ENSEMBLE NOTA VELATA
Claire Duff • Anita Vedres, violins
Marja Gaynor, viola
Aoife Nic Athlaoich, cello
David Adams, harpsichord
The violinist Claire Duff is in constant demand as a soloist and chamber musician throughout Ireland and the UK. She 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 a soloist. She has an extensive discography, including a highly acclaimed recording of Bach’s Double Violin Concerto with Monica Huggett and the IBO. She has given masterclasses in historical performance at the Royal College of Music and Trinity College of Music, London. Claire Duff graduated from Trinity College Dublin with a BA(Hons) Degree in Music and French, received a distinction in the Postgraduate Diploma in Baroque Violin from the Royal Academy of Music, London, and graduated from the Conservatorium van Amsterdam with a Masters in Performance.
The violinist Anita Vedres studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London, and in Utrecht’s Musik Conservatorium. Studying with the renowned Swiss baroque violinist Maya Homburger, she obtained a masters’s degree in professional studies at the Cork School of Music, with first-class honours. She is a founder-member of the Irish Baroque Orchestra, and a former member of both the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra and the Irish Chamber Orchestra, still appearing regularly with both. She is co-leader of Wexford Festival Opera. Aside from the Irish Baroque Orchestra her period performances in Ireland include concerts with Camerata Kilkenny and productions with Opera Theatre Company. Her commitment to chamber music involves her with many small groups: she is a founder-member of baroque ensembles Armoniosa and Trio Quattro. She plays on a Viennese violin by Johann Joseph Stadlmann.
The viola player Marja Gaynor hails from Finland, but has lived in Ireland since 2005. After completing her MA at the Cork School of Music in 2004, she continued her early music studies on violin and viola at the Royal Conservatoire of The Hague with Pavlo Beznosiuk. She is a member of the Irish Baroque Orchestra and Camerata Kilkenny (with whom she recorded Bach’s Musical Offering in 2010) but has performed with nearly every other Irish-based group, in styles from medieval to contemporary to world music. She is also much in demand as an arranger: highlights include a much-praised modern take on Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas for Cork Opera House in 2011. Outside Ireland she performs with Dutch-based Musica Poetica and the Helsinki Baroque Orchestra, among many other groups. 2012 saw her appointment as artistic director of the East Cork Early Music Festival.
Irish cellist Aoife Nic Athlaoich enjoys a versatile musical career, equally at home playing on period instruments as performing newly commissioned works. Aoife began her studies at the Royal Academy of Music in Dublin, and later at both the Royal Academy and Royal College of Music in London, where she studied with Melissa Phelps, Richard Tunnicliffe and Catherine Rimer. As an orchestral musician she has played under the baton of such eminent conductors as Sir John Elliot Gardiner, Sir Colin Davis, Sir Roger Norrington and Bernard Haitink. She has appeared at such venues as the Royal Festival Hall in London and Carnegie Hall in New York. She plays with the London Mozart Players, the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, the Classical Opera Company, the Irish Chamber Orchestra, the Irish Baroque Orchestra, La Serenissima and the Avison Ensemble.
David Adams studied organ and harpsichord in Dublin, Freiburg and Amsterdam, winning prizes at international competitions in Speyer, Lüneburg, Bruges and Dublin. Since his début recital at St Paul’s Cathedral in London at the age of sixteen, he has performed throughout Ireland, the UK and Europe. He is much in demand as an ensemble player in the fields of early and contemporary music and has given premières of many new works, including numerous compositions written specially for him. In addition to solo recordings made on the organs of Trinity College and the National Concert Hall in Dublin, he has recorded for Naxos, Black Box and Wergo. David Adams has taught at conservatories in Freiburg, Berlin and The Hague, and now lectures at the Royal Irish Academy of Music in Dublin. In 2007 he was awarded a PhD from the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam for his work on Max Reger and Karl Straube.
Left–right: Claire Duff, Anita Vedres, Marja Gaynor, Aoife Nic Athlaoich, David Adams