The New London Consort is a leading period instrument ensemble. It is best known for Renaissance and Baroque music; aside from the popular concertos of Bach and Vivaldi, its recordings tend to focus on the operas of the first part of the Baroque. The group has been particularly praised for performances of music of Monteverdi and Biber.
It was founded by Philip Pickett, who joined the original instruments movement under the tutelage of Anthony Baines and David Munrow, two of the most prominent English performers in the field in the 1960s. Pickett's interest in the context of music is evident in the New London Consort's programs, which often include reference to the cultural and historical trends of the era that are relevant to the featured music.
The Consort is noted for longstanding relationships with early music singers and often including them in its programs. Their playing is very clean, rhythmically tight, and lively; each of the member musicians is a virtuoso in his own right. Among the more adventurous attempts by the group have been those involving rock rhythm sections to support its dance music performances.
The Consort appears on the Decca/L'oiseau-Lyre and Linn; notable is a prize winning traversal of the Medieval German manuscripts known as the Carmina Burana. Other disc programs are imaginative structures built around such notions as music performed on the day of the "feast of fools," music associated with a particular pilgrimage, or music associated with Christopher Columbus.