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Tour Director

  • Join flautist and Head of Historical Performance at the Royal College of Music, Professor Ashley Solomon, for a series of joyful festive performances

  • Highlights include grammy-nominated vocal ensemble Stile Antico and the innovative Ensemble Augelletti

  • Take in York’s history and architecture, decked in festive garb, with visits to the Merchant Adventurers’ Hall and the superb 18th century Fairfax House

“Perfectly balanced content, well planned and delivered with a light enough touch to be entertaining as well as informative”

– ACE customer on the 2023 York Early Music Festival tour with Ashley Solomon

Established in 1997, the York Early Music Christmas Festival has been delighting audiences for many years with an array of medieval, Renaissance and Baroque music dedicated to the festive season. From Advent to Epiphany, the connections between Christmastime and music-making run deep; and each year the festival hosts a wealth of instrumental and vocal ensembles who specialise in bringing this timeless music to life. There is perhaps no better environment in which to discover early music than York, with its assemblage of historical buildings and evocative period atmosphere, much of which is transformed in December to evoke Christmases past.


The 2024 line-up offers a glorious spectrum of musical traditions, composers and periods. Highlights will include the award-winning vocal ensemble Stile Antico, a group specialising in Renaissance polyphony. The twelve singers, who work without a conductor, delight audiences around the world with their sensitive, imaginative and vibrant interpretations of 16th and 17th century polyphonic works as well as their inventive programming.


Also known for their creative programming, Ensemble Augelletti – the current New Generation Baroque Ensemble supported by BBC Radio 3, the National Centre for Early Music and the Royal College of Music – will feature in our programme. This young chamber group specialises in connecting Baroque music to the everyday lives of 18th century people, and we can expect a thoughtfully programmed set of works conveyed with sensitivity, passion and technical prowess.


All performances will be previewed in a series of lectures with our Tour Director, and we hope to feature at least one guest speaker over the course of the tour.


Complementing the musical highlights, our tour will also feature a selection of wider cultural experiences. We will explore York’s medieval and later history with guided tours of the Merchant Adventurers’ Hall and Fairfax House, which will be decked out for Christmas. One of the most beautiful 18th century townhouses in the country – with interiors designed by prolific English architect John Carr – Fairfax is now home to the remarkable Noel Terry collection of decorative arts, providing an engaging window into the 18th century.


The city’s most distinctive ecclesiastical structure is, of course, York Minster. A magnificent cathedral – one of the largest in Europe, with a legacy dating back to the 7th century – it towers over the surrounding city and houses a truly awe-inspiring collection of medieval stained glass among its many treasures. We will have an opportunity to visit this majestic space, as well as the atmospheric Holy Trinity Church, during a historical walking tour of the city.


We will stay at the four-star Hotel Indigo York, a boutique hotel full of style and character, situated just a couple of minutes’ walk from the National Centre for Early Music, where several of our concerts will take place.

Tour Code

Full details will be released later in 2024.

If you would like to request more information please contact the ACE office on 01223 841055.

Included: accommodation based on sharing a superior twin or double bedded room, performances as described, five breakfasts, two lunches, three dinners with wine, water & coffee, excursions & admissions, gratuities & all taxes.

Not Included: travel insurance, standard double room for single use supplement £390.

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