Countertenor Reginald Mobley joins Academy of Ancient Music for a concert tour celebrating the life and work of Ignatius Sancho, the noted author, composer and the first known Black Briton to vote. The press release says: « Titled Sons of England, this project seeks to restore Sancho to his rightful place in the history of 18th-century English music and to challenge facile notions of nationality and cultural identity. »

The program comprises the world premiere of From Ignatius Sancho, a new commission by composer Roderick Williams based on a text written by Sancho. « Williams’ composition pays tribute to Sancho and offers a necessary corrective to the erasure of the true diversity of English music-making from the 18th century to the present day. » The work is AAM’s first commission for historical instruments since the early 2000s.

Williams comments: « When composing a new work for a period instrument ensemble, I challenge myself to write something that suggests period instruments first, rather than something that could actually be better realized on modern instruments. One aspect of writing for such an ensemble is the players’ immense skill and specific training. Their years spent honing their craft and understanding of historical techniques is something I want to celebrate. »

The program offsets music by Sancho with works by some of his better-known colleagues, notably Henry Purcell and George Frideric Handel.

  • Pizzicato

  • Archives