LIFEM | 13-16 November 2024 — Subscribe for more news


The Renaissance Collective

Friday 11th November 2022, 7.30pm

St. Michael & All Angels, Pond Road, Blackheath SE3 9JL

Since forming in 2002, PIVA has established itself as one of the UK’s leading early music ensembles, specialising in the popular dance and ballad music of the late renaissance. Playing an array of period instruments, the fresh, innovative and energetic approach has captured the imagination of audiences wherever they perform. The ensemble presents lively and entertaining shows with a unique blend of music and historical anecdote. Multi-instrumentalists, with backgrounds in renaissance, classical and roots music, they combine their influences to create music of the past played for today.

PIVA has played at various festivals, music societies and venues throughout the UK including The London International Early Music Festival, The Dome Stage at Snape Maltings, The National Centre for the Folk Arts, The Brighton Early Music Festival. PIVA has also played across Europe, appearing at the Este’s International Arts Festival (Italy), Middelalderfestival (Norway), Rencontres de Maitres Sonneurs Festival (France) and Lutherfest (Germany) as well as many other events and locations.

“If you have the chance to see PIVA, jump at it.” Voluntary Arts Ireland

"Great musicianship and tight, rhythmic consort playing, and extemporization" Chanter Magazine


Programme - Friday 11th November 2022, 7.30pm

The Road to Venice – Music from Renaissance England and Italy

“Of all the pleasures in the world travell is the sweetest and most delightfull.” These are the words of Thomas Coryat, an Elizabeth gentleman, writing in 1611 about his travels to Italy. He walked from London to Venice, completing nearly half the journey by foot and, on his return, he wrote an account of his travels entitled “Coryat’s Crudities”. This journal, relating his reflections and observations, give us an invaluable insight into life in late Renaissance Europe: “So good, and delectable, so rare, so admirable, so super-excellent, that it did even ravish and stupifie all those strangers that never heard the like” is how he described hearing the music being performed in the church of San Rocco in Venice.

The English, especially, were in love with all things Italian, aping their styles, fashions and manners. Coryat was one of many Englishmen making the journey to Italy towards the end of the 16th century, laying the scene for the Grand Tour to come. Increased mobility allowed students, diplomats, mercenaries, artisans and intellectuals to cross the continent and travel throughout Europe leading to the cross fertilisation of ideas, concepts and fashion - and, of course, music and dance.  

Italian styled entertainments, such as masques or morescos, (“After the manner of Italie, called a maske, a thing not seen afore in Englande”), musical forms such as the ground bass or basso ostinato and new dance and choreographies spread across Europe to England from Italy, where they were quickly assimilated into an English style. The pifferi, the Italian shawm and wind players from the various courts, gained an impressive reputation as did the instrument makers, famed in both woodwinds and strings. So much so, that when the royal Tudor courts sought to augment their musical forces with the best of their kind, they looked to Italy - and Venice in particular. The Bassanos, a family of musicians and instrument makers who had been working for the Doge, settled in England along with their fellow countrymen such as the Ferraboscos, Lupos, Laniers and Galiardellos, amongst others. The influx of these musicians influenced their English counterparts and the two styles – English and Italian – conjoined to bring a new soundscape to familiar patterns.

PIVA’s programme, developed especially for LIFEM, ‘The Road to Venice’, is a reflection of popular English and Italian music of the late 16th century. Playing both loud and soft winds, bagpipes and strings, the programme showcases how Italian musical style was influenced and absorbed by the English. The concert will feature music from a number of English and Italian composers: Augustine Bassano, Anthony Holborne, William Byrd, John Dowland, Giorgio Mainerio, Gasparo Zanetti, Tarquinio Merula, Francesco Corteccia and Fabritio Caroso, amongst others as well as the ever present, ‘Anon’.

PIVA are also particularly honoured to be performing a piece of music which was especially commissioned for them by LIFEM in 2021. Composed by Toby Young, the piece reflects the bustle and vibrancy of the instrument exhibition ‘At the Fair’.

The concert will be presented, as ever, in PIVA’s trademark earthy and robust style and the pieces will be woven together with an entertaining narrative of travellers and courtiers as they reflect on their observations on their experiences in foreign lands.

