Fontanella performing on sixteenth-century style consort instruments

Featuring four of the UK’s leading professional recorder players, Fontanella entertains audiences of all ages with a musical repertoire spanning more than seven hundred years. Performing on an array of recorders of every shape and size, from a beautiful 15-piece renaissance consort, to a set of quirky Paetzold ‘square’ basses, our concert programmes typically feature many styles of music, from early court dances and renaissance polyphony through to jazz arrangements, folk music sets and intriguing modern works by living composers.

The group has a long history of performing, broadcasting and recording across Britain and Europe, entertaining audiences at specialist early music venues, music clubs and festivals alike. The individual members of the ensemble also all have diverse and busy performing careers, ranging from working with ensembles including the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and The Sixteen, appearing in film and TV recordings, performing with leading historical chamber music ensembles and working with electronic music. In 2021 the group featured in Channel 4’s show ‘8 out of 10 Cats does Countdown’.

Working as a quintet, their two CD recordings, Woods So Wild (BCR 014) and The Nightingale’s Response (BCR 015) together form a collection of music on the theme of birdsong and nature over the past seven centuries. Both albums are available widely online and from

Individual Biographies

Rebecca Austen-Brown

Since studying at the Royal Academy of Music and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Rebecca has been recognised for her work as a performer on recorders and early string instruments with an ARAM. She has recorded and toured with many ensembles; most recently The Sixteen, Glydebourne Touring Opera, the Dufay Collective, The City Musick, I Fagiolini, the CBSO, La Nuova Musica and L’Arcangelo. She has toured with Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and the Young Vic, and as a regular film session musician can be heard on soundtracks including The Hobbit, Les Miserables, Grand Budapest Hotel, Mary Queen of Scots and del Torro’s Pinocchio. Rebecca teaches at the Royal College of Music Junior Department, and is passionate about teaching at every level and age group. She is head of recorder and syllabus writer at the MTB exam board, and is in demand both as an external examiner in UK Conservatoires and as regular guest adjudicator in the UK and Hong Kong.

Louise Bradbury

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 in some of the UK and Europe’s leading venues and festivals. She has broadcast on numerous occasions on BBC Radio 3, Classic FM and BBC TV including providing baroque music for Mark Gatiss’s “Martin’s Close” on BBC Four. Louise is supported by the Royal Philharmonic Society Enterprise Fund in association with Harriet’s Trust. Louise’s desire to encourage young recorder players has led to her teaching at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, several universities and the Junior Department of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. In addition to performing, Louise is director of Little Notes, providing music workshops for families across the UK and in Amsterdam.

Sarah Humphrys

Sarah specialises in renaissance and baroque music and enjoys a varied career as a soloist, chamber musician, orchestral player and teacher. She performs throughout Europe with her three chamber groups – Fontanella Recorder Quartet, Ensemble Meridiana and City Musick. Sarah also records and plays regularly in venues all over the world with period instrument ensembles such as the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, the Gabrieli Consort, the Early Opera Company, the Sixteen, La Nuova Musica and the English Concert. Sarah has performed as a principal player in seasons at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre since 2003 on shows such as Richard Ill with Mark Rylance, Nell Gwyn with Gemma Arterton and Emilia. She also worked with Damon Albarn on his opera Dr Dee. Sarah has played on soundtracks including Shrek 3 and Wolf Hall. Sarah is an experienced teacher and holds posts as recorder and baroque oboe teacher at the Purcell School where she also coaches baroque ensembles. 

Annabel Knight

Annabel performs regularly on recorder and historical flutes, particularly in the field of early chamber music, with a number of ensembles including Passacaglia and Fontanella. As a freelance player she has recorded for film and TV soundtracks and has more recently explored the wonderful world of wind synthesizer as part of the group Art of Moog. Annabel is currently head of the recorder department at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and runs the annual Woodhouse Recorder Courses; she also regularly coaches for the National Youth Recorder Orchestras (NYRO) and Recorders for All. Annabel is a keen music arranger, an interest which has now grown into an online sheet music business, AK Music, offering arrangements of early music, jazz and pop for recorder ensembles.

‘From the first note of the concert by Fontanella, it was clear that these musicians were at the top of the performing tree…’