The Bach Players

Players 2014

Rachel Beckett

Rachel Beckett studied flute and recorder in London at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama where she developed an interest in the performance practices of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. She has since performed and recorded with all of the main British period instrument groups. As principal flute and recorder with the English Baroque Soloists, conducted by John Eliot Gardiner, she features prominently in the Bach Cantata Pilgrimage recordings and their complete Brandenburg Concerti. Her recent repertoire includes Bach’s Suite in B minor with Le Concert Lorrain, Haydn’s Creation with EBS, and Rinaldo at Glyndebourne as principal recorder of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. She has also appeared as guest principal flute with Tafelmusik, Toronto (Weber’s Der Freischütz), Le Concert Lorrain (Bach’s St John Passion with Christoph Prégardien), and the Nederlandse Bachvereniging (Bach’s St Matthew Passion).

Matthew Brook

Matthew Brook trained at the Royal College of Music, London. A specialist in Bach, he has sung the Passions and Cantatas from Seoul and Tokyo to the Amsterdam Concertgebouw and St Thomas’s Leipzig with the English Baroque Soloists and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. Happy on the operatic stage, he has sung at the Royal Opera House (Covent Garden), Teatro Madrid, Pisa Opera House, and the Opéra Comique, Paris. His concerts in 2009–10 include tours of Bach’s St Matthew Passion with the Collegium Vocale Gent and Philippe Herreweghe, and Haydn’s Seasons with the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique and John Eliot Gardiner. Among his recordings as soloist are Handel’s Messiah, Handel’s Acis and Galatea, Bach’s St Matthew Passion, and most recently Bach’s Mass in B Minor, all with the Dunedin Consort (Linn Records).

Sally Bruce-Payne

Sally Bruce-Payne was born in London, living first in the cloisters of Westminster Abbey, where her father was an organist and choir master. She began her musical studies as a cellist, switching to singing at the Royal College of Music, London. Sally enjoys a career that has taken her all over the world. Her recordings as soloist include the Schubert Mass in A flat, the Theresien and Nelson Masses of Haydn, Lili Boulanger’s ‘Du fond de l’abîme’ (all with John Eliot Gardiner), Copeland’s ‘In the beginning’ (Dunedin Consort) and Pierre Boulez’s ‘Le Marteau sans maître’ (Cheltenham Festival, Radio 3). She now sings with orchestral and chamber groups including Yorkshire Baroque, Florilegium, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. Recent recordings include Handel’s and Scarlatti’s Dixit Dominus, Handel’s English cantatas (both with the Brook Street Band). Forthcoming is a solo disc of rare Vivaldi arias (with La Serenissima).

Anna Curzon

Anna Curzon, originally from Buckinghamshire, studied music at Nottingham University before gaining the Seary Charitable Trust scholarship to study at the Royal Academy of Music in 2010. It was there, while studying with Richard Deakin and Nicolette Moonen, that her passion for historical performance was born. A member of the 2012 European Union Baroque Orchestra, she also plays with the Wallfisch Band, and has recently been selected to participate in the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment’s scheme for young professionals. A busy chamber player, Anna founded the Curzon Quartet in 2013, and plays with Ars Eloquentiae and Oxford Baroque. As a ‘modern’ violinist, Anna performs with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.

James Eastaway

James Eastaway has played the oboe since the age of 11, but only seriously considered a career in music after taking up the baroque oboe while studying medicine at Edinburgh University. He has played with most of the British period instrument orchestras, and also groups such as the Orchestre Champs Élysées, Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, and the Australian Chamber Orchestra, in repertoire ranging from Purcell to Wagner. James has worked most regularly with the English Baroque Soloists, Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, and London Handel Orchestra. As a soloist he has performed, broadcast and recorded concertos and chamber music. He is Professor of Baroque and Classical Oboes at Trinity College, London, and has also taught for the Académies Musicales de Saintes. Alongside his concert schedule he continues to work as a doctor.

Rachel Elliott

Rachel Elliott studied piano at the Purcell School, before going to Selwyn College, Cambridge, to read music. She then spent two years on the post-graduate Early Music course at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where her singing teacher was David Pollard. Her career has been divided between solo and ensemble singing. She has worked with English groups such as I Fagiolini, Concordia, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, the Academy of Ancient Music, and the New London Consort. She has also sung with the French ensembles, Les Arts Florissants and Il Seminario Musicale, and works regularly with the Spanish group Hippocampus. Her recordings include lute songs by Campion with Nigel North, discs of music by Purcell, Charpentier and Rameau with New Chamber Opera, music for voice and viol consort by Gibbons with Concordia, as well as a disc of Vivaldi motets for solo soprano. Most recently she has recorded a recital of music by Monteverdi, Frescobaldi, and Caccini for the Spanish label Arsis.

