German violinist Julia Kuhn received the Leverhulme Award to study Baroque Violin with Simon Standage at the Royal Academy of Music in London where she graduated from with distinction in 2011; she’s also holding a degree in modern violin from the University “Mozarteum”, Salzburg. She has been invited to play with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Collegium Musicum 90, Classical Opera, Dunedin Consort, La Nuova Musica, The Wallfisch Band and has been asked to lead ensembles such as the International Baroque Players, Solomon’s Knot and Oxford Baroque. She participated in masterclasses with Reinhard Goebel, Elizabeth Wallfisch, Anner Bylsma, Rachel Podger and the Ensemble Academy of the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra. Julia was a participant of the ‘Ann and Peter Law OAE Experience for young players’ 2011 and has played live on Radio BBC 3. Julia performed at the London Handel Festival, the Händel Festspiele Halle and Göttingen, the Brighton Early Music Festival and took part in the “For Crying out Loud” series at Wigmore Hall.
Isabel Meuser is currently studying baroque violin with Simon Standage at the Royal Academy of Music in London. Previous studies include modern viola with Veronika Hagen-Di Ronza in Salzburg and baroque viola with Pavlo Beznosiuk in The Hague. Isabel is a member of ensembles such as the Wallfisch Band, Solomon’s Knot and Oxford Baroque and has performed under the direction of Gustav Leonhard, John Butt, Sir John Eliot Gardiner and Laurence Cummings. She performs regularly in the Royal Academy of Music Kohn Foundation Bach Cantata Series. She has taken part in masterclasses with Rachel Podger, Kati Debretzeni, Jane Rogers, Elizabeth Wallfisch and Maggie Faultless. In April 2012 Isabel won the “Anthony Lewis Memorial Prize” with the Royal Academy of Music Viol Consort.
Emily Ashton studied music at Clare College, Cambridge, and baroque cello and viola da gamba with Jonathan Manson at the Royal Academy of Music. Since then she has played with many of the country’s leading period instrument ensembles, including the Academy of Ancient Music, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Dunedin Consort, Orchestra of the Sixteen, Ex Cathedra, Gabrieli Consort and Music for Awhile. Whilst a student, she toured with the European Union Baroque Orchestra, directed by Christina Pluhar. Emily recently recorded Brandenburg Concertos 3 and 6 with the Dunedin Consort, and Ward verse anthems with Phantasm and the choir of Magdalen College, Oxford. She has given solo recitals at the Spitalfields Festival and Cotswolds Early Music Festival, and with various chamber groups has performed at venues such as the Wigmore Hall, Handel House and St Martin-in-the-Fields.
Thomas Faulkner studied at Cambridge University and the Royal Academy of Music. Future roles include Dulcamara (L’elisir d’amore) and Messenius (Cristina, regina di Svezia) for Wexford Fesival Opera, and Banquo (Macbeth) for Scottish Opera on Tour. This year’s highlights have included Sarastro in Kit Hesketh-Harvey’s critically acclaimed Magic Flute, and a return to Glyndebourne. Other recent roles include Sarastro for Wexford Festival Opera, Commendatore (Don Giovanni) in southern France, Death (The Emperor of Atlantis), Bartolo (Nozze di Figaro) for British Youth Opera, and Second Armed Man (Magic Flute) for Garsington Opera. He is in demand as a concert soloist in a wide repertoire, from early baroque German motets to Puccini and Britten. He has sung in the Spitalfields and Bregenz festivals, St Johns Smith Square, the Queen Elizabeth Hall, many of England’s Cathedrals, and on BBC radio. He was a member of the Countess of Munster recital scheme.
Rory McCleery, countertenor, began his musical career as a chorister at St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral, Edinburgh under Timothy Byram-Wigfield and Matthew Owens. He gained a double first in music at Oxford University as both Organ and Domus Academic scholar of St Peter’s College, subsequently completing an MSt in Musicology with Distinction in 2009.
Rory is the founder and musical director of The Marian Consort, a solo-voice chamber music ensemble specialising in Renaissance and early Baroque repertoire. He also greatly enjoys working as a soloist and consort singer with specialist early music ensembles including Actus Musicus, The Monteverdi Choir, The Gabrieli Consort, Contrapunctus, The Dunedin Consort, The Tallis Scholars, The Academy of Ancient Music, The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and The Cardinall’s Musick, under conductors including Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Paul McCreesh, John Butt, and Andrew Carwood.
Recent solo performances have included Bach St John and St Matthew Passions; Handel Messiah; Pärt Passio; Purcell songs, Come ye Sons of Art, Ode to St Cecilia and Welcome to All the Pleasures; Monteverdi Vespers of 1610; Croatian early 17th Century music for voice and lute; and Britten Abraham and Isaac in venues across the UK and Europe.
Rory has appeared as a soloist for broadcasts on Radio France, BBC Radio 3 and German and Italian radio, and collaborates as a regular soloist with the Rose Consort of Viols. He studies singing with Giles Underwood.
Rory is currently completing his doctoral research in the French Renaissance composer Jean Mouton at the University of Oxford, and is a freelance academic consultant for many of the ensembles with whom he performs. He is also a firm believer in the importance of vocal and music pedagogy, and is the assistant director of the Oxford Youth Choirs and an academic tutor at Oxford University.
American harpsichordist John McKean encountered his instrument and the field of historical performance in his early youth. In addition to studies at Oberlin Conservatory and the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik in Freiburg, Germany, John has received instruction from some of the greatest modern masters of historic keyboards, including Jesper Christensen, Richard Egarr, and Gustav Leonhardt. He has performed throughout Europe and North America as both a soloist and as a member of numerous ensembles and baroque orchestras, including the Catacoustic Consort, Camerata Vocale Freiburg, Apollo’s Fire, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, and is a founding member of the Habsburger Camerata. Past concert engagements have brought him to the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Philips Collection in Washington D.C., Fondazione Cini in Venice and the Montisi Music Festival in Tuscany, Festwochen Attersee and St. Florian in Austria, the Festival van Vlaanderen in Belgium and the Händel Festspiele in Göttingen, Germany. John’s musical expertise extends beyond the realm of performance to encompass music typesetting, musicology, and instrument building; he regularly performs on his own reconstruction of a 17th century Flemish harpsichord. Alongside his performing career, John is currently pursuing doctoral work in musicology under the supervision at Selwyn College, Cambridge.
Dan Tidhar studied harpsichord performance with Mitzi Meyerson in Berlin and Ketil Haugsand in Cologne. Since coming to Cambridge in 2004 he has combined a busy performance schedule as harpsichordist and organist with research activities, as well as work as a tuner and early keyboard specialist, regularly employed by the Music Faculty, King’s, Trinity, Jesus, and other Cambridge colleges. Dan directed the Cambridge University Baroque Ensemble for several years, and performs as harpsichord soloist and a continuo player with local ensembles as well as internationally renowned ensembles, such as The Kings Consort and Retrospect. He is a member of the Amphion Consort in London and has recently founded Chesterton Baroque as an ensemble in residence at St George’s. Dan has been successfully combining his musical and computational backgrounds in post-doctoral research in Music Information Retrieval and Digital Musicology. He is currently a Research Associate at Wolfson College and a member of the Centre for Music and Science.