Our tutors are all experienced professional artists and teachers.
Rebecca Austen-Brown (Junior Day)
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.
Robin Bigwood (accompaniment)
Robin Bigwood is one of the UK’s busiest harpsichordists, performing regularly as a soloist and as a continuo player with Passacaglia, Feinstein Ensemble, London Baroque, The Sixteen, Florilegium and Britten Sinfonia. Robin was brought up near Bristol in the UK, studied harpsichord and piano at the Royal College of Music and won the Broadwood Harpsichord Competition in 1995. In 2009 he became a regular member of the Feinstein Ensemble, and plays with them in their busy series at St Martin in the Fields, London, and recently at the Purcell Room as part of the South Bank Centre’s Bach Weekend. Outside of performing, Robin is passionate about recording technology. He has produced and engineered many successful CDs, and writes regularly for the respected recording magazine, Sound on Sound. He also runs the independent record label, BCR.
Annabel Knight (all courses) studied recorder and flute at the Royal College of Music where she developed a strong interest in early music. She has since established a successful performing and teaching career as a recorder player and historical flautist, which has taken her across the UK, Europe and America, notably with baroque ensemble Passacaglia, the recorder quintet Fontanella, and also with the Maggini String Quartet. She has made a number of CD recordings and has recently had the privilege of performing on a number of film soundtracks including Fantastic Mr Fox and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1. Annabel has been involved with both the ABRSM and Trinity Guildhall examinations boards as a syllabus consultant and was appointed head of the recorder department at Birmingham Conservatoire in 2012. She has been running the Woodhouse Recorder Week summer schools since 2004.
Dan Laurin (Advanced Course)
In recent years the recorder virtuoso Dan Laurin has performed in most parts of the world. Tours to the USA, Japan and Australia as well as appearances in the major European musical centres have confirmed his reputation as one of the most interesting – and sometimes controversial – performers on his instrument. His efforts to rediscover the sonic possibilities of the recorder have resulted in a technical facility and a style of playing that have won him numerous awards including a Swedish Grammy and the Society of Swedish Composers’ prize for the best interpretation of contemporary Swedish music. A lengthy collaboration with the Australian instrument maker Frederick Morgan resulted in a succession of reconstructions of instruments from earlier times, which has greatly enriched the world of recorder music. Besides working with early music, Dan Laurin has also premièred numerous works by Swedish and other composers. His efforts to broaden the repertoire and to gain for the recorder the status of a concert instrument together with a large orchestra has resulted in several concertos that are already considered classics. Dan Laurin is professor of the recorder and teaches at Stockholm’s Royal University College of Music. He is a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music and in 2001 he received the medal ‘Litteris et Artibus’ from the King of Sweden. He is presently working on a dissertation on the history of interpretation and the artist’s processes of decision making.
Amy Whittlesea (Junior Day) graduated from the Royal Academy of Music, London, in 1998, where she was a prizewinner in the William Blake Woodwind Competition, and twice a prizewinner in the Croft Early Music Competition. For many years Amy performed regularly as a member of Trio Tagarela, giving recitals in this country and abroad, including the Aldeburgh Festival, the Cheltenham International Festival, and recitals at the Purcell Room, the Wigmore Hall, and live broadcasts for Radio 3 and Spain’s Radio and TV Catalunia. The trio also gave many educational concerts and workshops for Yehudi Menuhin’s ‘Live Music Now’ scheme, and wrote a Tudor musical ‘Trouble at the Tudor Banquet’ published by Starshine Music. Amy is the recorder teacher and Baroque ensemble coach at Wells Cathedral School, Latymer Upper School and Leweston School.