9.00am - 5.00pm


9.00am - 5.00pm


12.00pm - 3.00pm


The Cambridge Renaissance Ensemble, directed by Francis Knights

The Becket Chapel, Cathedral Precincts
Thursday 16 June 2016 18:30 - 19:15

Music from the Tudor Court including dances and songs by King Henry VIII, and pieces by William Byrd, John Dowland, Robert Parsons, Peter Philips and Osbert Parsley.


Music was a very important part of cultural life for most of the Tudor monarchs. Henry VIII was himself a talented composer, and both he and Elizabeth I played instruments such as the harp, lute and virginals. The Royal household possessed a very large collection of musical instruments of all kinds, as well as employing leading professionals to play them, and 16th-century England benefited from a succession of outstanding composers, figures such as Tallis, Byrd, Tye, Bull, Parsons, Dowland and Gibbons.

This programme surveys some of their music that would have been heard at court, such as lute songs, keyboard music, consort works, liturgical music, popular tunes and dances.

The programme will include dances and songs by King Henry VIII, and by John Dowland, consort and keyboard music by William Byrd, and fantasias by Robert Parsons, Peter Philips and Osbert Parsley.

The programme will last around 45 minutes.


The Cambridge Renaissance Ensemble is drected by Francis Knights and was founded in 2015 to explore the music of the 16th and 17th centuries, particularly the Tudor consort repertoire. As well as the core wind ensemble, solo singers and players of virginals, harp, lute and other instruments are involved, and the editions used are specially prepared for each concert. Future projects include music from the In Nomine tradition, works by Froberger and chamber music from 17th-century Vienna and Bohemia. Website


Entry is £5 per person. Please pay on the door, by cash or cheque.

Find out more about our Thursday evening recital series, which runs from 9th June to 14th July.