and collaborating with the world’s leading singers
London Handel Players have performed across Canada and the United States, making their New York debut at the Frick Museum in 2012 and returning to perform at Carnegie Hall in 2014. Concerts have included performances at Wigmore Hall, Kings Lynn Festival, Internationale Händel-Festpiele Göttingen, Varazdin Baroque Evenings, Spitalfields Festival, Newbury Spring Festival, Halle International Handel Festival, Brighton Early Music Festival, East Cork Early Music Festiva, Korcula Baroque Festival, Music and Beyond Festival in Ottawa, Tilford Bach Festival and in Spain, Ireland, Germany and Croatia. Committed educators at every level and holding professorships in early music at London’s Conservatoires, The London Handel Players give masterclasses and workshops to children, students and adults at every level, amateur and professional and present an annual project with schools in conjunction with the Handel House Museum and London Handel Festival.
London Handel Players returned to tour North America and Canada in the 17/18 season finishing with a live BBC Radio 3 broadcast of their concert from the Frick Museum in New York and again in October 2018 with concerts in Pomona, Vancouver Island, Boise, Idaho and Ottawa. The ensemble is ensemble-in-residence at the annual London Handel Festival. The 2021 and 2022 seasons see them travel no less than three times to the United States and Canada, make their debut in Bilbao and Alicante and perform throughout the United Kingdom, including three performances at the Wigmore Hall.
Individually, The London Handel Players pursue busy solo, directing and conducting careers and are leading professors in the field of early music at the Royal Academy of Music, Royal College of Music and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Their numerous recordings, both individually and collectively, have received high critical acclaim. They have recorded four discs of Handel; his two sets of trio sonatas Op.2 and Op.5, his complete works for solo violin and a disc entitled ‘Handel at Home’ which includes a flute concerto and arrangements of famous arias. They have also recorded Geminiani’s complete Op.1 sonatas. Adrian Butterfield has made the world premiere complete recordings of Leclair’s first two books of violin sonatas and Rachel Brown has recorded sonatas and concertos by CPE Bach, Quantz, Telemann and Handel. Recent recordings include a two-disc set of JS Bach’s flute sonatas interspersed with some flute arias from his cantatas sung by Elizabeth Cragg, Charles Daniels and Peter Harvey and a flute arrangement of one of the harpsichord concertos.
The ensemble appears regularly on BBC Radio 3.
"The playing, both individually and collectively, is impeccable and the result is a very significant recording indeed"
Early Music Review, Noel O’Regan, April 2013 (Geminiani Op.1)
"Consummate skill and musicianship"
New York Times, Vivian Schweitzer, January 2012 (Concert at the Frick Museum)
"pure, velvety and wonderfully expressive flute playing of Rachel Brown. It is not impossible to believe that this was the sort of sound that Orpheus himself might have been capable of….Adrian Butterfield...a gripping, virtuoso performer with a deep musical understanding"
Gottinger Tagelatt, Michael Schaefer, June 2011 (Gottingen International Handel Festival)
"From the moment Rachel Brown’s delicately warbling wooden flute begins the pastoral Andante of the B minor Sonata that is first on the disc, one simply surrenders…Lovers of Handelian affettuoso in particular need not hesitate"
International Record Review, Piers Burton-Page, May 2008 (Handel Trio Sonatas Op.2)
"This review could be reduced to just three words: 'Buy this recording'…..this recording is full of the most delicious music you could ask to hear, and the players give every indication of loving every note they play"
British Flute Society Magazine, Robert Bigio, September 2006 (Handel at Home)
Adrian Butterfield, violinist and director, urges his players along with a powerful demonstration of tasteful virtuosity, superbly revealed in the First Sonata, and what follows is a marvellous exhibition of collective instrumental excellence. As performances, these want for nothing in terms of technical brilliance and musical integrity, and the recorded balance is singularly satisfying...It all adds up to a hugely absorbing and fascinating aural picture not just of a composer's work but of an entire period in musical history.
Marc Rochester, International Record Review (Geminiani Sonatas Op.1)