Henry VIII: music and monarchy

Henry VIII: music and monarchy

The Tower of London at night

A unique new evening event for 2009 at the Tower of London

23 June 2009

Press release

On the evening of Tuesday 23 June, the Tower of London will present Henry VIII: music and monarchy, a unique concert by the Choir of the Chapel Royal of St. Peter ad Vincula at the Tower of London, exploring secular and sacred music of the reign of Henry VIII to celebrate the 500th anniversary in 2009 of his accession. The concert programme features some of the most iconic and innovative music of the Henrician period including the ‘Western Wind Mass’ by Taverner, the Coronation anthem ‘Te Deum’ by Sheppard, and ‘O Maria salvatoris Mater’ by Browne.

Prior to the concert, ticket holders will also enjoy a private view with curator of the Tower’s new exhibition Henry VIII: Dressed to Kill, the most stunning exhibition of Henry VIII’s personal arms and armour ever to be held in the UK. It showcases the superior engineering and craftsmanship of the best armourers, whom Henry brought to his royal workshop at Greenwich.

In a similar way, Henry VIII also gathered together the best composers and musicians in the Chapel Royal, some of whom, such as John Sheppard, were direct contemporaries of the king. Another contemporary, John Taverner, was the master composer of his generation, and his 'Western Wynde' Mass will be a highlight of this concert. The lavish decoration of Henry VIII’s armour with its religious imagery and heraldic symbols is part propaganda and part fashion – from this perspective we consider the music of his reign, from his Coronation to the end of his life.

The exhibition is over three floors in the mighty White Tower, where Henry would have spent time during 23 June 1509, the eve of his Coronation. This special evening at the Tower of London will explore the man behind the monarch, both through his unique armour and through the rich music of his reign.

Tickets are priced at £25.00 and are available by calling 0844 482 7795 or online here. The timings are
6.30pm - 7.15pm exhibition private view
7.30pm - 8.30pm concert

The Chapel Royal of St. Peter ad Vincula dates from the reign of Henry III and was rebuilt in its present form in 1519-20 under Henry VIII. It is perhaps best known for being the place where Henry VIII’s executed wives and nobles still lie including Anne Boleyn, Katherine Howard, St. Thomas More and Bishop John Fisher.

Further information

For further information contact Natasha Woollard in the Tower of London Press Office Tel: 020 3166 6303  E-mail: natasha.woollard@hrp.org.uk

Generic Historic Royal Palaces images can also be viewed and downloaded immediately and for free by registering on the newsteam website.

Historic Royal Palaces is the independent charity that looks after the Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, the Banqueting House, Kensington Palace and Kew Palace.  We help everyone explore the story of how monarchs and people have shaped society, in some of the greatest palaces ever built.
We receive no funding from the Government or the Crown, so we depend on the support of our visitors, members, donors, volunteers and sponsors.
These palaces are owned by The Queen on behalf of the nation, and we manage them for the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport.
We believe in four principles.  Guardianship: giving these palaces a future as long and valuable as their past. Discovery: encouraging people to make links with their own lives and today’s world.  Showmanship: doing everything with panache. Independence: having our own point of view and finding new ways to do our work.    

Registered charity number 1068852

Downloadable Resources

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    Factsheet - Henry VIII and music
    (Adobe PDF, 63KB)

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