Emily Askew Band (appearing 15th September)
Emily Askew (fiddle, recorders, vielle, bagpipes and shawm)
Emily’s interests range from folk to medieval, baroque and contemporary repertoire. As one of the Askew Sisters, she has twice been a BBC Young Folk Award semi-finalist and in 2005 won the New Roots competition. Emily also performs with fiddle band Alma and runs the A3 Ceilidh Band and Ceilidh Factor. She graduated with a first from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, receiving the Dove Memorial Prize for the highest BMUS mark in her year. She has performed with many early music ensembles, including The Artisans, Joglaresa and The Dufay Collective, and at Glyndebourne and in productions for Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, and the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse.
Jamie Roberts (singer, guitarist, fiddler)
Jamie;s musical experience runs from playing trombone for brass band and orchestral work through to drumming in rock bands. Since graduating with a degree in Music Production, he has primarily worked as a guitarist/singer on the folk music circuit with fiddle player Katriona Gilmore. They have toured with Fairport Convention, appeared at Cambridge and Cropredy folk festivals, and received two BBC Radio 2 Folk Award nominations. Jamie also plays in traditional folk band Kerfuffle.
John Dipper (fiddle, viola d’amore)
An established performer, composer, teacher and instrument maker, John’s degree dissertation focussed on the interpretation of field recordings, looking at intonation, tuning and expression. He has recorded on several films including The Hobbit, and currently performs with string quartet Methera, with singer/guitarist James Patterson, and in the English Acoustic Collective. He is a sought-after workshop leader and tutor, and teaches on the Folk Music degree course at Newcastle University and the World Irish Music MA Course at Limerick University.
Simon Whittaker (percussion)
Simon is an experienced multi-percussionist, who has performed widely since graduating with First Class Honours from Trinity College of Music. He has toured Brazil with carnival samba band Rhythms of the City, and co-founded percussion group Talking Drum. A keen educator, he has led award winning youth ensembles, and is now based at Bedales school. He recently performed at Wykeham and Chichester Festivals with guitarist Rob Johnson, and is currently reading Ethnomusicology at SOAS, University of London.
RCM Baroque Ensemble (appearing Saturday 20th October)
Portuguese flautist Mafalda Ramos obtained her BA in 2016 and has now enrolled on the RCM Masters of Music in Historical Performance programme. Highlights from her busy performing career include playing with the London Handel Orchestra, The Brook Street Band, and Casa da Música Baroque Orchestra.. Her studies are supported by Kyra and Douglas Downie, Barry Shaw Award and the St. Marylebone Educational Foundation.
Gabriella Jones (violin) studied at Chetham’s School of Music, where she led their Symphony Orchestra, and graduated from Trinity College, Cambridge. She has appeared at the Wigmore Hall, Bridgewater Hall and Cadogan Hall, and worked with musicians such as Nicola Bennedetti and the Endellion Quartet. Gabriella plays with ensembles such as Florilegium.. Her baroque violin is a 1756 Jacob Kloz on loan from the Cherubim Trust.
Iain Hall (cello) graduated with a First from the RCM and won the McKenna Prize for Baroque music. He is now studying for a Master of Performance degree. Ian has played in the London Handel Festival, at the Queen’s Gallery, and at the Opera Bastille, Paris. He is supported by Ms Deborah Bacon and the Derek Butler Trust and the Sir James Caird Travelling Scholarships Trust. A Wolfson Award helped him buy his instruments.
Swedish guitarist/theorbo player Jonatan Bougt is studying for a Master of Historical Performance at the RCM. He gained a First for his BA, winning the RCM Guitar Prize, and has joined the Britten Pears Young Artist programme 2018 and the Live Music Now! Young Artist Scheme 2018/19. He won the Jörgen Rörby Competition (2014) of the Swedish Guitar and Lute Society, and the Young Talents prize at Uppsala International Guitar Festival (2013).
Steven Devine and Kate Semmens (appearing Friday 30th November)
Steven Devine (fortepiano) is the Co-Principal keyboard player with the OAE and principal keyboard player for The Gonzaga Band, and Apollo and Pan. He has recorded over thirty discs and made six solo recordings – his Bach’s Goldberg Variations was described by Gramaphone Magazine as “among the best”, and his latest recording of Bach’s Italian Concerto was voted Classic FM’s Connoisseur’s choice. He made his Proms directing debut in August 2007, has conducted the Mozart Festival Orchestra in every major concert hall in the UK, and has conducted the Dartington Festival Opera. Steven also works regularly with the Norwegian Wind Ensemble, the Victoria Baroque Players (BC, Canada) and Arion Baroque Ensemble (Montreal). He teaches at Trinity Laban Conservatoire in London and is Early Keyboard Consultant to the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and Royal Welsh Colleges.
Kate Semmens (soprano) has sung with many major consorts including the Monteverdi Choir, Gabrieli Consort, Dunedin Consort, Eric Whitacre Singers, Brabant Ensemble, and Taverner Consort. She has sung on several CDs, and was a soloist on Andrew Parrott’s recording of the Taverner’s Western Wind Mass which won the gramophone award for Early Music last year. In opera, she has played many roles ranging from Mrs P in Michael Nyman’s “The Man who Mistook his Wife for a Hat” to Ottavia in Monteverdi’s “L’Incoronazione di Poppea”. Forthcoming engagements include the role of Flaminia in Haydn’s “Il Mondo della Luna”, Bach’s St John Passion with Andrew Parrott and the Taverner Consort at St Petersburg Festival, and Dafne in Handel’s “Apollo e Dafne” with the Victoria Baroque Players in Canada.
