Passacaglia is one of Britain’s best-loved baroque chamber ensembles. The group combines the unique sound of recorders, flute, viola da gamba and harpsichord with an engaging and charismatic stage presence which has attracted them worldwide attention, especially for their interpretations of French baroque music. As well as acclaimed performances at the Wigmore Hall and Purcell Room, Passacaglia has been invited to perform at many of the major festivals and venues across the British Isles. The ensemble has also toured in Scandinavia, Ireland, America and Eastern Europe, and enjoyed fruitful collaborations with Dan Laurin, recorders, and Julia Gooding, soprano. Passacaglia has featured in many BBC radio programmes and broadcasts, and on worldwide radio networks. They have also recorded two discs for Linn Records. Passacaglia has a particular affinity for early eighteenth century French chamber music, championing lesser-known masters such as Joseph Bodin de Boismortier and Louis-Antoine Dornel, in addition to more familiar baroque repertoire. The group has also commissioned a number of contemporary pieces for their particular instrumental combination, including works by Peter McGarr, Timothy Coker and Geoffrey Gordon.
Annabel Knight studied recorder and flute at the Royal College of Music in London. She has since become one of Britain’s most respected recorder players and chamber music artists and has performed for early music festivals and radio networks across Europe and America. She is director of the Woodhouse Recorder Week, an international summer school for aspiring young recorder players, and teaches at the Centre for Young Musicians in London and at the Birmingham Conservatoire.
Louise Bradbury studied recorder at the Royal Academy of Music in London. She has performed as a soloist and chamber musician across the United Kingdom and Europe, most notably with leading early music ensembles Fontanella and Passacaglia. She has a passion for taking live music into the community and runs an acclaimed programme of music classes and concerts for children.
Born in Tokyo, Reiko Ichise moved to London in 1991 to study viol at the Royal College of Music. She is now one of the country‘s leading viola da gamba players, working and recording regularly across the world with many prestigious ensembles including Fretwork, The Purcell Quartet, Florilegium, the Gabrieli Consort, Early Opera Company, English Chamber Orchestra, Concordia and The Royal Ballet.
Robin Bigwood established himself as one of Britain’s most talented and exciting harpsichordists by winning the Broadwood Harpsichord Competition in 1995. He has lectured on performance practice at London’s Trinity College of Music and Birmingham Conservatoire. In addition to his work in early music, he is an experienced sound engineer and producer, and writes a monthly column in Sound on Sound magazine.
Louise Bradbury, Robin Bigwood, Annabel Knight and Reiko Ichise
Photo by Matthew Bigwood