Kinga Gáborjáni

Kinga Gáborjáni studied music in her native Budapest before coming to London for postgraduate work at the Royal Academy of Music, where she studied baroque cello with Jennifer Ward Clarke and the viola da gamba with Richard Campbell. Since then she has played with leading orchestras, including the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, the Gabrieli Consort and Players, The English Concert, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, and the English Baroque Soloists. She also plays chamber music with Triologue, Four Temperaments, and other groups. Among her recordings, she played with the English Baroque Soloists on their recording of Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos for the SDG label.

Reiko Ichise

Reiko Ichise was born in Tokyo, where she read musicology at Kunitachi College of Music and started to play viola da gamba. She came to London to pursue her study at the Royal College of Music with Richard Boothby. She now performs regularly with many orchestras and ensembles throughout the world and is a member of Fretwork, Florilegium, and Passacaglia. She teaches viola da gamba at the Royal College of Music in London.

Rachel Isserlis

Rachel Isserlis was born in London and grew up playing chamber music. She has played in various European ensembles for concerts and recordings worldwide, and is a regular visitor to the International Musicians Seminar in Prussia Cove. She is a member of Divertimenti of London, with whom she has made several recordings on the Hyperion Label. Rachel also specializes in early instruments: she recorded the Locatelli Trio Sonatas with Elizabeth Wallfisch and appeared on the BBC Early Music Show. She has worked with The English Concert, the Academy of Ancient Music, the English Baroque Soloists, and the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra. A founder member of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, she plays repertoire from Purcell to Wagner, and took part in the first performance of Heiner Goebbels’s ‘Songs of wars I have seen’ in the Queen Elizabeth Hall, London.

Catherine Latham

Catherine Latham studied recorder and baroque oboe at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, and trained orchestrally with the European Union Baroque Orchestra. She is a regular member of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, and the English Baroque Soloists. Catherine teaches recorder in the Early Music department of Birmingham University, and runs her own teaching practice. Recently she has enjoyed playing shawms and recorders in Shakespeare productions at the Globe Theatre, and in a production of St Joan at the National Theatre in London.

Jonathan Manson

Jonathan Manson was born in Edinburgh and received his formative training at the International Cello Centre in Scotland under the direction of Jane Cowan, later studying with Steven Doane at the Eastman School of Music in New York. In the USA he became involved with the performance of early music, and from there went to The Hague to study viola da gamba with Wieland Kuijken. On both cello and viola da gamba, he plays and records regularly with many leading early music ensembles, including (as co-principal cello) The English Concert and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. He is a founding member of the viol quartet Phantasm. With harpsichordist Trevor Pinnock he has played and recorded the Bach gamba sonatas, and the two recently joined with the flautist Emmanuel Pahud to give recitals throughout Europe, the Far East and the USA. He teaches at the Royal Academy of Music in London.

Alastair Mitchell

Alastair Mitchell has played with all the leading early music ensembles since leaving the Guildhall School of Music, London, in 1976. He has been the principal bassoonist in The English Concert, the London Classical Players, and the English Baroque Soloists. At present he plays with, among others, the Academy of Ancient Music and the Gabrieli Consort, and has recently been diversifying into antiques (as he becomes one himself!), specializing in the sale of books, maps, and prints.

Marion Moonen

Marion Moonen studied flute at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague with Paul Verhey and Frans Vester, and Baroque flute with Wilbert Hazelzet. She is a member of various ensembles and orchestras, including the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, the Kleine Konzert of the Rheinische Kantorei with Hermann Max, the Van Swieten Society, and Concerto d’Amsterdam. Since the formation of the ensemble Musica ad Rhenum in 1992 she has performed and recorded much of the repertoire for two Baroque flutes with flautist Jed Wentz. She features on recent recordings with Wilbert Hazelzet, the Van Swieten Society, the Attaignant Consort, and other chamber groups.

Nicolette Moonen

Nicolette Moonen grew up in Amsterdam bilingually, in a Dutch-French musical family – which later encouraged her to learn the main European languages. In 1992 she moved to live in London. Her taste in music has been shaped by a love of languages, and she is passionate about the connection between language and music. She has a special affinity for French music. In 1996 she founded The Bach Players of which she is the artistic director. She teaches at the Royal Academy of Music in London and has directed the baroque orchestra at Dartington since 1998. Nicolette studied with Jaap Schröder and Sigiswald Kuyken, and has played with most British and other European baroque orchestras (Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, English Baroque Soloists, Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, among many). She has been invited to lead ensembles such as Collegium Vocale Gent, La Chapelle Royale, Ex Cathedra, the European Union Baroque Orchestra, and English Touring Opera.

Stephen Pedder

Stephen Pedder comes from Stoke-on-Trent. He read music at Selwyn College, Cambridge, before studying violin with Howard Davis and baroque violin with Nicolette Moonen at the Royal Academy of Music, London. After graduating in 2008 he joined the European Union Baroque Orchestra and has since worked with ensembles including the Academy of Ancient Music, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, the English Baroque Soloists and, as a member of their apprenticeship scheme, the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique. His chamber ensemble Les Mélomanes won the audience prize at London’s Fenton House chamber music competition and have performed live on BBC Radio 3.

