Four hundred years ago in July 1623 saw the death of the outstanding English composer William Byrd; prolific and successful, he was a favourite at the court of Queen Elizabeth. But Byrd led a complicated existence as a devout Catholic in troubled Tudor times, when to infringe strict religious rules ran the risk of imprisonment or even death. Forced underground, he created some of his most expressive music for fellow Catholics to use in secret worship.
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Sandy is one of the UK’s most versatile music commentators, enjoying a career that combines broadcasting, performing and lecturing. After studying at St Catharine’s College, Cambridge and working as music director for the RSC, National Theatre and in London’s West End, Sandy Burnett spent a decade as one of the core team of presenters on BBC Radio 3. Combining engaging scholarship with hands-on expertise, he devises and leads cultural holidays all over the world, is the author of the Idler Guide to Classical Music, is a highly sought after double bassist on the London jazz scene, and was appointed the Academy of Ancient Music’s Hogwood Fellow for the 2018-19 season.