Richard Boothby
Viola da Gamba

After studying with David Fallows in Manchester and Nikolaus Harnoncourt in Salzburg, he founded the Purcell Quartet in 1984 and was a founder member of Fretwork in 1985. Since then his career has been bound up with these two groups, with whom he records and tours; and through whom he plays the broadest range of repertory for the viol, from the earliest music to the latest contemporary music.

With the Purcell Quartet he has recorded nearly 50 albums for Hyperion and Chandos. With Fretwork he recorded over 30 albums for Virgin Classics, Harmonia Mundi USA and other companies. He arranged and transcribed many of the great keyboard music of J. S. Bach for viols, which were recorded under the title ‘Alio Modo’; and his arrangement of the Goldberg Variations has also recently appeared. He was widely praised for his performances of William Lawes’s lyra viol solos on the two Fretwork discs devoted to his music.

He is a prime mover in the quest to enrich the viol repertory with new music and has been involved in commissioning music from George Benjamin, Michael Nyman, Alexander Goehr, Orlando Gough & Elvis Costello, among many others. He tours Europe and the United States regularly with both ensembles. In 1998 he directed performances of Monteverdi’s “L’Incoronazione di Poppea” with the Purcell Quartet; and in 2001 directed them in a fully-staged production of “L’Orfeo”, with Mark Padmore in the title role. As a soloist, he has given many recitals of the rich solo repertory, and in 1994 he recorded the three Bach sonatas for viola da gamba and harpsichord with Shalev Ad-El for Chandos Records, to critical acclaim. In 2005 he gave several recitals of the great suites by Antoine Forqueray, with whose music he feels a special affinity. He is professor of Viola da Gamba at the Royal College in London.

Jane Chapman BA, ARCM, HonRCM

Jane Chapman, described as “Britain’s most progressive harpsichordist” (The Independent on Sunday) and “the hippest harpsichordist around” (Metro), studied with Ruth Dyson at the RCM and with Ton Koopman at the Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam. Her CDs of 18th-century English music, The Lady’s Banquet, and of the 17th-century French Bauyn Manuscript, offered the first extensive overviews of important sources previously unexplored on disc, and were both highly acclaimed. Recent recordings include Rounds by Berio for Mode, (New York Times pick of the year 2006).

Equally passionate about baroque and contemporary harpsichord repertoire, she has given the first performances of well over 150 works, many written specially for her, including electroacoustic scores by leading composers. She has compiled and edited two issues of the scholarly journal Contemporary Music Review on the performance of new music for harpsichord. In the words of Harpsichord and Fortepiano magazine, “her progressive spirit and comprehensive technique have inspired composers to forge new parameters and sound worlds for the harpsichord with works of unprecedented musical and technological scope”. Jane is an Honorary Fellow of Dartington College of Arts, and an Honorary Member of the Royal College of Music.

Jane has been featured at many major festivals, and has recorded extensively for BBC Radio 3. Residencies have included UNAM, Mexico, UC Berkeley, USA, Goldsmiths College, London.

“… Jane Chapman plays with brilliance and sensitivity” (Classic CD ) 
”Jane Chapman is a fearless contemporary music performer…… you have to respect Chapman’s virtuosity and guts”(The Guardian) 
”With Jane Chapman one can count on technique to burn and faithful observance of stylistic conventions” (The Musical Times)

Stephen Preston
Baroque flute

Stephen Preston is one of the leading musicians in the pioneering development of early music performance in the UK and Europe, and one of its most acclaimed figures. He established a worldwide reputation for his groundbreaking work with historical flutes, his solo and ensemble performances and his pioneering recordings.

Stephen also pursed a passionate interest in dance. He put his flute-playing career in the background in order to create his two dance companies to explore first historical dance and then to investigate the dancing body in historical and contemporary, During this period he choreographed many operas and dance works for his own companies.

His return to music began with research into birdsong as a model for new techniques and improvisation. This led to the development of Ecosonics – an approach to improvisation based on birdsong and bioacoustic communication, for which he was awarded a PhD in 2004. He has since been performing new music, acoustic and electro-acoustic improvisation and contemporary techniques for the baroque flute. Stephen’s contributions to the flute and flute playing were recognized In 2006 with a Lifetime Achievement Award bestowed on him by America’s National Flute Association. He is currently exploring a redesigned. 21st century one-keyed flute by the Canadian maker Jean-François Beaudin.

In 2012 Stephen decided to form a small group dedicated to creating a completely new repertoire, resulting in Trio Aporia. In addition to the trio he performs with the electro-acoustic improvisation ensemble Automatic Writing Circle (AWC), an evolution of his Ecosonic Ensemble.

Stephen’s work is described in the New Grove Dictionary of Music, The Early Flute, and The Flute. He teaches at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester and TrinityLaban College of Music & Dance, London, and he is widely in demand for master classes, private teaching and coaching.

Richard Boothby

Richard Boothby

Jane Chapman

Jane Chapman

Stephen Preston

Stephen Preston