West End Baroque is an informal concert series of baroque and classical music in the style and spirit in which it was first performed. Held in the intimate setting of The Drake Bar in Glasgow, each concert sees a different collaboration between a growing collective of musicians and ensembles. The series attempts to break down the barriers between performers and audience, through an informal and interactive approach to performance. Performers discuss repertoire, instruments and composers, audience members are encouraged to talk to the performers, bring drinks into the ‘cabaret-style’ venue, and have the opportunity to investigate and even try out the period instruments after each concert. The Glasgow Gamba Club in June 2014 even saw a post-performance impromptu session between bass viol, lyra d’amore and nyckelharpa. We aim to raise the profile of historically informed performance in Scotland, and provide a platform for young artists and professionals to perform and experiment with new and unexplored repertoire. In addition, the project has links with current research in early Scottish music, most notably the AHRC funded project ‘Bass Culture in Scottish Musical Traditions’, led by the University of Glasgow, focusing on the harmonic basis of Scottish music, and historical accompaniments to Scots fiddle tunes.
We are very grateful for financial support from the Hope Scott Trust.