FAREWELL TO A DECADE
As the year draws to a close it's time to wish all of our supporters a truly happy and prosperous new decade... and to reflect on the one which has passed. For Red Priest the 'noughties' have been a time of growth from its early days as a group of merry musical misfits and zealots to one of the most sought-after acts in the classical music world, and have included 26 tours to America, four to the Far East, three to Russia, and numerous memorable visits to such diverse places as Israel, Cuba, Australia, the Ukraine, Bermuda, Estonia, Mexico... and of course, throughout the UK and Europe. The group has also created five highly distinctive CDs, which remain in a category of their own, culminating with the all-Bach epic due to hit the shops early in the new year.
We look forward to seeing you at a concert soon!
Here's a new one for a baroque group - a plug on the website of rock icon David Bowie! The title of Red Priest's new all-Bach CD, 'Johann, I'm Only Dancing', stolen from one of Bowie's hits from the early 1970s, has caught the attention of the Thin White Duke himself. See the full feature at bowieNet.news.bowie news
Which brings us to...
**** THE NEW CD ****
Yes folks, the new CD is ready and available for pre-release order - on this website only until December 21st, after which time you'll have to wait until the official March release. There are two ways to buy the disc - either single copies for £15 each, or as part of our special Christmas offer, in which you will receive a FREE copy of the disc when you buy any two other Red Priest CDs (which, needless to say, make great Christmas presents if you already have them all...). Visit the Red Priest shop (link above) for full details.
At the same time Angela East's long awaited disc of the complete Bach Cello Suites is now available, and is already attracting much attention - reviews will follow soon!
Red Priest's 26th US tour is reaching its end, and once again a great time has been had by all, and many new friends have been made along the way. Thanks to all who came to our concerts and we hope to see you again next time!
REVIEWS AND FEATURES
Since the excitement of the launch of Red Priest Recordings things have quitened down a little for the Fabulous Four of baroque music... but media coverage has continued into the summer, with a great review and amusing feature ('Too Many Records' - see Articles and Interviews in the Promoter/Press menu above) in International Record Review and a second PRESENTER'S CHOICE review in Classic FM Magazine - this time for the Pirates disc.
Red Priest cellist Angela East (together with harpsichordist Howard Beach and cellist Ruth Alford) has released her debut disc on Red Priest Recordings, entitled BAROQUE CELLO ILLUMINATIONS, which sheds new light on favourite baroque works by Bach, Vivaldi, Couperin, Sammartini and others, with performances full of contrast, style and imagination. The disc was CLASSICAL CD OF THE FORTNIGHT in Classical Music Magazine, and is available for purchase online through the Red Priest shop.
Meanwhile the group is gearing up for its fifth CD recording, this time devoted to the works of J S Bach, all of course presented in Red Priest's inimitable style and original arrangements. The disc will be recorded early in August and released in March 2009, to coincide with a major UK tour. Watch this space for further news.
ACCOLADES FOR PIRATES OF THE BAROQUE CD
Reviews and accolades are rolling in! Pirates of the Baroque was chosen as the CLASSICAL CD OF THE WEEK in the Daily Telegraph, the reviewer commenting: "Purists might blanch at what they do with music of the Baroque, but the rest of us can revel in their exuberance, irreverence and dazzling virtuosity." The disc was described in the Times as "ferociously entertaining", and the BBC Music Magazine commented: "Red Priest go outrageously over-the-top, but return from the other side with previously unimagined fun and delight". The disc was David Mellor's "Choice for the Curious" on his Classic FM 'New CD Show', in which he commented: "An amazing disc... one of the most exhilarating groups I've encountered in many a long year", and the same reviewer wrote in the Mail on Sunday: "These people are really hot because, at their root, they are outstanding, serious musicians." The Glasgow Herald summed up Red Priest as: "Staggeringly virtuosic, consummately musical and outrageously exuberant".
Meanwhile one of the group's previous discs, Nightmare in Venice, has been swept along in the tide of Red Priest Recordings publicity, becoming PRESENTERS' CHOICE in Classic FM Magazine.
CLASSIC FM PODCAST
Piers Adams can be heard in conversation with Bob Jones about the new CD and record company, in a special Classic FM podcast - click here and scroll down to March 1.
