Founded in 2012 by Ruth Hopkins, K'antu Ensemble explore the less-trodden territories of early music, combining elements of folk and world music with historically-informed techniques. The music of Spain and South America seemed like the obvious starting place - hence the name K'antu, referring to an ancient style of Peruvian and Bolivian music and dance. In 2017, they started collaborating with professional dancers to create immersive, historical events for heritage sites across the UK and abroad.
Photographer: Peter Lawson
The Bridgewater Hall
In England, K'antu perform extensively at festivals and venues including the Bridgewater Hall, Cheltenham Festival, Leamington Music, Newbury Spring Festival, King’s Place and St Martin-in-the-Fields, where they reached the semi-finals of the Chamber Music Competitions in 2014 and 2015. They have also broadcast on Radio 3's In Tune from Broadcasting House and as house band during their residency at the Southbank Centre.
On the international stage, they were invited to present a concert for the Göttingen International Handel Festival in Germany and have toured to Hungary, Romania and Egypt in association with the British Council.
They are currently promoting their second album, Dancing & the Divine, following the success of Gusto, which has been featured on BBC Radio 3's Early Music Show, Late Junction, BBC Introducing, Resonance FM's LSO Soundhub and in Early Music Today Magazine.
Dedicated to bringing the music they love to a wider audience, K'antu's musicians provide workshops and dances for schools and heritage sites. They were selected artists for Live Music Now, and director Ruth now works as a mentor for graduates embarking on the scheme. At Easter, they will be leading a residential music course for music students at the South West Music School.
Their work has been generously supported by an Emerging Excellence Award from Help Musicians UK, JM Instruments and the Society of Recorder Players.