Ystradivarius was formed in 2013, giving its first concert in March of that year at St Catwg’s Church, Pentyrch, near Cardiff. The group exists to perform chamber music from the 17th and 18th centuries and is one of very few such ensembles based in the South Wales area. Since 2013 we have performed in venues across the region, including at the Brecon Baroque festival in 2016.
Ystradivarius is an evolving group: Comprising initially of three string players and a keyboard player, we were delighted to welcome Claire Heaney (baroque flute) in 2015, while in our 2017/18 season we are looking forward to a collaboration with Italian violinist Simone Pirri.
The instruments we play are all copies of instruments made and played in baroque times, which of course contributes to the special and distinctive sound. We always enjoy talking with audience members at our concerts and there is often a steady stream of enthusiasts of all ages coming up during the interval to take a closer look at the instruments.
Our programmes so far have features some of the greatest composers of the era, for example:
Bach to the Future: A musical journey, beginning with the great Johann Sebastian himself, moving on to the next generation with pieces by no less than four of his sons before arriving at our final destination: a flute quartet by Mozart.
England and Italy: Exploring the contrasting musical worlds found in the trios of Purcell and Corelli along with a concerto or two by Handel.
Father, Son and Godfather: Music by Johann Sebastian Bach, his son Carl Philip Emmanuel and the man chosen by Johann Sebastian to be a Godfather for Carl Philip Emmaunel: the highly influential and prolific Georg Philip Telemann.