WELCOME TO OUR NEW WEBSITE!
Someone once said: "You can either have a website or a life." Well, finally the latter has been put on hold for long enough to update the former, and we hope you enjoy the result! As well as the new look there are some exciting new features - check out our 'sound and video' page, which will be regularly updated, our new selection of downloadable images, and of course, our shop. Here you can buy the entire Red Priest Recordings range, and an exciting range of Red Priest merchandise including T-shirts, mugs, clocks and mouse-mats. We will also be making available downloadable and printed sheet music in the coming weeks.
CD LAUNCH TOUR
A major UK tour will take place throughout March 2009 to celebrate the official launch of 'Pirates of the Baroque', and of Red Priest Recordings. This includes concerts in London, Oxford, Cambridge and many other places - check out the 'tour dates' page for full details. Before this Red Priest makes a brief trip across the pond (weather permitting...) for its 25th American tour - must be something of a record.
RED PRIEST WEBCAST FROM NEW YORK
On October 30th Red Priest (with regular guest violinist David Greenberg) performed in the prestigious series at Trinity Church, New York, at the end of a 3-week Halloween tour of the States - the group's 24th visit in eight years. The concert was video-broadcast live on the internet, and is available for viewing here until November 30th.
Review from New Mexico
Red Priest's performance in New Mexico earlier in the month was glowingly reviewed in the Albuquerque Journal: "From the country that spawned Mick Jagger, these players add another level of adventure to their concerts... it takes musicians of the highest caliber to make this kind of theatrical presentation work... After Red Priest, you'll never again hear Baroque music in quite the same way." Click here to read in full.
**** RED PRIEST RECORDINGS OFFICIAL RELEASE DATE FEBRUARY 2009****
****PRE-RELEASE COPIES OF ALL TITLES NOW AVAILABLE FROM THIS WEBSITE ONLY!****
Click the 'Purchase CDs Online' link opposite for an opportunity to buy Pirates of the Baroque, and the entire Red Priest back-catalogue, in our fabulous new, full-colour Red Priest Recordings packaging.
Another nice review...
...This one following a lightning tour to the US, to perform a pair of concerts in the Indianapolis Early Music Festival, published in the city's alternative news magazine NUVO - you can read it in full here.
Red Priest on tour
Well, it's another busy season for Red Priest, with numerous European trips and concerts in several UK summer festivals. Highlights have included the prestigious Stuttgart Baroque Festival, and a rare London performance in St Jude's, Hampstead, which received a glowing review in the Daily Telegraph - you can read it here. In the next few weeks the group will be making a flying visit to America for two concerts in the Indianapolis Baroque Festival, returning for performances in the Fishguard Festival and the famous Three Choirs Festival in Worcester.
Piers Adams in Lapland
In May Piers gave a highly successful debut performance with the excellent Lapland Chamber Orchestra conducted by John Storgårds, performing Sammartini's Recorder Concerto, and the Lapland premiere of Malcolm Arnold's Recorder Concerto.
Red Priest on NPR
Following another successful US tour in February Piers Adams was interviewed by NPR, for All Things Considered, one of the most popular national US weekend radio shows. The feature has sparked a lot of interest, and become one of the day's 'most e-mailed stories'. You can listen to the interview here.
Red Priest's own record label, Red Priest Recordings, will be launched this spring, with international distribution through Nimbus. Customers keen to purchase the group's swashbuckling new recording, 'Pirates of the Baroque,' as well as the earlier recordings, can do so through this website in the meantime. All titles will be re-packaged for the official launch - watch this space for further details!
In December 2007 Red Priest completed its second major tour of Japan, with sellout concerts in all venues, and record CD sales through the group's new Japanese distributor, King Internaional. January 2008 saw visits to Northern Italy and Athens, and in February the group embarked on its 22nd US tour. Red Priest will be touring extensively throughout the UK, Germany and Austria this Spring, and Piers will be making a solo debut in Lapland (yes, it really exists), playing Malcolm Arnold's Recorder Concerto - see the concert schedule for full details.
