The group's founding director, Stevie Wishart, conceived SINFONYE as a group combining improvisatory skills derived from traditional music with performance practices recreated from historical research and is particularly interested in repertories sung, inspired or composed by women. In 1987, SINFONYE was awarded the highest prize in the Festival van Vlaanderen in Brugge and, joined by Andrew Lawrence King, made their first recording, Bella Domna, for Hyperion. Following an acclaimed London debut in 1988, SINFONYE performed at the Wigmore Hall for the International Prizewinners series, and, joined by Vivien Ellis in 1989, made a second Wigmore Hall appearance as part of their debut British tour for the Early Music Network.
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