Olaf Reimers

Olaf Reimers studied modern cello in Freiburg, London, and Düsseldorf, before going to The Hague in 1989 to study baroque cello with Jaap ter Linden. Since 1993 he has played music from the sixteenth to the twentieth centuries with ensembles in (especially) Germany and the UK. He leads the group Caterva Musica in Gelsenkirchen, and plays regularly with a number of other groups, including Ensemble 1700 and Musica Fiata in Cologne, and John Eliot Gardiner’s English Baroque Soloists and Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique. He teaches baroque cello at Franz Liszt Hochschule für Musik in Weimar.

Lynda Sayce

Lynda Sayce studied at St Hugh’s College, Oxford, where she matriculated in History and graduated in Music. She then studied lute with Jakob Lindberg at the Royal College of Music, and also took continuo classes with Nigel North. She holds a PhD for her research on the history of the theorbo – to be published as a book one day … She is principal lutenist with Ex Cathedra, The King’s Consort, and the Musicians of the Globe, and performs and records regularly with many other leading period instrument ensembles. She also directs the lute ensemble Chordophony.

Anne Schumann

Anne Schumann studied violin at the music academies in Weimar and Dresden and joined the Gewandhaus Orchestra Leipzig in 1989. Since 1993 she has perfomed as a freelance baroque violinist, mainly in England for, among others, The English Concert and the English Baroque Soloists. In Leipzig she founded her own ensemble, the Chursachsische Capelle Leipzig, which focuses primarily on performances of forgotten chamber music. Anne was the leader of the European Union Baroque Orchestra for several years. She also enjoys playing the viola and viola d’amore, and searching for new ‘old’ repertoire.

Pawel Siwczak

Pawel Siwczak studied at the Frederic Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw and then at the Royal Academy of Music in London. He studied harpsichord and fortepiano with Carole Cerasi (in London) and Wladyslaw Klosiewicz (in Warsaw), as well as clavichord with Terence Charlston (in London). He is active as a performer, both with orchestras such as Gabrieli Consort & Players and Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, and as a soloist and with chamber ensembles, especially his two groups Four Temperaments and Triologue. He teaches at the Royal Academy of Music and at Morley College in London.

Rachel Stott

Rachel Stott is a performing musician and composer. She played for a number of years with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, London Classical Players, and other period instrument orchestras, while also exploring new music with Opus 20 String Ensemble, Music Projects of London and the New Music Players, of which she was a founder member. She is the viola player of the Revolutionary Drawing Room, with whom she has performed throughout the UK and continental Europe, and she plays viola d’amore in the Ariosti Duo.

Simon Wall

Simon Wall held a choral scholarship at St John’s College, Cambridge, where he read theology and religious studies. After graduation he began to sing with professional choirs, including Sir John Eliot Gardiner’s Monteverdi Choir. Then in 2002 he took up a scholarship at the Royal Academy of Music in London and his career began in earnest. He has appeared as a soloist for conducters such as Gardiner, Andrew Parrott, Stephen Layton, and Sir David Willcocks. He has sung in opera for Emmanuel Haïm, both for Opera de Lille and Opera du Rhin. His recordings include Barber’s operetta A hand of bridge (Marin Alsop), Tavener’s Veil of the Temple (Stephen Layton), Monteverdi’s Vespers with The Rodolfus Choir, and Lamenti with Emmanuelle Haïm and Le Concert d’Astrée.

Oliver Webber

Oliver Webber’s education took him to Wells, Cambridge, London, and The Hague, and laid the foundations for his approach to historical performance. He is the artistic director of the Monteverdi String Band, and has directed programmes ranging from sevententh-century chamber music to Hasse operas. He is the leader of Ludus Baroque, and principal and guest leader with the Gabrieli Players, the Early Opera Company, the London Handel Orchestra, and the Hanover Band; he recently led the string band for the Taverner Consort’s recording of Monteverdi’s Orfeo. He is also a member of the Parley of Instruments, Passacaglia, and the London Handel Players. Oliver makes his own gut strings: here as elsewhere seeking to apply research to concert performance. He teaches at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London.

Silas Wollston

Silas Wollston was a chorister at St Paul’s Cathedral. During his teens his flair for composing and arranging music flourished. While at Cambridge University he directed performances of Purcell’s Fairy Queen for the Opera Society, as well as a series of concerts with students playing on historical instruments. He went on to study the harpsichord at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London, and the Conservatoire Royale, Brussels. Since then he has played for all the major British early music groups and was principal continuo player for John Eliot Gardiner, performing as a soloist in the Bach Cantata Pilgrimage in 2000. Silas is passionate about seventeenth-century music and has written a PhD thesis on the repertoire of Charles II’s violin band. Last year he became Director of Music at Queens’ College, Cambridge.