Recorder Concertos with the Irish Chamber Orchestra
This month Piers Adams will forge a new relationship with Ireland's premiere ensemble, the Irish Chamber Orchestra, in a six-concert tour of the country. Included in the programme are three of the best-loved baroque recorder concertos, by Vivaldi (RV 441 and 443) and Sammartini. Full tour details are available at www. irish chamber orchestra .info.
Red Priest on Tour
2007 has seen Red Priest break into some exciting new European territories, with particular success in Germany following invites to some of the country's most prestigious festivals. In June the group gave a triumphant gala performance for the closing night of the Schwetzingen Festival, which was broadcast on WDR, and received rave reviews from the press. A busy summer of UK performances included Red Priest's 5th consectutive visit to Petworth Festival, and the premiere of a new all-Bach programme - Johann, I'm Only Dancing - at the Lake District Summer Music festival. The autumn sees another trip to America - this time with violinist David Greenberg again taking Julia's place as she strikes a balance between touring and motherhood - and the group's second major tour of Japan. Check out the concert schedule for full details.
2007 has started, as seems to be becoming habit these days, with a coast-to-coast (and back again) tour of the USA - Red Priest's 20th visit to North America in just seven years (or 22 trips if one counts the '51st US State' of Puerto Rico, and the 'never-to-be 52nd US State' of Cuba). That's quite a lot of air miles, especially when one factors in the Far Eastern trips too, but funnily enough has been spread so evenly across the airlines (how does one choose a favorite?) that the group has only managed one freebie so far, and a glass of complimentary champagne.
Next stop (after a brief rest at home) Bermuda - this time for two performances of the Red Hot Baroque Show - and then a quick hop east to Israel. Later in the spring the group will visit Latvia, Turkey and the Republic of Ireland, followed by a series of concerts in several of the most prestigious early music festivals in Germany. Forthcoming UK concerts include Canterbury, Nottingham and Norwich. Check out the concert schedule for full details.
Into the Studio...
Last month Red Priest finally returned to the recording studio, after a gap of nearly 4 years in the aftermath of the bancruptcy of Dorian Recordings, to commit to disc its swashbuckling 'Pirates of the Baroque' programme. This album, due for release in ealy summer 2007, features works by Vivaldi, Vitali, Couperin, Albinoni, Tartini, Leclair and Simonetti, and promises to be the group's most dynamic and innovative recording to date. Watch this space for more details soon...
...And on the road
Another hectic year of touring has almost passed, featuring numerous sellout concerts across the world - including the Hong Kong Arts Festival (4 consecutive nights), a triumphant debut tour of Japan, major performances in Moscow, including Sviatoslave Richter's December Nights Festival at the Pushkin Museum, a British Council sponsored visit to Mexico, including a performance at the celebrated Cervantino Festival in Guanajuato, and concerts in the USA, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Spain, Norway, the Republic of Ireland and throughout the UK. And all of this with good-humoured baby Sylvie in tow...
On April 11 Piers Adams will give a rare solo performance in London's Wapping Power Station as part of the 'Solo Spotlights' series for the SPNM (Society for the Promotion of New Music). Included in this colourful programme of contemporary recorder music will be Maki Ishii's Zen Buddhist masterpiece 'Black Intention', a concert version of Chris Gander's epic 'Dances with Gods' and the world premiere of 'Vixana' by Paul Foster, which tells the grisly tale of a Dartmoor witch, in dramatic and entertaining fashion. Full details here.
HAPPY 2006 TO ALL!
A Winter of Expansion and Collaboration
The past few months have seen some exciting developments for Red Priest on both professional and personal fronts. Dominating Piers' and Julia's winter has been the birth of their daughter, Sylvie, on Dec 6 (who is destined to attain frequent flyer 'gold status' within her first year...) As a result of this event, Juila has taken a brief pause for breath, and Red Priest has forged successful collaborations with two new players. The UK based Canadian/Israeli baroque violinist Debbie Diamond joined the group for a short but highly succesful American tour in October, and David Greenberg, the celebrated Canadian based American baroque/Cape Breton fiddler (confused?), attempted to out-Red-Priest the whole group in a high energy tour this month. You can read the reviews here. Following a nail-biting few days Piers himself pulled out of one date, in Newark (UK) on Dec 3, and was replaced at the last minute by the young recorder virtuoso (and former pupil) Jill Kemp, who saved the day with great panache.
