Born and brought up in Norfolk, UK, I studied recorder and flute joint study at the Royal College of Music in London. With this combination of instruments I was able to study the performance of many styles and periods of music, from renaissance consort playing, through symphonic orchestral repertoire to the avant-garde recorder world. Although I have inevitably since specialised in more specific areas (especially early music), I continue to enjoy this broad range of music and constantly draw these various strands together in my professional life.
Most of my performance work is with two very different ensembles. Passacaglia is a baroque ensemble with a flexible trio-sonata line up, specialising in music from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. This ensemble has been running since 1992, performing in venues across the UK, Europe and the United States; we have so far made five albums featuring the music of Telemann, Boismortier, Dornel and Arne, with the most recent being a solo album of mine: Telemann:Time:Travel on our own in-house label, BCR. For more information, visit my Recordings page.
Fontanella is a recorder quintet which specialises in 16th century consort repertoire, education and contemporary music. Together we own and perform on a fantastic consort of fifteen instruments made by Adrian Brown, based on recent research into sixteenth century originals, allowing us to explore the music and performance practices of the renaissance era. We also own a between us many baroque and modern instruments including a modern consort of Paetzold ‘square’ bass recorders, which have proved both inspiring and fun for contemporary music.
A theme common to both ensembles is to find the perfect balance between historically accurate performance and live entertainment. This is of course largely driven by a genuine passion to undercover the history and stories behind the music we play… but also by the excitement and freedom of live performance with wonderful professional colleagues and bringing ‘old’ music to life again.
I have also had the privilege of working and performing with some other superb and inspiring musicians from other fields. These include the members of the Maggini String Quartet, with whom I recorded Gordon Jacob’s beautiful Suite for recorder and strings, and other works, for Naxos (visit my Recordings page for more information). Other exciting projects in recent years have included working on film scores for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, Philomena and Fantastic Mr Fox, and performing for Dame Judi Dench! I have also been a guest artist on the CBeebies show, ZingZillas with my friends in Fontanella.