The Sydney Consort is one of Australia’s most energetic music ensembles devoted to early music of the 17th and 18th Century. Originally consisting of three members the group brings together Australia’s finest musicians and singers to a small chamber orchestra of up to fifteen performers. Formed in 1997 and led by artistic directors Monika and Stan Kornel, the Sydney Consort is an ensemble dedicated to bringing beauty and wisdom of Baroque music to a rapidly growing audience. The ensemble has performed music ranging from the 16th to 18th Century, as well as contemporary Australian music, and with concert themes such as English, French, German and Italian Baroque, Music and Poetry, and the Johann Sebastian Bach concertos.
In the year 2000, the Sydney Consort celebrated the vocal and instrumental music of Bach, commemorating the 250th anniversary of the composer’s death with spectacular concerts at the St James’ Church. Frequently, the ensemble invites other well known and talented Australian artists, instrumentalists, and vocalists to further enrich performances and broaden the repertoire. The Sydney Consort performs regularly with Sydney actors and poets as a consequence of an ongoing relationship with the Poets and Writers Society. A concert of 17th Century English music and Shakespearian sonnets was a particularly successful product of this union of arts. A Christmas Cantata by Alessandro Scarlatti was performed for the first time in Australia by the Sydney Consort, from a copy of the only one manuscript belonging to a parish Library in Germany.
The ensemble appears regularly on classical radio programs and on Sunday Live ABC Classic FM. From 2004 the group appeared for Musica Viva Australia with concerts in Sydney and NSW (countrywide program), and in June/July 2005 and 2007, the Sydney Consort performed on their European concert tour in Italy, Germany, Luxembourg, Denmark and Poland. The ensemble has been invited to return to Europe in 2009 and will perform in Luxembourg, Germany, Denmark, Prague and Poland.
The Sydney Consort has recorded four CD’s with invited musicians and recently recorded another one with music of Georg Frederick Haendel.