Earlier in the autumn a hectic month saw the group (with an ever-expanding Julia) visit Germany (twice), Italy, several UK venues, Moscow and St Petersburg, before embarking on a marathon tour of Norway.
Forthcoming events for the spring include a return visit to Moscow (where they will be presenting their Red Hot Baroque Show in April), five concerts for the Hong Kong Arts Festival and a two week tour of Japan. Check out the concert schedule for full details.
The first half of 2005 saw the sad demise of Red Priest's US based record company, Dorian, who were sold to a West Virginia based sound-recording company, Sono Luminus, in a bitterly contested bancruptcy case. Fortunately - especially so in the light of the subsequent experience of other Dorian artists - Red Priest (with the help of a pair of sharp US lawyers) managed to get out of the deal with all master tapes and rights. Talks are currently underway with a major record label, and we hope to be able to announce news of a new deal shortly. In the meantime the group is continuing to manufacture the discs independantly, and they remain for sale on this website.
South Bank Accolades
The South Bank Show was finally broadcast on April 24th, to universal acclaim - it was Pick of the Day or Critics' Choice in ALL of the quality UK papers over that weekend (The Times, The Guardian, The Independant, The Daily Telegraph, The Sunday Telegraph, The Observer, The Independant on Sunday, The Sunday Times, The London Evening Standard and The Mail on Sunday). Here are a few of the comments from the previews:
BAROQUE STARS: Red Priest, an unorthodox quartet of virtuoso musicians on a mission to make classical music a visual as well as aural experience.... supreme musicians. (The Observer)
Their energetic rendering of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons makes the Berlin Philharmonic’s look positively slothful (The Daily Telegraph)
Piers [Adams] is a prodigiously gifted recorder player (The Sunday Telegraph)
Red Priest, an amiable and talented four-piece baroque outfit… [show] just how funky classical musicians can get before they get into bed with Satan and “cross over”. (The Guardian)
Putting the rock into baroque... Energetic, spectacular stage act... Invigorating versions of familiar Vivaldi pieces... The difference is clear: Red Priest have much more fun. (The Evening Standard)
We hope you managed to catch the show - many thanks to those who wrote to us afterwards with comments!
New Broadcast Date AGAIN!
Well that's the last time we make anouncements on this site about TV scheduling... Apologies to anyone who made special viewing arrangements based on our previous announcements - but this time we can say for certain that the South Bank Show documentary will be broadcast on April 24th at 23.05. Hopefully.
Full details on thew ITV website: http://www.itv.com/page.asp?partid=2396
In the meantime, check out the May edition of BBC Music Magazine - available in newsagents throughout the English-speaking world - for a feature article about the Red Hot Baroque Show, complete with action photos from the Hackney Empire. The feature - together with myriad other articles, reviews and photos - will shortly be available on this website, but until then here are a few choice quotes:
"Piers Adams' bravura approach has the true spirit of the baroque. The original Red Priest should be dancing in his grave..."
"Incongrous? Surreal? Musical nights out don't come much wackier than Red Priest's 'Red Hot Baroque'... a staggering performance."
"It's the aural equivalent of an acrobat on a high-wire, delivered with such panache it took my breath away. Now that's what I call spectacular."
N.B. New Broadcast Date
The South Bank Show documentary will now be broadcast on April 10th at 23.05 - a week earlier than previously scheduled.
Hoping to see many of you at the Hackney Empire!
A Happy New Year to all of our visitors!
Here are two key dates for 2005...
February 17: THE RED HOT BAROQUE SHOW at Hackney Empire, London.
This fiery new show is rapidly taking shape, and promises to be a blockbuster! Red Priest is working in conjunction with EC1 International and Ben Rogers Design to create a stunning backdrop of sound and lighting effects to enhance the very qualities that baroque music represents - high drama, raw emotion and bursts of true eccentricity. If you haven't yet witnessed Red Priest's highly theatrical, live performances of Vivaldi's Four Seasons, Nightmare Concerto and other baroque favorites then now is your chance - and if you have, then come back with your friends and family to see the spectacle magnified! This will also be an opportunity to hear the UK premiere of Red Priest's arrangements of two famous baroque works: Bach's Preuldio in E and Vitali's Chaconne. Tickets available from www.hackneyempire.co.uk.
