Skip to Content


31 March, 2018

Passing on the folder

It is with sadness and enormous gratitude that we announce that Matthew O’Donovan, a member of Stile Antico since its very earliest days, has decided to leave the group in the summer, as he welcomes a new addition to his family. As a stalwart bass, programmer, writer of programme notes, resident theologian, and much, much more, Matthew has contributed immeasurably to the success of the group, and he leaves with our thanks and very best wishes. We are delighted that James Arthur, who has frequently deputised when Matthew’s commitments at Eton College have prevented him from singing with us, has agreed to become the group’s new member. James has long been a loyal friend of Stile Antico, and we look forward to welcoming him to his new position in August, following Matthew’s last concert at the Laus Polyphoniae festival in Antwerp.

Matthew writes:

“It has been a huge privilege to be part of Stile Antico since our first concert together in Oxford 17 years ago. There have been so many marvellous memories of wonderful music-making in beautiful places it is hard to pick a favourite – though one highlight must be singing in the ancient church of St John Mark in Byblos, Lebanon (amongst the longest-inhabited cities in the world), and another an extraordinary afternoon of pre-concert January tobogganing in Estonia. It is sad to be leaving, though I’m delighted that my place will be taken by James Arthur, who has already had a long association with the group. I am looking forward to the opportunity to spend more family time in between school terms – our first child is due in July – as well as pursuing one or two other interests which have been on the back burner for a while!”

James writes:

“It has been a great honour for me to act as Matthew’s deputy in Stile Antico over the last ten years.  This fortuitous role has allowed me the opportunity to work alongside a group of incredibly talented musicians, during which time they have taught me a huge amount about how to approach the repertoire through their unique way of working. I am incredibly grateful for their unfailing generosity and friendship as colleagues, and it is with great delight, excitement, and some trepidation, that I have accepted their invitation to replace Matthew when he leaves later in the year.  I wish Matthew the very best for all his future projects, not to mention his new role as a parent!”