Toby Young, 2021
At the Fair
Anthony Holborne, 1599
Muy Linda
Augustine Bassano, d1604
Anon, c1502    
Fortuna Desperata
Giovanni Domenico da Nola, 1565
Chi, Chi, li, Chi  
Alfonso Ferrabosco, 1575-1628
Two Almandes
John Dowland, 1600
Fine Knacks for Ladies  
William Byrd, 1599
Monsieurs Alman
Anthony Holborne, 1599
Francesco Corteccia, 1539
Bacco, Bacco
Frabritio Caroso, c1610
Leggiadria d’Amore & Baxella un Trato
William Brade, 1609
Robert Parsons, c1570  
A Song Called Trumpets
Anon. c1550
The Black Almain
Tarquinio Merula, 1637
Giulio Cesare Barbetta, 1592
Moresco Quarta Bergamasca
Giorgio Mainerio, 1578
Lavandara Gagliarda
Gasparo Zanetti, 1645
Zoppa in chiave basso  


Eric Moulder is PIVA’s founder and director of music. His passion for early music was inspired by the late David Munrow, amongst others. He has been an early woodwind player for many years and has performed with a number of ensembles. He is an internationally renowned maker and researcher in the field of historic woodwind instruments from the Renaissance period and his instruments are played by leading professional musicians and amateurs alike. He also provides many of the instruments played by PIVA as well as being responsible for creating many of the group’s musical arrangements.

Jude Rees is a professional oboist and woodwind specialist with extensive experience in classical, folk, contemporary and early music. As freelance multi-instrumentalist and sought-after session musician, Jude has worked with some luminaries of the folk world and has guested on numerous albums and live tours. She currently plays with BBC Radio2 Folk Award nominated Pilgrims’ Way, Mary’s medieval ensemble Archaedium, and has played for theatre and television including the BBC and the Royal Shakespeare Company. Jude also co-runs a lively early music group for children in Warwickshire.

David Jarratt-Knock initially studied trumpet and attended the Birmingham School of Music. However, his keen interest in early music, resulted in a determination to tackle the cornetto. He has studied with leading players Bruce Dickey, Jean-Pierre Canihac and Jeremy West. He is constantly in demand in both in the UK and abroad for historically informed performances of works such as Monteverdi’s Vespers and he has played with some of Europe’s leading ensembles, including The Gabrieli Consort, The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and Ex Cathedra. He has worked with both the RSC and Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, and performs regularly at the Historic Royal Palaces.

Mary Mohan is a multi instrumentalist who has specialised in early music over the last decade. She studied cello, flute, conducting and musicology at the University of Huddersfield where she had her first opportunity to try the viol. Mary formed and directs Archaedium, which specialises in music from Medieval Europe and she has a growing collection of obscure instruments.

Kate Moran is a versatile musician who is equally at home with classical and folk music. Whilst training at Birmingham Conservatoire and Royal Northern College of Music she spent her weekends playing fiddle in barn dance bands in Northamptonshire! Kate currently plays violin and viola with Boldwood, who specialise in bringing to life rarely-heard tunes from 18th century English dance collections and leads Mouse’s Nest ceilidh band and can often be found guesting with bands both on stage and in the recording studio. Kate is also in demand as a teacher and is the conductor of Manchester Youth String Orchestra.

Tony Millyard has been playing with PIVA since its inception has a background in early and folk music. Never one to be afraid of crossing music genres, he once fronted a folk rock band and even played Northumbrian Smallpipes for a Border Morris troupe. Nowadays, he has an international reputation as an instrument maker specialising in wooden flutes and baroque oboes. In partnership with Eric, he also makes baroque bassoons.    

Jane Moulder is the resident bookworm of the group. She is a freelance researcher and writer and contributes to a number of publications on music dance and manners of the early modern period. Jane runs Piper’s Publishing, is editor of Chanter (journal of The Bagpipe Society), works for the National Trust and is a trustee of the Buxton Opera House. She balances all of these roles with working alongside Eric making historical woodwind instruments.

Full details about PIVA’s forthcoming dates and venues are listed on our website at:

Further information, photos and news can be found on our Facebook page:

Approx. finish time 9.30pm