A Musical Banquet: Iestyn Davies and Thomas Dunford

Iestyn Davies and Thomas Dunford
Wednesday, Nov 16 2022, 8:00 PM - 9:30 PM, Deane Carriage Barn
Carriage Barn Concert Series—Fall 2022
Wednesday, Nov 16 2022 8:00 PM Wednesday, Nov 16 2022 9:30 PM America/New_York A Musical Banquet: Iestyn Davies and Thomas Dunford OPEN TO THE PUBLIC | GRAMMY-winning British countertenor Iestyn Davies and lutenist Thomas Dunford, the “Eric Clapton of the lute," (BBC Magazine) unite for an intimate evening of music for solo voice and lute. Deane Carriage Barn Bennington College

OPEN TO THE PUBLIC | GRAMMY-winning British countertenor Iestyn Davies and lutenist Thomas Dunford, the “Eric Clapton of the lute," (BBC Magazine) unite for an intimate evening of music for solo voice and lute. In their acclaimed recital, “A Musical Banquet,” the two friends present some of the greatest hits of the 17th century, featuring the music of Dowland, Holborne, Guédron, Caccini and more.

Free and open to the public. Bennington College is "mask friendly" and asks that all guests be up-to-date on vaccinations. Please refrain from coming to campus if you are feeling any COVID-like symptoms.

Although this concert will livestream on Twitch we regret that it will not be available for re-streaming, so please be sure to tune in to the live event.

Iestyn Davies is a British countertenor widely recognised as one of the world’s finest singers celebrated for the beauty and technical dexterity of his voice and intelligent musicianship. Critical recognition of Iestyn’s work can be seen in two Gramophone Awards, a Grammy Award, a RPS Award for Young Singer of the Year, the Critics’ Circle Award and recently an Olivier Award Nomination. He was awarded the MBE in the Queen's New Year's Honours List 2017 for services to music.

Although blessed with a Welsh name, Iestyn hails from York, born into a musical household, his father being the founding cellist of the Fitzwilliam String Quartet. He began his singing life as a chorister at St John’s College, Cambridge under the direction of Dr.George Guest and later Christopher Robinson. Later, after graduating in Archaeology and Anthropology from St John’s College, Cambridge Iestyn studied at the Royal Academy of Music, London of which he is now a Fellow.

In 2015 he delighted London theatre audiences singing the role of Farinelli in the play, Farinelli and the King with Mark Rylance at the Globe Theatre. The hugely successful project transferred to the West End this season and was nominated for a number of Olivier Awards.

His operatic engagements have included Ottone (L’incoronazione di Poppea/Monteverdi) for Zürich Opera and Glyndebourne Festival Opera; Arsace (Partenope/Handel) for New York City Opera; Oberon (A Midsummer Night’s Dream/Britten) for Houston Grand Opera, English National Opera and The Metropolitan Opera, New York; Apollo (Death in Venice/Britten) for English National Opera and in his house debut at La Scala, Milan; Hamor (Jephtha/Handel) for Welsh National Opera and Opera National de Bordeaux; Steffani’s Niobe at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; his debut at The Metropolitan Opera Unulfo (Rodelinda/Handel) where he has also appeared as Trinculo The Tempest; the Lyric Opera of Chicago in Rinaldo; Bertarido Rodelinda for English National Opera; his debuts at the Opéra Comique and the Munich and Vienna Festivals in George Benjamin's Written on Skin and the title role Rinaldo for Glyndebourne Festival Opera. He returned to Glyndebourne in 2015 for David in Handel’s Saul.

His concert engagements have included performances at the Teatro alla Scala, Milan with Dudamel, the Concertgebouw and Tonhalle with Koopman and at the Barbican, Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Lincoln Centre and at the BBC Proms in the Royal Albert Hall with orchestras that include the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic, Britten Sinfonia, Concerto Köln, Concerto Copenhagen, Ensemble Matheus, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Academy of Ancient Music and Scottish Chamber Orchestra. He recently made his debut, in recital, at Carnegie Hall, New York. He enjoys a successful relationship with the Wigmore Hall, where, in the 2012/13 season, he curated his own residency.

Recent highlights have included two Bach recitals at the Edinburgh International Festival, Britten's 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' at the Aldeburgh Festival and Schubert's 'Die Schöne Müllerin' with Julius Drake at Middle Temple Hall, London. Future plans include Thomas Adès's "The Exterminating Angel' at the Metropolitan Opera New York and Farinelli & the King with Mark Rylance on Broadway, New York.

