Since starting at the Royal Scottish Conservatoire, I have dutifully followed everyone’s advice for most of my time at college: working on technique consolidation on modern cello (an £800 Czech instrument with a modern steel string set up).
Whilst I have enjoyed the music of Martinů, Rachmaninov, and Bridge, my heart really truly leaps at the music of Bach, Zelenka, and Corelli. I was first introduced to renaissance and baroque music as a chorister at Jesus College, Cambridge, and the formalities, textures, intimacies of that music really fire me up. This has been kindled by the subtleties and challenges afforded by a baroque/classical bow on gut strings.
As a continuo cellist, I have played with Alison Bury and Neil McLaren, and for Lawrence Zazzo in Handel’s Messiah. I have pursued HIP at RCS, and now have 50% of my lessons with Robert Irvine (modern) and 50% with David Watkin and Alison McGillivray. I won a prize playing Martinů and Beethoven, and I regularly play continuo for singers in RCS. Last year, I set up my own baroque ensemble (Avra Ensemble) to play a range of music (Strozzi, Handel, Bach and many others). We performed a HIP version at A415Hz of a CPE Bach cello concerto for my 3rd year final recital and this year we are planning a series of Haydn quartet recitals and baroque trio sonatas. I am also planning a number of recitals with singers and instrumentalists in which I will play continuo. Further to this and inspired by the likes of the Chiaroscuro and the Consone Quartets, I am setting up a historically-informed quartet, which will play classical to early romantic repertoire on historical instruments with historical bows.