The exceptionally talented five (Rebecca Austen-Brown, Katriina Boosey, Louise Bradbury, Sarah Humphrys and Annabel Knight) gave us an evening to remember. One had to marvel at fingerwork, complicated rhythms and timing, and breath control that could make a phrase last beyond belief’
All the members of Fontanella are highly experienced chamber musicians who continue to enjoy successful careers in both performance and educational work. Over the past decade, they have each performed in concerts, festivals and recordings across the world in many different guises, bringing a valuable collective experience to the ensemble.
Since studying the recorder at the Royal Academy of Music, Rebecca has become known as a multi-instrumentalist, adding medieval fiddles, baroque violin and viola, renaissance flute, psaltery, and bagpipes to her collection of instruments. As well as being a founding member of Fontanella and her medieval ensemble Bardos Band, she performs and records with The Sixteen, I Fagiolini, The City Musick, and the Dufay Collective, as well as having appeared as a soloist with the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields, the Britten Sinfonia, The Feinstein Ensemble, La Nuove Musica, and The Orchestra of the Swan. As a session musician, she can be heard on such films as The Hobbit, Les Miserables, and The Grand Budapest Hotel. Rebecca toured with the Globe Theatre’s production, Eternal Love throughout the UK in 2014. She has given lectures and lessons in recorder playing and teaching, medieval music and fiddle at the Royal College of Music, Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Birmingham Conservatoire, Birmingham University, and Oxford University and is in demand as an adjudicator and syllabus writer.
Louise enjoys a rich and varied career as a performer and educationalist, for which she has been elected an associate member of the Royal Academy of Music. With Fontanella and Passacaglia, Louise has enjoyed the privilege of performing, broadcasting and recording in some of the UK and Europe’s leading venues and festivals. Louise’s desire to encourage young recorder players has led to her teaching at the Birmingham Conservatoire, several universities and the junior department of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. She currently teaches at Christ’s Hospital School in West Sussex and is in demand as an adjudicator and examiner. With her husband, Louise is a director of Little Notes, an award-winning education programme for young families.
Sarah Humphrys studied recorder, baroque oboe and shawm at the Royal College of Music and at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis in Basel, Switzerland. Sarah freelances throughout Europe and has performed and recorded with leading period instrument ensembles, such as I Fagiolini, Freiburg Baroque Orchestra, the European Union Baroque Orchestra, the Hanover Band, the King’s Consort, the Gabrieli Consort, St James’ Baroque and Florilegium. She has made many radio and TV broadcasts and recordings for films. Sarah plays regularly at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre where she has also been a musical director. Sarah is a founding member of Ensemble Meridiana, winners of three major international competitions.
Annabel has established a successful performing and teaching career as a recorder player and historical flautist, which has taken her across the UK, Europe and America. She has given recitals at the Wigmore Hall and South Bank and many radio broadcasts and CD recordings, notably with Passacaglia, and the recorder quintet Fontanella. In 2010 she released a solo disc of music by Gordon Jacob on the Naxos label, in collaboration with the Maggini String Quartet, Fontanella and harpsichordist/pianist Robin Bigwood. Annabel enjoys teaching at all levels and has been a syllabus consultant for both the ABRSM and Trinity Guildhall examinations boards. She is the founder and director of the popular Woodhouse Recorder Week and is currently head of recorder at Birmingham Conservatoire.