Orchestra

Monica Huggett is the artistic director of both the Irish Baroque Orchestra and the Portland (Oregon) Baroque Orchestra. She was director of the Juilliard School’s Historical Performance program in New York since its inception in 2008, and continues to be the school’s artist-in-residence and artistic adviser.

She previously co-founded the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra with Ton Koopman (PBO’s first artistic advisor); founded her own London-based ensemble Sonnerie; worked with Christopher Hogwood at the Academy of Ancient Music; with Trevor Pinnock and the English Concert; and toured the United States in concert with James Galway.

She has served as guest director of the Seville Baroque Orchestra; the Kristiansand Symphony Norway; Arion Baroque Orchestra, Montreal; Tafelmusik, Toronto; the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra; Philharmonia Baroque, San Francisco; the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra; and Concerto Copenhagen. She also performs frequently as a solo violinist all over the world.

Among her recent prizes are the 1997 Editor’s Choice award, Gramophone magazine, for J.S. Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin; the Vantaa Baroque Energy Prize (Finland), 2005; and Gramophone’s Best Instrumental Recording Award, for Heinrich Biber’s Violin Sonatas, 2002. The latest CD release from Sonnerie “Music for a Young Prince” ( early versions of the J.S. Bach Four Orchestral Suites), won a Diapason d’Or in June 2009 and was subsequently nominated for a Grammy award.

Monica’s expertise in the musical and social history of the Baroque Era is unparalleled among performing musicians. This huge body of knowledge and understanding, coupled with her unique interpretation of Baroque music, has made her an invaluable resource to students of the baroque violin.

Claire Duff

With her ‘stylish solo violin playing’ (Vickers, Gramophone) described as having ‘all the excitement of a high-wire act’, (M.Dervan, The Irish Times), Claire Duff is in constant demand throughout Europe. Claire has played as leader with Florilegium, I Fagiolini, English Touring Opera and The Kings Consort, and has regularly performed with The English Concert, Academy of Ancient Music, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and English Baroque Soloists.  She is leader of the Irish Baroque Orchestra with whom she regularly performs as soloist to critical acclaim. Claire has an extensive discography, including a highly acclaimed CD recording of Bach’s Double Violin Concerto with Monica Huggett and the IBO.
In addition to the many exciting solo opportunities with IBO, recent musical highlights for Claire have included performing Bach’s Double violin concerto with Maya Homburger and Camerata Kilkenny for Kilkenny Arts Festival 2015, Corelli violin sonatas with Dubourg embellishments at concerts and festivals throughout Ireland, and a solo concert as part of ICC Strung Series, performing unaccompanied baroque violin repertoire alternated with contemporary music, composed specially for Claire. Claire’s recent foray into the world of contemporary music has also resulted in a specially commissioned piece by Karen Power (supported by the Arts Council of Ireland) and a sonata to be composed this year by Sean Doherty (with support from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.).  Recent international highlights include performing Handel’s Alcina in Carnegie Hall with The English Concert and Joyce DiDonato and Monteverdi’s Orfeo with I Fagiolini in Venice.
Claire is passionate about music education and is particularly committed to developing historical performance practice in Ireland.  In addition to IBO outreach workshops, Claire gives masterclasses and chamber coaching throughout Ireland including at the Royal Irish Academy of Music, University of Limerick and Cork School of Music.

www.claireduff.com

Alfonso Leal del Ojo enjoys a busy career in the field of Historical Performance. He is principal viola of the Irish Baroque Orchestra, The English Concert, the Dunedin Consort and the orchestra of Classical Opera and leads regularly for other ensembles. He has toured extensively and appeared in numerous recordings, many of them award winning. He features as a soloist in the Dunedin Consort’s latest recording of Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos which received rave reviews.

He is in frequent demand as a soloist. Recently he performed Telemann’s Viola Concerto with The English Concert in the US and with violinist Monica Huggett he performed Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante. He is also a regular chamber music partner with violinist Rachel Podger.

Alfonso plays on a fine viola kindly lent by the McGillivray family.

Image credit: Richard Haughton

Sarah McMahon is widely considered to be one of Ireland’s finest and most versatile young musicians. She began her cello studies with Nora Gilleece at the Royal Irish Academy of Music in Dublin in 1987. In 1995 she moved to London where she studied at the Royal Academy of Music with David Strange, Jenny Ward-Clarke and Colin Carr graduating in 2001 with a first class B Mus degree and Dip RAM.

Since then she has been much in demand as soloist and chamber musician throughout the U.K. and Ireland. She is a member of the Callino String Quartet with whom she has a busy performing schedule. They have toured widely throughout Europe, performing at many festivals and collaborating with diverse artists such as Barry Douglas, Edgar Meyer, rock band Arcade Fire and John Abercrombie. The Quartet has also worked closely with several composers including Vasks, Ali-Zadeh and Edgar Meyer on their new works for string quartet and in 2006 they released a critically acclaimed debut CD of music by Ian Wilson for the Riverrun label.

