MONDAY, 19 AUGUST 2013, FROM 15.30 TO 18.30
Workshop for Singers and Vocal Ensembles
Repertoire before 1700. Harpsichord accompaniment is available.
Originally, Emma Kirkby had no expectations of becoming a professional singer. As a classics student at Oxford she sang for pleasure in choirs and small groups, joined the Taverner Choir in 1971 and in 1973 began her long association with the Consort of Musicke; with these groups and the Academy of Ancient Music she took part in the early Decca Florilegium recordings.
Emma feels privileged to have been able to build long term relationships with chamber groups and orchestras, in particular London Baroque, the gamba ensemble Fretwork, the Freiburger Barockorchester, L'Orfeo (of Linz), the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, and Florilegium. She also enjoys partnerships with the harpsichordist, Lars Ulrik Mortensen, the pianist James Lisney and, her special love, lute song programmes with Anthony Rooley or Jakob Lindberg.
To date, she has appeared in several hundred recordings of all kinds, from sequences of Hildegarde of Bingen to madrigals of the Italian and English Renaissance, cantatas and oratorios of the Baroque, works of Mozart, Haydn and J. C. Bach, and even some 20th century repertoire (Stravinsky and Amy Beach).
In November 2000 Emma received the Order of the British Empire, and in June 2007 was included in the Queen's Birthday Honours List for appointment as a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire. BBC Music Magazine, April 2007, in a recent survey of critics to find “The greatest sopranos”, placed Emma at number 10. While she sees such things as inevitably parochial, partial, controversial, and outdated as soon as they appear, she is pleased at the recognition this implies for an approach to singing that values ensemble, clarity and stillness alongside the more usual factors of volume and display.