When it comes to Fiori Musicali Penelope Rapson is the person in the know. Penelope is director (she keeps everyone in line) and founded the classical group in 1983 after studying music at Oxford. She’s a clever bunny and as I know pretty much nothing about classical music, we had a chat so I could swot up!
Fiori Musicali (translated as Musical Flowers) started out as a student group after Penelope moved to Northamptonshire and realised that family life didn’t mix too well with the library. She wanted to get more involved in playing the music that she’d studied and so Fiori Musicali was born.
The early Fiori only played Baroque which is the type of music created between 1600 and 1750, known for music writers/composers such as Brit Handel and Italian playboy Vivaldi (we’ll be looking at what Baroque music is a bit later.) Although Fiori specialise in Baroque, they now also play all sorts of classical music and they play well. 30 years after they started, they’re now known as one the “UK’s principal providers of baroque and classical music concerts outside London.” I don’t know about you but that sounds pretty impressive to me!
So how did a student group playing for church fundraisers 30 years ago get to become a successful professional group? Penelope explained that as Fiori became more successful and in demand, she struggled to get people to consistently turn up to play. Becoming professional in 1987 seemed to do the trick!
Fiori Musicali haven’t looked back going on to record albums, perform in numerous concerts and travel with their music. They even help to educate about classical music holding workshops in schools and helping audiences of all ages to understand the historical context of the music, what was going on at the time that it was created.