Emma Kirkby's singing career came as a surprise. As a student of Classics at university she sang a great deal for pleasure – and still does. She works mostly with historical instruments, and has enjoyed long partnerships with British groups: The Academy of Ancient Music, the Consort of Musicke, London Baroque, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Florilegium: and many other ensembles worldwide. In recent years her recordings came to the attention of Classic FM listeners who voted her artist of the year in 1999; and in 2000 she was awarded the Order of the British Empire. 2007 brought further surprises: in April a BBC Music Magazine poll of critics to find the "100 greatest sopranos" put her at no 10; in July she was the subject of a "South Bank Show" on ITV, and in November she became a Dame. Most recently she was awarded the Queen's Medal for Music (2011).
Shocked but delighted by all this, she is glad of the recognition it implies for a way of musicmaking that values ensemble, clarity and stillness above the more usual factors of volume and display, and above all she is grateful for the chance to carry on sharing this marvellous repertoire with likeminded and talented colleagues.
Giles Pilgrim Morris started his singing career as a chorister at Felsted School, Essex, at the age of eleven, and began singing counter-tenor at the age of sixteen under Roger Lawrence.
As a student in London he was taught by Timothy Penrose, and was a Gentleman of the Chapel Royal, Hampton Court Palace. He has since sung with a number of professional church choirs in London, including: the Grosvenor Chapel, Mayfair; St Paul's Church, Knightsbridge; The Guard's Chapel, Wellington Barracks; All Saint's, Margaret Street; and, most recently, St George's Church, Hanover Square (the church at which Handel worshipped). Last year he celebrated the 25th anniversary of his first professional engagement.
Until recently a lay clerk at St Andrew's Cathedral, Aberdeen, Giles will be performing a solo recital there on Saturday 25 June, as part of the weekly 'Cathedral at Noon' series.
The Welsh tenor Malcolm Bennett started his musical career as a chorister at Brecon Cathedral. He studied clarinet at Trinity College of Music in London and then voice privately with Mark Wildman at the Royal Academy of Music and Brian Parsons at The Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Now based in Edinburgh, Malcolm works as a soloist and consort singer throughout Europe and beyond. He regularly performs with Collegium Vocale Gent directed by Philippe Herreweghe, The Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra & Choir directed by Ton Koopman and the Scottish based ensembles Cappella Nova and The Dunedin Consort.
He has taken part in many recording projects including; the complete Bach cantata recordings with The Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra & Choir, Handel’s Messiah & Bach’s Matthew Passion with The Dunedin Consort, Handel’s Dixit Dominus with the Akademie fűr Alte Musik Berlin with Marcus Creed and Motets by James MacMillan with Cappella Nova.
Recent engagements include Mendelssohn’s Lobgesang with The Edinburgh Royal Choral Union and The Scottish Chamber Orchestra at The Usher Hall, Bach cantatas with The Edinburgh based ensemble ‘Sospiro’ and Handel’s Messiah with The Welsh Baroque Orchestra. Future engagements include Purcell’s Dido & Aeneas (sailor) with Collegium Vocale Gent at The Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, a B minor Mass tour of Japan and China, Bach Cantatas at The Festival de Saintes (France) and a tour of Scotland with Cappella Nova.
Roderick Bryce is a native of Edinburgh. He is in much demand as singer, teacher, vocal coach and choral director. He started his musical life as a chorister at St. Mary's Metropolitan Cathedral and went on to study percussion and timpani before graduating in vocal studies from the Ian Tomlin School of Music, Napier University. In addition, he studied singing and conducting at Central Washington University, Seattle. He can be heard regularly on BBC Radio 4 with St Andrew Camerata and often sings with the Dunedin Consort, with whom he has recorded Judas and sung live Christus in Bach’s Mattheus-Passion. Other work with Dunedin Consort has included Bach’s Mass in B-minor at the Belfast International Festival, Bach’s Actus Tragicus and Cantatas by Buxdehude; Handel’s Messiah in Edinburgh and France; Dixit Dominus and Bach’s Motets. Past engagements include Bach Cantatas with Masaaki Suzuki’s Bach Collegium Japan at the Edinburgh International Festival, Faure’s Requiem at the Edinburgh Fringe, Vaughan William’s Sea Symphony with Edinburgh Academy and Scottish music by Carver and Macmillan with Cappella Nova.
He is former Director of Music at St Mary’s Metropolitan Cathedral; St Michael and All Saints Episcopal Church and Deputy Choirmaster for the Edinburgh Military Tattoo. He stepped down as Musical Director of Edinburgh Symphony Baroque to start Sospiro, an ensemble specialising in baroque music. As well as recently being appointed Musical Director for the Scottish Chamber Choir, he is now Chorusmaster of the Erskine Stewart’s Melville Schools Community Choir. Roderick teaches singing for City of Edinburgh Council, Stewart’s Melville College, Strathallan School and Fettes College.
Born in Glasgow, Moira now lives in Aberdeen and performs regularly as a soloist in recitals and concerts throughout the region. She enjoys all musical repertoire but has a special love of opera and operetta and regularly performs at Aboyne Viennese nights.
A trained nurse and midwife, Moira now continues her singing studies at The North East of Scotland Music School (NESMS). She recently sang the Diva role, Carlotta, in Aberdeen Opera Company's Phantom at HMT and is in rehearsal presently for Tayside Opera's Tosca at the Whitehall Theatre, Dundee, in May.
Forthcoming engagements include a Grieg, Mendelssohn recital at Queen's Cross church and guest soloist with Peterhead Choral Society. In this evening’s performance of Bach’s Magnificat, Moira will sing soprano 2 in the trio “Suscepit Israel”.