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Baroquestock promises to be a feast of an early music festival

20 April, 2017 — By Sebastian Taylor

More than 100 musicians perform in more than 20 concerts at an eight-day ‘feastival’ at Heath Street Baptist Church

Something of a unique “feastival” of early music and home cooking is taking place at the Heath Street Baptist Church, Hampstead, over eight days starting this Sunday, April 23.

The Baroquestock Festival is planned to be a musical carnival of singing, playing, cooking, eating, drinking, listening and conversation.

In all, more than 100 musicians are performing in more than 20 concerts at different times of each day accompanied by breakfast, lunch or dinner in the church hall downstairs.

Almost all meals are “veggie” from pancakes to goulash, the exceptions being BeerBratwurstBach meat-feast barbecues on the two Sundays, April 23 and 30.

Festival chef de cuisine is pop-up restaurant specialist/professional musician, cellist Francesca Terberg playing in the festival.

The “feastival” is the brainchild of double-bassist John-Henry Baker, the church’s music and out-reach co-ordinator, and full-time oboist Nicola Barbagli.

“We wanted to bring musicians and audiences together in a different way,” says Baker. “So we’re ditching any formal dress-code and making home-cooked foods to create a warm and inviting atmosphere.”

Playing at concerts are the festival’s resident band, the Instante Ensemble; Brook Street Band; Belsize Baroque; Bellot Ensemble; Ensemble Molière – and renowned jazz saxophonist Gilad Atzmon is collaborating with the Amphion Consort.

Being played is music by JS Bach, Telemann, Biber, Haydn, Handel and Purcell.

The festival’s novelty is a “Baroque Lock-in” where you can book a bespoke concert for yourself and friends, performed by a soloist of your choice in one of church’s hidden rooms.

On Friday, April 29, you can get out your dancing shoes and have fun at a Baroque-themed evening ceilidh in the downstairs church hall.

More information on the Baroquestock Festival and tickets at www.musicglue.com/baroquestock

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