On Saturday 9th April 2016, RCM based recorder quartet BLOCK4, which includes the Society’s Publicity Officer Emily Bannister, triumphed at the Seventh Chesapeake International Chamber Music Competition in Easton, America. BLOCK4 were awarded the Gold medal; a money prize of $10,000 and the opportunity to return to America and perform in the Chesapeake Music Festival in June 2016. Their programme included a contrasting mix of both renaissance works, contemporary compositions and the use of over 20 instruments within the 45 minutes, demonstrating every aspect of the recorders virtuosity. Having bought a Paetzold recorder consort with the winnings from their Royal Overseas League win in 2014, BLOCK4 are now looking forward to purchasing much needed renaissance instruments with this award and eagerly await their return to America.
BLOCK4 is also currently Ensemble-in-Residence at Handel Hendrix Museum in London, and has an upcoming Concert Series at the venue at the end of July entitled ‘Handel and Hendrix: Celebrity, Prestige and Power’ which looks at music written for the Monarchy and at the status of the ‘Celebrity Composer’ in the Baroque era. Moving forward in time, we delve into the world of rock and pop music, and in our final concert explore the use of electronics in instrumental music, an idea that is seen throughout Jimi Hendrix’s work. Presenting Handel and Hendrix as you have never heard them before!