In addition to her commitments with the Quartet, Sarah takes a keen interest in historical performance and is the principal continuo cellist with the Irish Baroque Orchestra. She is also regularly invited to play guest principal cellist with the King’s Consort, English Concert, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and the Academy of Ancient Music.

Sarah is in increasing demand as soloist with recent concerto performances at St. John’s Smith Square, the Casa da Musica in Porto and the National Concert Hall in Dublin. She also appeared recently as concerto soloist with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and featured as soloist in a critically acclaimed disc for Hyperion of the Vivaldi Double Cello Concerto with Jonathan Cohen and the Kings Consort.

Sarah Halpin studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London with Duncan Mc Tier, Graham Mitchell and Robin McGee. After graduating she spent several years enjoying a busy career in London playing with ensembles ranging from period groups such as the Academy of Ancient Music and the Gabrielli Consort and Players to larger symphony orchestras such as the Philharmonia Orchestra. She always maintained a strong connection to the Irish music world and moved home in 2009 to pursue a masters degree at the DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama in double bass performance. She now performs predominantly with Irish groups. She is principal double bass of the Irish Baroque Orchestra and plays regularly with the RTE Symphony and Concert Orchestras and the Irish Chamber Orchestra.

A graduate of Trinity College Dublin Malcolm Proud studied harpsichord with Gustav Leonhardt at the Amsterdam Conservatory and in 1982 won the Edinburgh International Harpsichord Competition. Since then he has made recordings, performed with ensembles and given harpsichord and organ recitals throughout Ireland, U.K., Europe, North America and Japan. He has performed and recorded with leading period instrumental ensembles including John Eliot Gardiner’s English Baroque Soloists, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and the Academy of Ancient Music. He is also principal keyboard of the Irish Baroque Orchestra and  organist and choirmaster at St. Canice’s Cathedral, Kilkenny.

In 1999 he co-founded the ensemble Camerata Kilkenny with the Swiss violinist Maya Homburger. Since then Camerata Kilkenny has recorded two critically acclaimed CDs and performed in France, Holland, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Belgium, Estonia, Latvia and at all of Ireland’s major music festivals. In 2010 Malcolm Proud performed all six of Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos with the English Baroque Soloists at the London Proms and at the Schleswig-Holstein Festival in Germany. Malcolm Proud has performed with leading baroque ensembles and soloists e.g. the Calmus Ensemble of Leipzig, Sébastien Marq (Les Arts Florissant), Wilbert Hazelzet (Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra), Dutch soprano Lenneke Ruiten, Pavlo & Lisa Beznosiuk and Richard Tunnicliffe. Malcolm Proud has recorded over 30 CDs on many different labels including Meridian, Hyperion, Maya Recordings, Virgin, Deutsche Grammophon, RCA, EMI and Soli Deo Gratia. His most recent recording of J.S. Bach’s Partitas for Maya Recordings has been critically acclaimed.

For further information see www.malcolmproud.ie

Malcolm is supported by Music Network’s Music Capital Scheme, funded by The Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. Music Network is funded by The Arts Council.

Andreas Helm studied recorder, oboe with Carin van Heerden at the Bruckner Konservatorium in Linz, where he completed his degree in 1999. Subsequently he studied baroque oboe with Alfredo Bernardini at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam graduating in 2002.

From 2001 to 2003 he was principal oboe and solo recorder player with the European Union Baroque Orchestra.

He is a member of the recorder trio Tricorders, the Rossi Piceno Baroque Ensemble and Schikaneders Jugend, a trio performing alpine folk music from around 1800s. In addition he plays both oboe and recorder with a large number of European orchestras including Wiener Akademie, L’Orfeo Barockorchester, Les Talens Lyriques, Freiburger Barockorchester, Concerto Köln and Concentus Musicus Wien and the Irish Baroque Orchestra.

He has toured extensively all over Europe, USA, Mexico, Singapore, South Africa and the Far East. He is the recipient of several international prizes and awards including the Bonporti Prize in Rovereto, Italy and the Gradus ad Parnassum award in Eisenstadt, Austria.

Andreas Helm teaches regularly at the Aestas Musica Summer School of Baroque Music in Varaždin, Croatia and at the Austrian Baroque Akademie in Gmunden.

He is professor of baroque oboe at the Musikuniversität in Graz and principal oboe of the Irish Baroque Orchestra.