April 17: THE SOUTH BANK SHOW, ITV1 Matthew Tucker's hour-long profile of Red Priest follows the development of the Red Hot Baroque Show, leading to the premiere performance at Hackney Empire. The programme explores the group's unique musical style and philosophy, with in-depth interviews, rehearsal footage and fascinating shots of airport departure lounges as the cameras follow Red Priest on tour. Roll over Spinal Tap...
Red Priest's 100th USA Concert!
On March 4th 2005 Red Priest will give its 100th full-length concert on American soil, at the University of Burlington, Vermont - one of the group's favorite US venues, and a regular stop during the past 5 years of American touring (which have so far taken in no fewer than 31 states). This impressive tally is in addition to numerous outreach performances in US schools and colleges, and several concerts in Canada and the Caribbean.
You can catch Red Priest on tour this year in the USA (March, July and October), Italy (January and September), Germany (January and September), Norway (January, June and September), Russia (September), Croatia (July) and of course at home in the UK throughout the year - check out the concert schedule page for full details. Meanwhile Piers and Howard continue their Recorder Roadshow programme with shows currently booked in Sheffield, Oxford, Sherbourne and Monmouth.
Attention recorder students...
Piers will be back at Dartington International Summer School this August, for the first time since 2000, for a week of masterclasses and workshops. This will be his only teaching engagement in 2005, and takes place in the beautiful surroundings of Dartington Hall, Devon - visit www.dartingtonsummerschool.co.uk for full details.
Red Hot Baroque!
Electrifying new developments for Red Priest! Work is currently underway to create the Red Hot Baroque Show, combining Red Priest's scintillating performance style with state-of-the-art sound, lighting and stage design. The first show is scheduled for February 17th at the Hackney Empire, London, and the development of the show will be the basis of an hour-long television documentary about the group for ITV's celebrated South Bank Show, due for transmission in the summer of 2005. Watch this space for further details.
The Recorder's Revenge...
...is the title of Piers Adams' and Howard Beach's next performance in London's Wigmore Hall, on November 20th: a family-friendly recital featuring 700 years of fantastic recorder music, culminating in the world premiere of Scary or What! - an alarming new work by David Pugsley for Piers and Howard with a chorus of young recorder players and kit percussion.
Following a busy summer of European touring Red Priest takes off for its 13th US tour on October 15th, with 13 concerts in three weeks, followed by a mini-tour in Norway and a visit to Puerto Rico. British dates this autumn include Brighton, Hereford, Norwich and Glasgow. Check out the concert schedule for full details.
Concerts And Broadcasts
The Spring of 2004 has been one of florid activity for Piers and Red Priest - two more trips to America, a tour of Italy and Sicily and several UK perfomances, including a successful debut in the famous Hackney Empire, billed alongside such acts as the Circus of Horrors and Puppetry of the Penis. The group has also received much media attention following the UK release of the Four Seasons CD (see the Reviews page), as well as a television profile for Meridian TV and appearances on three of the four Early Music Shows on BBC4 Digital TV. Complimentary copies of these performances are available to concert promoters on CD Rom - please e-mail our management for a copy: firstname.lastname@example.org
Forthcoming Red Priest performances include summer music festivals in Winchester, Oundle, Petworth and the Lake District, as well as visits to Italy, Denmark, Norway, Austria and Germany. Listen out too for the group's live broadcast on Radio 3's Early Music Show on June 20th at 1pm - you can even phone in and speak to Red Priest on air.
Meanwhile Piers and Howard continue their Recorder Roadshow programme for schoolchildren, with recent shows at the Great Malvern Recorder Festival (featuring the premiere of Andrew Challinger's 'Movie Moments') and the City of Stoke Grand Recorder Festival - a massive and highly successful annual event involving some 500 children. Next stops: Watford (June 9) and Rhyl (Jul 3). In between these Piers trecks to North Norway for a concerto debut with the Tromsoe Symphony Orchestra, performing Vivaldi, Telemann and David Bedford under the midnight sun... Check out the Concert Schedule page for full details.
