Under the direction of John Butt OBE, the ensemble has become particularly acclaimed for its inquisitive approach, shining new light into some of the best known pieces of the baroque repertoire, winning two Gramophone Awards along the way.
Dunedin Consort is Scotland’s leading baroque ensemble, recognized for its vivid and insightful performances and recordings. Formed in 1995 and named after Din Eidyn, the ancient Celtic name of Edinburgh Castle, Dunedin Consort’s ambition is to make early music newly relevant to the present day. Performing on period instruments, with choruses often numbering just one to a part, the consort presents concerts that are both intimate and invigorating, often aiming to recreate the music as it was originally intended. Under the direction of John Butt, this has seen the ensemble earn two coveted Gramophone Awards – for the 2007 recording of Handel’s Messiah and the 2014 recording of Mozart’s Requiem – and a Grammy nomination. In 2018 it was shortlisted for a Royal Philharmonic Society Award in the Ensemble category.
Dunedin Consort performs regularly at major festivals and venues across the UK, giving its BBC Proms debut in 2017 with a performance of Bach’s John Passion. In the same year, Dunedin Consort announced its first residency at London’s Wigmore Hall, complementing its regular series of events in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Perth. In Scotland, Dunedin Consort has appeared at the Edinburgh International, Lammermuir and East Neuk Festivals, while also touring widely to the most prestigious international festivals and venues throughout Europe and beyond. It broadcasts frequently on BBC Radio 3, Classic FM and BBC Scotland, and its growing discography on Linn Records includes Handel’s Acis and Galatea and Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos, both nominated for Gramophone Awards. Other Bach recordings include Mass in B Minor, Violin Concertos, Magnificat, Christmas Oratorio, Matthew Passion and John Passion, which was nominated for a Recording of the Year award in both Gramophone and BBC Music Magazine. A new recording of Handel’s Ode for St Cecilia’s Day, with soloists Carolyn Sampson and Ian Bostridge, was released in October 2018. Future plans include a recording of Handel’s Samson in its first version of 1743, for release in September 2019.
While Dunedin Consort is committed to performing repertoire from the baroque and early classical periods, and researching specific historical performance projects, the ensemble has also commissioned and performed works by numerous contemporary composers, including William Sweeney, Errollyn Wallen, Peter Nelson and Sally Beamish.