Flauti d’Echo (appearing Friday 18th January)
Flauti d’Echo comprises recorder players Tabea Debus and Olwen Foulkes. They engage with different instrumentalists on a project-to-project basis. They won the Nancy Nuttal Early Music Prize for Chamber music in 2016, are participants on the BREMF Live! Scheme 2017-18, and have performed in such venues as the Wigmore Hall, Handel & Hendrix House London, St. John’s Smith Square, and Somerset House. They regularly perform as soloists for double concertos, cantatas, and operas.
Olwen Foulkes (recorders) graduated from RAM, with a ‘distinction’ and DipRAM award for her MMus degree. She has performed with ensembles including the OAE and La Serenissima, and recently performed concertos with London Handel Players, Oxford Bach Soloists, and 21st Century Baroque. She was selected as a Handel House Talent artist, and recently released her debut solo album. She leads lectures and workshops at RAM.
Tabea Debus (recorders) has performed in renowned European venues and festivals, and as far afield as Japan, Singapore and the USA. She was selected Meaker Fellow for 2016-17, and St John’s Smith Square Young Artist 2015-16, and has appeared on BBC Radio 3’s In Tune and Early Music Show. Winner of the international hülsta woodwinds and Johann Heinrich Schmelzer competitions, she has released three solo discs, most recently XXIV Fantasie per il Flauto in 2018. She teaches recorder at Wells Cathedral and Millfield School, and takes workshops at the RAM.
Toby Carr (theorbo) is a lutenist/guitarist who studied at Trinity Laban and the Guildhall School, and works as a soloist, chamber musician and continuo player, with organisations such as English Touring Opera, Dunedin Consort, and the London Philharmonic Orchestra. With his wife and frequent collaborator, harpist Aileen Henry, Toby is gaining a reputation as an exciting performer.
Duo Dorado (appearing Saturday 9th March)
Hazel Brooks (baroque violin) studied at Clare College, Cambridge, at the Hochschule für Musik in Leipzig, and the Guildhall School of Music, where she specialised in early music and won the Christopher Kite Memorial Prize. She was a finalist in the international competitions in York and Antwerp. Hazel now works as a recitalist and in chamber ensembles, and has given solo recitals in most major venues throughout the UK as well as in Germany, Italy, Russia and Spain. She is frequently asked to lead orchestras and appear as a concerto soloist, and has released a number of CDs. Hazel is in demand as a medieval-fiddle specialist across Europe and America. She is a researcher at Leeds University, investigating violin manuscripts from seventeenth-century England, sponsored by WRoCAH and the AHRC.
David Pollock (harpsichord) studied at the Royal College and Royal Academy of Music. He took up historical performance because of a longstanding love for the music of J. S. Bach, and soon specialised in the harpsichord, winning the Croft Early Music Prize. He has appeared at the Purcell Room, St John’s Smith Square, St George’s Bristol, St David’s Hall Cardiff and Fairfield Halls Croydon, and has performed in international music festivals in Great Britain and abroad. He has established a reputation as an interpreter of the keyboard works of J. S. Bach and is in demand as a recitalist and concerto soloist. Notable projects have included the complete harpsichord concertos of J. S. Bach and the complete virginals music of William Byrd. He has released three solo recordings, in addition to CDs released with Duo Dorado and The Parnassian Ensemble.
Syrinx (appearing Saturday 27th April)
Ann Allen studied music at Manchester University before specialising on baroque oboe and recorder at the Royal Academy of Music and then the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis in Switzerland. There she played shawms and dulcians, getting a soloist diploma in medieval and renaissance wind music. She now divides her time between Basel and London and is in demand as a multi-instrumentalist performing on the whole range of early wind instruments. Recent engagements include accompanying Damon Albarn in his rock opera Dr Dee at ENO and performing at the Globe Theatre in Richard III with Mark Rylance. She also directs the medieval ensemble Mediva and baroque chamber group Il Bacio, and runs her own festiva Nox illuminata
Belinda Paul grew up in Melbourne where she made her début aged eight as a member of Paul Williams’ Elastic Band (lead kazoo). She studied at the Victorian College of the Arts before going to The Royal Conservatory, The Hague. She has worked with I Fagiolini, the Gabrielli Consort and Players, and the City Musick, and is a member of medieval wind band Blondel and Concentus VII. Belinda has undertaken international tours with The Academy of Ancient Music, The Sixteen, La Stagione Frankfurt, and the Gabrieli Consort and Players, and has recorded with the Academy of Ancient Music, Ex Cathedra and The Hanover Band; while her operatic engagements include a run at St Petersburg’s Hermitage Theatre and in the Utrecht Festival.
Sally Holman studied modern bassoon at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester and baroque and classical bassoon in The Hague. She now performs with many of the leading period instrument ensembles in England and Holland and is equally in demand as a soloist and chamber musician. Sally is a founder member of the trio Apollo & Pan, winner of the 2001 International Early Music Network Young Arrists’ Competition. With this group she has performed at many of the UK’s leading festivals and concert series, including the South Bank Early Music Festival, Spitalfields Festival and York Early Music Festival.
Gail Hennessy to follow