New Publicity Photos
At last Piers and Howard have made it into the photogaphy studio for some much needed new images, displaying the latest fashions in leatherwear and facial hair. Visit the Resources page for thumbnails and high-res downloads.
RED PRIEST'S FOUR SEASONS HAVE ARRIVED!
Red Priest's latest and most spectacular CD is now available for sale through this website - click the 'CD Sales Online' button and have your opinion of Vivaldi's Four Seasons changed forever!
Click here for the official news story about this important release from publicist Katherine Howard.
Stop Press: Red Priest's Four Seasons is 'CD of the Week' on ABC Classic FM (Australia), and is described in Music Week as 'Sensational... Completely wild and deeply imaginative, the album marries the work to the spirit of baroque spectacle and Venetian skulduggery.' Visit the Reviews page for further comments.
Also available now from our CD shop: a limited number of copies of Piers Adams' award-winning 1989 CD of Vivaldi Recorder Concertos, which has been out of print for the past year.
Red Priest is currently enjoying a brief breather between extensive tours of Australia and America - but, as they say, there's no rest for the wicked: Piers premieres a new concerto by the veteran Indian composer John Mayer on October 25th before heading up to Scotland with Howard for another Recorder Rave, whilst Red Priest scrapers Julia and Angela slog it out around Europe and in the recording studio with the Gabrieli Consort.
UK listeners can catch Piers on Radio 3's 'In Tune' on November 3rd, in discussion with the raffish Sean Rafferty about the Four Seasons disc, and the group makes its television debut later in the year in a new early music series for BBC4.
Visit our Concert Schedule page for full details of these and other events.
UK Tour Dates
On home ground at last... Catch Red Priest in concert this month in Norwich, Jersey, Sark, Alderney, Guernsey, Orpington, Leicester and Tewkesbury - further UK dates this summer in Wyastone, Thaxted and Petworth, and short tours to Belgium, Norway and Italy. Piers' and Howard's amazing Recorder Roadshow hits premier concert halls in Bristol and Basingstoke. See the Concert Schedule for details of these and other events.
Meanwhile Nightmare in Venice has been receiving some exciting reviews from both music press and broadsheets - the group described in one particularly colourful critique as 'the Cirque du Soleil of baroque music'... See Red Priest Reviews for full articles.
Welcome to the new-look website!
Regular visitors will notice many new features, including a mailing list - please feel free to subscribe for occasional news items to be delivered directly to your inbox, and include your own comments if you wish - and a much requested online ordering facility for CDs. Suggestions for further improvements are always welcomed.
New CDs now available:
Red Priest’s long-awaited second disc, Nightmare in Venice is finally off the press and in the shops throughout the world. Also newly available is Piers’ recording of the extraordinary Dances with Gods by Chris Gander – an Indian-Contemporary-Mythological-Electroacoustic-New Age crossover which uses the recorder in entirely new ways.
Red Priest’s next CD will be of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and Corelli’s Christmas Concerto, in amazing new arrangements. If you thought you knew these pieces, think again… The sessions took place in January, at the fabulous Troy Savings Bank Music Hall in New York State, and the release is planned for Autumn 2003.
Red Priest’s tours continue apace, with four trips to America since June 2002 – comprising over 30 concerts – and an exciting Cuban debut last November, courtesy of the British Council. The next US tour takes place in April 2003, followed by a UK tour in May, a debut Italian trip in July and a grand Australian tour in September – check out the Concert Schedule for further details.
Other recent events:
Last Autumn Piers and Howard teamed up with an old friend, guitarist Richard Durrant, for a series of concerts in the UK and Portugal, under the title Electric Troubadour. This new trio is about as eclectic as it gets, leaving no musical boundary uncrossed… Watch out for further concerts and a recording in 2003.
On March 8th Piers took part in the debut of an exciting new experimental crosover ensemble called Two Way Traffic, performing an entirely improvised set to an audience of 700 jazz fans as the support act to the legendary Wayne Shorter, at the Lighthouse, Poole. More news to follow!