Peter Whelan Principal bassoonist with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra since 2008, Peter was described by the Philadelphia Enquirer as ‘an absolute master of fleet facility with a solidly plush tone of wondrous immediacy’. He is in constant demand as a soloist and chamber musician and has received glowing responses from audiences and critics across the globe, including a Gramophone Award for his recording of Vivaldi bassoon concertos with La Serenissima in 2010.

As concerto soloist, Peter has performed in many of Europe’s most prestigious venues, among them the Musikverein (Vienna), Lingotto (Turin), and the great concert halls of London including St. John Smiths Square (Lufthansa Festival), and the Cadogan and Wigmore Halls. Peter’s recording of Weber’s bassoon concerto with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra is due for release in 2012. As chamber musician Peter has collaborated with the Belcea Quartet, London Winds, the Doric Quartet, and with Tori Amos on her album ‘Night of Hunters’ recorded for Deutsche Gramophone (2011). Peter is also a director of the newly-formed Ensemble Marsyas, with whom he has recorded a first disc of Zelenka sonatas for the Gramophone Award winning label LINN (release, 2012).

Equally at home on modern and historical instruments, Peter has a diverse repertoire spanning over four centuries and has worked with many of Europe’s finest symphony orchestras and directors including the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment (Sir Simon Rattle), the London Symphony Orchestra, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Philharmonia Orchestra, the English Baroque Soloists (Sir John Eliot Gardiner), the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Les Musiciens du Louvre, and Oper Zürich.

Peter has recently joined the teaching faculty of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and Manchester’s Royal Northern College of Music. He has also given masterclasses at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

‘In Anneke Scott we have a ”natural“ horn player in more ways than one. On an instrument which is perilous at the best of times her technique is such that one is aware only of intellect, musicianship and a glorious pallet of sound. It is a joy to work with her.’ (Pavlo Beznosiuk)

Anneke Scott began her studies at The Royal Academy of Music, London with Pip Eastop and Andrew Clark. She was subsequently awarded prestigious scholarships to further her studies in France (with Claude Maury) and Holland (with Teunis van der Zwart), where she concentrated on aspects of period horn playing.

Since her graduation from The Royal Academy of Music in 2000 she has been in demand with ensembles in the UK and continental Europe. She is principal horn of Sir John Eliot Gardiner’s Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique and The English Baroque Soloists, Harry Christopher’s The Orchestra of the Sixteen, Fabio Biondi’s Europa Galante, Irish Baroque Orchestra, Dunedin Consort and Players, The Kings Consort and Avison Ensemble as well as appearing regularly as a guest principal with orchestras and ensembles worldwide.

For many years she has had a keen interest in chamber music which led her to become a founder member of The Etesian Ensemble. Through this ensemble she met the fortepianist Kathryn Cok with whom she formed a duo specialising in Classical and Romantic repertoire for horn and fortepiano. Kathryn and Anneke were selected as two of Making Music’s Concert Promoters Network Artists for 2008–2009 and toured Holland in 2009 as part of the Organisatie Oudemuziek Netwerk. Their debut disc of virtuosic music for natural horn and fortepiano from early nineteenth-century Vienna was released in June 2011 by Challenge Classics. She is also a founder member ofensembleF2 with whom she performed the Mozart Horn Quintet at London’s Wigmore Hall in April 2009.

In 2005–2006 she undertook research at the University of Birmingham’s Centre for Early Music Performance, where she currently teaches period horns. As a result of this research she was interviewed in 2006 by BBC TV for the BBC2 series The People’s Museum discussing the Hofmaster horns housed atEdinburgh University. In 2005 she was invited by The Bate Collection, Oxford to perform in concert on one of their magnificent original Hofmaster horns dating from the mid 18th-centur. Since then Anneke has had an active working relationship with the collection which recently resulted in a CD featuring horn works from the late seventeenth through to the early twentieth century all performed on instruments from the collection.

In 2010 Anneke was awarded a Gerard Finzi Travel Scholarship to undertake research in Paris in preparation for her recording of the Jacques-François Gallay Douze Grands Caprices on natural horn release by Resonus Classics in October 2012. This was to form the first disc in a series of three, all featuring the works of Gallay. The second, with the natural horn ensemble Les Chevaliers de Saint Hubert, was released in 2013 with the third, featuring operatic fantasias with Steven Devine (piano) and Lucy Crowe (soprano) is due for release in early 2015.

Anneke’s activities are not confined to period performance. She has performed the music of Ligeti with The London Sinfonietta, and can be heard on two albums with The Nigel Waddington Big Band. In 2013 she recorded John Croft’s work …une autre voix qui chante… for solo hand-horn, a work written especially for her.

In 2007 Anneke was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music, an honour awarded to past students of the Academy who have distinguished themselves in the music profession and made a significant contribution to their field.