His recordings include two versions of Handel’s Messiah (New College Oxford, AAM/Naxos) and (Polyphony, Britten Sinfonia/Hyperion), Handel’s Chandos Anthems on Hyperion, Handel’s Flavio for Chandos with The Early Opera Company and Christian Curnyn, Bach’s Easter Oratorio with Retrospect Ensemble, his debut solo recording Live at the Wigmore Hall with his own Ensemble Guadagni, a disc of Porpora Cantatas with Jonathan Cohen and Arcangelo, an award winning disc of works for Guadagni for Hyperion and a disc of Handel arias with The King’s Consort for Vivat. 2014/5 saw the release of The Art of Melancholy, a recital of Dowland songs for Hyperion, Flow my tears, songs for lute, viol and voice on the Wigmore Live label and Arise my muse for which he received the Gramophone Recital Award. He has added recordings of Bach Cantatas with Arcangelo, Faure Songs with Malcolm Martineau andlooks forward to the release of Bach's Magnificat and B Minor Mass in the coming months both for Hyperion.

He is the recipient of the 2010 Royal Philharmonic Young Artist of the Year Award, the 2012 & 2014 Gramophone Recital Award, the 2013 Critics’ Circle Awards for Exceptional Young Talent (Singer).

Thomas Dunford is one of the most versatile and in-demand lutenists of today, both as a soloist and ensemble musician. Hailed as the Eric Clapton of the lute, he is renowned for his inventive programming and sensitive ensemble playing. He has given solo recitals at major concert halls throughout the world including Carnegie Hall New York, London’s Wigmore Hall, Washington Kennedy Center, and Palau de la Musica Barcelona, and made festival appearances at Utrecht, Saintes, Nantes, Montpellier, Ambronay amongst others. He plays regularly with the leading period instrument ensembles including Les Arts Florissants, Arcangelo, Les Siecles, Le Concert Spirituel, Collegium Vocale Gent and key collaborators include soloists Iestyn Davies, Isabelle Faust, Anne-Sofie von Otter, Jean Rondeau and Lea Desandre; and conductors Philippe Herreweghe, William Christie, Jonathan Cohen, Trevor Pinnock and Sir John Eliot Gardiner.

Thomas’ 22-23 season includes a return visit to Japan with Lucie Horsche, a US tour with Iestyn Davies and a solo recital tour of Canada. With Ensemble Jupiter he performs “Eternal Heaven”, their new programme featuring music from Handel’s oratorios with Lea Desandre and Iestyn Davies at venues and festivals throughout Europe. Thomas founded the period instrument ensemble Jupiter in 2018. Born out of a desire to bring freedom and great creativity to early music, the ensemble includes some of the brightest talents of the period instrument scene today. Their first recording of Vivaldi was released to great critical acclaim and was followed by “Amazone”, a recording of rare French and Italian arias from the 17th and 18th centuries. Thomas’ first solo recording “Lachrimae” was awarded the Caecilia Prize in 2013, with his follow up recording “Labirinto d’Amore” gaining the “Choc” award from Classica Magazine. Thomas and Jupiter record for Warner. Thomas Dunford studied at the Conservatoire de Paris and the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis with Hopkinson Smith. 

In a Grove Most Rich of Shade – Guillaume Tessier
Mrs Winter’s Jump – John Dowland / Lute Solo
Change Thy Mind Since She Doth Change – Richard Martin
Praeludium – John Dowland / Lute Solo
Se Di Farmi Morire? – Domenico Maria Melli
Ce Penser Qui - Pierre Guédron
Pavan 2 – Anthony Holborne / Lute Solo
My Heavy Sprite – Anthony Holborne
Lady, If You So Spight Me – John Dowland
Si Le Parler Et Le Silence – Pierre Guédron
Round Battle Galliard – John Dowland / Lute Solo
O Bella Più – Anonymous
O Eyes, Leave Off Your Weeping – Robert Hales
Toccata VI – Giovanni Girolamo Kapsberger / Lute Solo
Calata – Joan Ambrosio Dalza / Lute Solo
Passava Amor – Anonymous
(Approx 45 mins)


Vuestros Ojos – Anonymous
O Dear Life – Anonymous
A Dream – John Dowland / Lute Solo
Sta Notte Mi Sognava – Anon A Fancy – John Dowland / Lute Solo
Go My Flock – Anon
In Darkness Let Me Dwell – John Dowland
Toccata I - Giovanni Girolamo Kapsberger / Lute Solo
Far From Triumphing Court – John Dowland
Vous Que Le Bonheur – Pierre Guédron
Melancholy Galliard – John Dowland / Lute Solo
To Plead My Faith – Daniel Batchelor
Amarilli Mia Bella – Giulio Caccini
Dovrò Dunque Morire? – Giulio Caccini
(Approx 48 mins)

Photo credits: Chris Sorensen and Julien Benhamou