Stile Antico

William Byrd Festival Brochure

View the festival brochure (29th June - 2nd July 2023)

England’s Nightingale

The remarkable music of William Byrd

To open our William Byrd Festival, renowned vocal ensemble Stile Antico explore the many faces of this extraordinary composer, among the greatest that England has ever produced. They weave together the strands of Byrd’s complex life as both pillar of the Protestant musical establishment and faithful servant to the underground Catholic community. We encounter Byrd working loyally at the Chapel Royal, hear his anguished musical pleas in support of his fellow Catholics, and savour the gentler music of his latter years. The programme features some of Byrd's most beloved works, including Ave verum corpus, Sing Joyfully, and Ne irascaris, alongside lesser-known gems and music by his pupils Thomas Morley, Peter Philips, and Thomas Tomkins:

Emendemus in Melius

‘A good egg’ – Byrd, the loyal subject
This sweet and merry month a 6
O Lord, make thy servant Elizabeth
Sing joyfully
Nunc Dimittis from ‘Great Service’

‘The caged bird’ – Byrd, the Catholic at court
Vide Domine afflictionem
Haec dies quam fecit Dominum
Ne irascaris, Domine


‘A country nest’ – Byrd, the Essex Gentleman
Retire my soul
Ave verum corpus
Laudate Dominum, omnes gentes
Optimam partem elegit
Factus est repente
Agnus Dei from 4-part mass

‘Under his wing’ – Byrd, the “much reverenced master”
Domine Dominus noster (Morley)
Ecce vicit Leo (Philips)
Too much I once lamented (Tomkins)

Laudibus in sanctis

The performance lasts approximately 1hr 45min

Venue: Temple Church
Click here for map & Directions

"The singing is staggeringly beautiful"

The Sunday Times

"It’s never a good idea to miss a concert from this British vocal ensemble: There are no finer singers of early music"

New York Times


The safety of our audience, musicians and staff comes first.