Duo Dorado (cancelled on Saturday 9th March, due to be re-scheduled as part of the 2019/20 season)

Duo Dorado 2Hazel 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.

The Telling (appearing Saturday 23rd March)

Vision 3
Clare Norburn soprano/ director),
Ariane Prüssner (mezzo soprano),
Leah Stuttard (harp), plus actress Teresa Banham. Lighting design is by Natalie Rowland and Pitch Black Lighting.

Director Clare Norburn is a playwright and soprano who has sung as a soloist with many medieval ensembles including her own group The Telling, and Mediva, Eclipse and Vox Animae with whom she has recorded and performed medieval abbess, Hildegard of Bingen’s music drama Ordo Virtutum. Clare co-founded the Brighton Early Music Festival with soprano Deborah Roberts : she recently stepped down as Artistic Director after 15 years to concentrate on writing and singing, but remains Artistic-Director of Stroud Green Festival . She trains and mentors young ensembles for the National Centre for Early Music, Handel House, Royal Academy of Music and the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, and ran the Early Music Live! scheme for 10 years at Brighton Early Music.

Since 2010 Clare has been developing a new genre of concert/plays for actor(s) with live music. She has written three shows about women, including Hildegard of Bingen, for her medieval group The Telling, whose 17-date tour in 2018/19 will visit Buxton Festival, Music at Oxford, Stroud Green Festival, Little Missenden Festival, Kingston Festival of the Voice and Colchester Early Music, as well as this performance for Totnes Early Music Society.

Ariane Prüssner was born in Hanover, Germany, where she studied opera for four years before coming to London to do a postgraduate course at the Royal Academy of Music. She has sung oratorio and song recitals all over Britain. She fell in love with medieval music when she joined the groups Fifth Element, Third Voice and Mediva, all together with Clare Norburn. Mediva were finalists in the York Early Music Festival Young Artists Competition and selected for the Fresh Young Artists series at the Southbank Centre.  She now resides in Barcelona where she regularly sings at the Palau de la Musica.

Leah Stuttard hails from a Lancashire mill town and has played the medieval harp for over 15 years. She has worked with famous names such as Jordi Savall and appeared around the world from Los Angeles to Rome, Madrid to Copenhagen as well as on radio in France, Denmark, Texas and the UK. For over 12 years she’s worked with the lively Italian group, Micrologus, while her recent pairing with Agnethe Christensen is creating rich melanges of plucked string timbres complementing Agnethe’s fruity deep and crystal high vocal tones. They have performed in Norway, Italy, Estonia, Denmark and across the UK.

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