Click on any image for details.
The English Cornett & Sackbut Ensemble is a virtuoso period instrument ensemble with a host of distinguished recordings to its name.
As well as giving regular recitals in its own right, the ensemble collaborates with leading vocal ensembles such as I Fagiolini, The Tallis Scholars, Alamire, Resurgam, The Marian Consort, Westminster Cathedral Choir and many others. The group is a regular at major festivals such as York, Brighton, Cheltenham and the BBC Proms, and is in demand as a recording ensemble. In 2015 the group collaborated with Alamire on The Spy’s Choirbook (Obsidian), winner of the 2015 Gramophone Award for Early Music. Discs with I Fagiolini have included the monumental Striggio Mass in 40 parts Missa ecco si beato giorno (which scooped both the Gramophone Award for Early Music 2011 and the Diapason d’Or), and another super-size recording of music by Gabrieli and Viadana entitled 1612 Italian Vespers. 2017 saw yet another large-scale disc: Monterverdi – The Other Vespers (Decca).
The English Cornett & Sackbut Ensemble celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2018 with a new solo CD on the Resonus label entitled Music for Windy Instruments: sounds from the court of James I.
These wonderful players have taken part is each of the four Grand Baroque events in Exeter Cathedral.
The Monteverdi String Band is dedicated to celebrating the sound and style of the early violin consort, in both well-established repertoire and innovative new programmes. Our instruments are carefully chosen: they are modelled on originals from the early decades of the 17th century, rather than the 18th century, when developments which led the violin away from its origins as a consort instrument transformed its sound into something perhaps more brilliant but less rich and grounded. We relish the sound of pure gut strings in equal tension; this and the use of matching instruments brings a unique sound to the ensemble: as a recent critic wrote, “The MSB’s sound is quite unlike any that of any other ensemble I know that plays this music”.
Martin has been an invaluable member of the BEMP team since 2015 when he joined us as both rehearsal accompanist and chamber organist in the Missa Superba programme with Andrew Parrott. His contribution to BEMP’s choral weekends is immense and much appreciated.
After tuneful beginnings as a brass-bander in rural Norfolk, Martin started his formal music studies at Birmingham Conservatoire initially as a composer and French horn player. However, his interest in Early Music soon led him to the harpsichord and he graduated with an MA degree in 1998 after studying with Lucy Carolan. He subsequently completed an MPhil at the University of Birmingham studying late 17th-century Italian chamber music and recently completed a PhD in music-making in 18th century Britain.
As a harpsichordist, Martin is active in the Midlands and London performing with many different groups, including locally the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and English Symphony Orchestra and is often called upon for his skills as a continuo player. As a director, he has performed music from Gabrieli to Poulenc, including staged operas by Handel, Mozart and Purcell. He has often appeared as a concerto soloist, performing works by Handel, Bach Mozart, and Graun. For a brief spell until 2007 he was Director of Music at the University of Leicester where he directed the University’s orchestras and choirs. Martin is co-founder and co-director of the Musical & Amicable Society, with whom he has directed and performed in hundreds of concerts since its inception in 2004.
Martin is a researcher with specialisms in performance practice, 18th-century British music and organology. He has written many papers and is a contributor to Oxford Music Online. As an editor of 17th and 18th-century music, Martin has published first editions of music by Vitali and Gunn for Edition HH and Septenary Editions, as well as pedagogical materials. His own publishing company, Cat on the Keys Music, produces critical performing editions of music by Graun, Vitali, Pixell, Janicchi, Schelle, Cazzati, Matteis and Telemann.
Martin is Head of the Historical Performance Department and the Instrument Curator at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.
Eligio Quinteiro has played for several BEMP projects, including all the Grand Baroque series.
He was born in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and studied Classical guitar with Olímpiades García and Joaquín Prats at the Conservatorio Superior de Música de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and the Real Conservatorio Superior de Música de Madrid, graduating in 1993. He began studying the lute in 1989 with Eugène Ferre (Toulouse, France) and attended masterclasses by Paul O’Dette, Hopkinson Smith and Jordi Savall.
In 1997 he moved to London to follow a postgraduate course in Early Music at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. He is in great demand both as a soloist and as an accompanist for song recitals on the lute, theorbo and Romantic guitar. In addition, Eligio is a member (lute/theorbo/guitar) of the vocal ensemble I Fagiolini and plays regularly with period instrument orchestras such as The King’s Consort, Florilegium, La Serenissima, Orchestra of the Renaissance, The Sixteen, Gabrieli Consort, and Orchestra of the Age of the Enlightenment, appearing in several music festivals, as well as collaborating with modern instrument orchestras such as the London Symphony Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra and London Mozart Players.
Quinteiro has been invited to teach at the Real Conservatorio Superior de Musica de Madrid, the Conservatorio Superior de Musica de Canarias, the Conservatorio Profesional de Musica ‘Padre Antonio Soler’ in San Lorenzo de El Escorial, the Royal College of Music in London and the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama in Cardiff, where he has given masterclasses in historical performance, chamber music, choral ensemble, basso continuo, lute & guitar. He also collaborated with the musicologist Lothar Siemens transcribing sacred works by the Spanish Baroque composer Diego Durón, maestro de capilla in Las Palmas Cathedral (Canary Islands, Spain).
He plays and teaches theorbo, lute and early guitars. He is artistic director of the ensembles Capilla Cayrasco and Camerata Cayrasco, and has performed and recorded with the leading early music ensembles in the UK and Spain.
Henrik Persson has played continuo and provided some wonderful instrumental interludes in BEMP concerts since 2011.
Born in Stockholm, Henrik moved to England to study cello at the Birmingham Conservatoire with Andrew Fuller and viola da gamba with Bill Hunt. After completing his BMus Hons degree, he undertook a postgraduate performance degree at the Royal Academy of Music in London where he studied baroque and classical cello with Jennifer Ward-Clarke and viola da gamba with the late Richard Campbell.
Henrik currently enjoys a rich and varied freelance career, most notably as first continuo player for Philip Pickett’s two groups New London Consort and Musicians of the Globe with whom he regularly tours throughout the UK and Europe. He is also a regular with Florilegium, the Musical and Amicable Society, with whom he also appears as a soloist, and for the Blackdowns Early Music Projects. Henrik was first continuo player for La Nuova Musica from 2007 to 2010 and a member of the European Union Baroque Orchestra 2002-03. He is also a founding member of Ensemble Shudi, specialising in 17th and 18th century chamber music together with the violinist Sarah Moffatt.