The Marian Consort & Rory McCleery, The Illyria Consort & Bojan Čičić


Biography The Marian Consort & Rory McCleery, The Illyria Consort & Bojan Čičić



The Marian Consort
is a vocal ensemble that presents bold and thrilling performances across the UK, Europe and North America. Led by founder and director, Rory McCleery, the group is composed of the very best singers in a flexible, intimate ensemble, allowing clarity of texture and subtlety of interpretation that illuminates the music for performer and audience alike. TMC features regularly on BBC Radio 3, and has released eleven recordings to critical acclaim, praised for ‘precision and pellucid textures’ (The Times).

The Marian Consort performs music from the fifteenth century to the present day, with a focus on bringing to light and championing lesser-known works by composers such as Vicente Lusitano, Raffaella Aleotti, and Jean Maillard. New music is of vital importance to TMC, and in recent years it has commissioned Dani Howard, Cheryl Frances-Hoad, Gabriel Jackson, Donna McKevitt, and Ben Rowarth. TMC regularly collaborates with ensembles, including the Carducci Quartet, Berkeley Ensemble, and Illryia Consort.

The Marian Consort is a pioneer of projects which move beyond the confines of the traditional concert, most notably ‘Breaking the Rules’, a staged concert-drama based on the life and crimes of Carlo Gesualdo called ‘daring and vivid’ by The Guardian. Other highlights include performances in the Bascule Chamber underneath London’s Tower Bridge; the premiere of Dani Howard’s ‘Unbound’ at Three Choirs Festival; and a Wigmore Hall recital presented in partnership with BBC Radio 3. The Marian Consort will make its debut tour of Japan in 2023.

Rory McCleery
is the founder and Artistic Director of The Marian Consort and has conducted the ensemble in concert across the UK, Europe and North America. Under his direction, The Marian Consort has recorded extensively and become renowned internationally for its compelling interpretations of a wide range of repertoire, particularly the music of the Renaissance and early Baroque, and works by contemporary British composers, and in 2017 was nominated for a Gramophone Award.

Rory began his musical training as a chorister at St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral, Edinburgh, subsequently reading music at St Peter’s College, Oxford where he was both Organ and Domus Academic scholar before completing an MSt in Musicology with Distinction at The Queen’s College, Oxford.

He is much in demand as a guest conductor, choral consultant and workshop leader, and has led workshop sessions, study days and singing courses across the UK, Germany, Spain and the USA, working with choirs of all ages and sizes in repertoire from the Renaissance to the present day. A vocal advocate for the music of the Renaissance to all audiences, Rory has written articles for both specialist academic publications and broadsheet newspapers, and appears regularly on BBC Radio 3.

Rory is also active as a countertenor, performing at venues including the NOSPR in Katowice, Edinburgh’s Usher Hall, the Concertgebouw Bruges, and the Royal Chapel of the Palace of Versailles. He has appeared as a soloist for broadcasts on ARTE, Radio France, BBC Radio 3 and German, Italian and Polish national radio, and in concert and recording with The Monteverdi Choir, La Nuova Musica, The Dunedin Consort, The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and The Berkeley Ensemble among others. Rory has a particular affinity for new music: he features on The Night With’s recent award-winning album release, and will shortly premiere a major new work from Graham Fitkin for countertenor soloist, orchestra and chorus.

Rory is a passionate believer in the importance of music education and singing for young people and is co-founder with his wife, harpist Rachel Wick, of Dunster Festival in West Somerset.

Bojan Čičić
founded The Illyria Consort to explore rare repertoire of the 17th and 18th centuries from the Venetian Republic and the Habsburg Empire. The group has recently appeared at the Korkyra Baroque Festival and the Antwerp Laus Polyphoniae Festival with a programme of 16th and 17th-century Adriatic music, and has also toured Holland and Belgium extensively, performing baroque music from Vienna and Venice.

In 2014, The Illyria Consort presented "Treasures of the Monastery" at the Utrecht Early Music Festival, performing violin sonatas kept in manuscript form in the library of the Minorite monastery in Vienna and in 2015, the group traveled to Ghent to present a programme entitled "Sounds of Imperial Vienna" and performed Vivaldi: L'Estro Armonico at the Festival de Sablé.

The Illyria Consort’s debut recording of Giovanni Stefano Carbonelli’s Sonate da camera Nos. 1-6 achieved great critical acclaim and was chosen as one of Presto Classical’s “Presto Recordings of the Year” for 2017. 2019 saw the release of two projects, the second volume of Carbonelli’s Sonatas Nos. 7-12, thus ending this project to completion and a world première recording of Giovanni Giornovich’s three London Violin Concertos. Their next recording will include a world premiere of a violin concerto by A. Vivaldi in a recording titled Pyrotechnia.

Croatian-born violinist Bojan Čičić specialises in repertoire ranging from the late 16th century to the Romantic violin concertos of Mendelssohn and Beethoven.

He has recently appeared as a soloist with the Kioi Hall Chamber Orchestra Tokyo in Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, and with Instruments of Time and Truth in violin concertos by Mendelssohn and Beethoven. He is the leader of the Academy of Ancient Music and the ensemble Florilegium.

His recording of J.S. Bach’s Concerto for Two Violins with Rachel Podger was named the best available recording of the work by BBC Music Magazine.

In 2020 he will appear as director and soloist with several ensembles: Het Gelders Orkest, the Netherlands, Singapore Symphony Orchestra, and the Washington Bach Consort.

Bojan formed his own group, the Illyria Consort, to explore rare repertoire of the 17th and 18th centuries. They have performed at the Utrecht Early Music Festival, the Korkyra Baroque Festival, Festival Laus Polyphoniae, and at the Festival de Sablé. Their debut recording of Giovanni Stefano Carbonelli’s Sonate da camera Nos. 1-6 achieved great critical acclaim and was chosen as one of Presto Classical’s “Presto Recordings of the Year” for 2017. The Illyria Consort’s second disc, a world première recording of Giovanni Giornovich’s London Violin Concertos, was released in March 2019, followed by the second volume of Carbonelli’s Sonate da camera (Nos. 7-12).

In 2016 Bojan was appointed Professor of Baroque Violin at the Royal College of Music, and is passionate about training the next generation of instrumentalists in historically-informed playing styles. He lives in Oxfordshire with his wife and two children.

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