musicians, poets, artists and thinkers who met to experience and discuss the newest ideas in philosophy and the arts. Music (especially when combined with words) was an important part of these gatherings, which often had exotic names such as L'Accademia della Morte (The Academy of Death!) or L'Accademia degli Intrepidi, from which we take our name.
The Intrepid Academy is a fluid group of specialist early musicians - singers and instrumentalists - with a simple aim: to treat the music it performs as though it were brand new. We learn as much as we can about the music and its context (including the relevant instruments and their techniques) and then hope to convey the excitement and sense of discovery of those first performances.
Programmes are devised by the group's director, Philip Thorby. We perform music in many styles from all over Europe, but are inspired by two Academies in particular: L'Accademia degli Intrepidi itself, whose fiery music was directed by Claudio Monteverdi; and the earlier, unnamed Venetian academy directed by Adrian Willaert, where the music was quiet and intense, but no less new or passionate.
From the mid sixteenth century onwards, Italy saw the establishment of many Academies. These were not formal teaching institutions but groups of