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