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Music of the 17th & 18th Centuries


30 April to 6 May

Auckland, Napier, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin

“The playing is quite simply divine.” Gramophone Editor’s Choice, UK

Acclaimed around the world, Phantasm have a stylistic understanding, artistry and skill that is animated by a passion for early music, culminating in what will be a rare and unforgettable concert experience.

The Phantasm consort of four extraordinary musicians explore rich repertoire from the golden age of the viol, with music by William Byrd, Orlando Gibbons, Matthew Locke and Henry Purcell. The programme is capped by excerpts from Bach’s profound Art of Fugue.

In their first tour of New Zealand, Phantasm present a not-to-be-missed opportunity to be engulfed by the music of the 17th and 18th centuries. Played on period instruments, Phantasm’s supreme mastery has the power to transport the listener to the exquisitely lush and delightful music of a bygone era.

Under the direction of Laurence Dreyfus, the consort was catapulted into international prominence when its debut CD of works by Henry Purcell won a Gramophone Award for the Best Baroque Instrumental Recording of 1997. Since then the consort has travelled the world, performing in Tokyo, New York, London, Brussels, Paris, Vienna, Warsaw, Helsinki, Leipzig, Istanbul, Hong Kong and Stockholm, as well as in festivals and on concert series such as Lufthansa Early Music Festival, Wigmore Hall London, Brussels’ Palais des Beaux Arts, Festival of Early Music Utrecht, Berlin Philharmonie and many others.

"A most rewarding and deeply satisfying musical experience…" International Record Review

At first glance, a viol (viola da gamba, or gamba) may look like a violin or cello, but there are marked differences. A viol’s distinguishing characteristics include having six strings, frets along the fingerboard and a flat back. The viol is played in the upright position (rather than under the chin) with the bow held underhand.

Originating in Europe in the late 15th century, viols were especially popular in the Renaissance and Baroque periods. Viol consort music was especially prized in England during the Stuart period with William Byrd and Henry Purcell both making significant contributions to the repertoire.

"Rigorous intellect with sensitive musicianship." BBC Music Magazine


Laurence Dreyfus (Treble Viol, Director)
Emilia Benjamin (Treble Viol)
Jonathan Manson (Tenor Viol)
Markku Luolajan-Mikkola (Bass Viol)

Since forming in 1994, Phantasm were predominantly based in the UK including Consort-in-Residence at the University of Oxford, followed by a second Consort-in-Residence at Magdalen College, where they performed, recorded and collaborated with the acclaimed College Choir. In 2015, Phantasm moved its base to Berlin in Germany, where director Laurence Dreyfus plans the consort's activities and pursues his own independent research in musicology, performance studies, and music analysis.

“Playing of real eloquence.” BBC Radio 3

Tour Dates
30 April at 7:30pm Auckland Town Hall, Auckland
1 May at 7:30pm MTG Century Theatre, Napier
3 May at 7.30pm St Mary of the Angels, Wellington
5 May at 7.30pm The Piano, Christchurch
6 May at 5.00pm Glenroy Auditorium, Dunedin


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