2022 LEMF Artists
Pilar Almalé, Ancór Choir, Caranzalem, Caoimhe de Paor, The Dublin Viols, Emma English, Elena Escartín, Lydia Gosnell, Sarah Groser, Rory Lynch, Cecilia Madden, Miriam Monaghan, Kevin Neville, Palisander, Andrew Robinson, Jenny Robinson, Lucy Robinson, Malachy Robinson, Teresa Wrann.
Pilar Almalé is a multifaceted artist dedicated to music and painting who strives to combine her two passions. She graduated in Fine Arts at the University of Seville (2015), while training in viola da gamba in several conservatories throughout Spain, graduating in 2019 from the Superior Conservatory of Music in Vigo where she studied with Sara Ruíz. As a performer, Pilar has collaborated with many musicians, including with Elena Escartín in their ensemble Caranzalem, with piper Carlos Núñez (2018), Viajeros Medievales conducted by Aziz Samsaoui (2017) and the Orquesta del Pórtico de la Gloria (2017), under the direction of Jordi Savall and Carlos Núñez, among others. Pilar continues to develop as a concert performer with her trio of violas da gamba Ceci n’est pas Baroque as well as her personal project Almalé, led by guitarist Ernesto Cossío. In 2020 Pilar gave her first solo exhibition of Melifluo, a series of 46 paintings in oil and collage, linking her expressions in visual art and sound together with an opening solo concert on viola da gamba.
Ancór Chamber Choir was founded in 2005 by conductor Cecilia Madden and has become one of the most exciting musical ensembles to emerge from the Mid-West region. Today, the choir consists of thirty singers who come from a variety of backgrounds and nationalities but who love singing together. They perform at concerts, weddings, charitable and corporate events on a regular basis.
Ancór embraces a wide repertoire, incorporating music from the Renaissance to the 21st century, both sacred and secular. The choir has won numerous awards at festivals around Ireland and currently holds the title of Best Limerick Choir 2020 (Limerick Choral Festival). Recent tours have included Slovenia (2017), Italy (2014) and France (2012). ancorchoir.com
Caranzalem is an ensemble co-directed by viola da gamba player Pilar Almalé and recorder player Elena Escartín. Both artists were born and raised in Zaragoza in the north of Spain, and they both studied in the southern city of Seville. However, they did not cross paths until the summer of 2013 while in India, where they met and played together for the first time. Upon returning to Spain, a friendship developed between them that continues its musical journey through new worlds. Caranzalem takes its name from a neighbourhood in the city of Panaji, capital of the Indian state of Goa.
Caoimhe de Paor
Caoimhe de Paor began her musical studies at the Limerick School of Music, where she was taught by Maria O’Brien. She continued her studies on recorder and clarinet under Elizabeth Jones in the Cork School of Music, from where she received her B.Mus before moving to London for a Masters in Performance from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. She has studied with Ian Wilson, Robert Ehrlich, Pamela Thorby (GSMD) and Elizabeth Jones (CSM), and has participated in masterclasses with Kees Boeke, Karl van Steenhoven, Piers Adams, Sebastien Marq, Dan Laurin, Drora Bruck and Eric Bosgraaf. As well as achieving a number of successes in competitions in Ireland and the UK, Caoimhe has performed as a chamber musician and soloist in prominent events and venues, including Wigmore Hall (Chamber Tots series), Wilton’s Music Hall, Handel and Hendrix Museum, Crypt of Mont St. Michel, Royal Greenwich International Early Music Festival, East Cork Early Music Festival, St. Barrahane’s Festival of Music, Tel-Aviv Early Music Seminar (Israel), World Forum on Music (Brisbane) and London Handel Festival. She has also appeared alongside the Britten-Pears Baroque Orchestra and the Academy of Ancient Music, as part of their AMMplify scheme. Most recently, she has given the Irish premiere of Richard Harvey’s Concerto Incantato with the UL orchestra, recorded for The New York Times Conception series and performed live on BBC Radio 3 ‘In Tune’ with her quartet Palisander.
The Dublin Viols
The Dublin Viols was formed in 1980 as an offshoot of The Consort of St Sepulchre, Dublin’s all-singing, all-playing, all-dancing Renaissance band of the 1970s. Andrew Robinson, one of The Consort of St Sepulchre’s co-directors, formed The Dublin Viols to continue promoting the genre in a more specialised way. They play music of the late Renaissance, mostly by English composers of the sixteenth and early seventeenth century — a time when England was still in the European premiere league of musical invention.
Emma English, soprano, teaches in the vocal department at Limerick School of Music. She began her musical education in C.J. Kickham Brass Band, Tipperary, where her chosen instrument was trumpet. She began her vocal training under Sr. Peter Cronin at NUI Maynooth while pursuing an Honours B.Mus. degree, with which she was conferred in 1997. She received a Graduate Diploma in Music Technology from DIT Conservatory of Music in 1998 and was awarded a Fellowship in Classical Vocal recital by London College of Music in 2008. Emma studied singing under Marie Walshe (Cratloe, Co. Clare), and studied with Barbara Bonney, Professor of Vocal Studies at the Mozarteum in Salzburg.
Emma has collaborated with Ancór on many occasions including recent performance of the Magnificat settings by both J.S. and C.P.E. Bach and on tour with the choir in Slovenia in 2017. Ancór are delighted to welcome her back to perform with the choir today for the Limerick Early Music Festival.
Emma has a love/hate relationship with chocolate, lives in connubial bliss among the rolling pastures of Tipperary, and is a doting mother to one son.
Elena Escartín (recorder) received her training at the conservatories of Zaragoza and Seville with Joan Miró, Anna Margules and Vicente Parrilla. Her passion for the instrument has led her on an endless journey to expand knowledge and training at the hands of great teachers such including Guillermo Peñalver, Fernando Paz, Han Tol, Pierre Hamon, and Michael Form. Her interest in music from all ages led her to found the flute consort Vox Tremula and to be part of Baroque, Renaissance, Medieval and Mediterranean music projects. Among them is her activity as a member of the Medieval music group Aquitania, with which she regularly performs at concerts and festivals throughout the peninsula, and Caranzalem with Pilar Almalé. Aware of the educational value of the recorder, she combines her artistic activity with pedagogical and training programmes in academies and schools, musical storytellers and, recently, with a project in Goa (India) supported by the University of Seville on social development through music.
Lydia Gosnell: As well as performing as part of Palisander, Lydia enjoys working as the Administrator for the quartet. Having gained a distinction from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Lydia has given performances in The Stone Forest, Yunnan and The Xinghai Conservatoire, Guangdong in China, The National Gallery, Open Recorder Days, Amsterdam, as well as premiered a piece written for The Barbican’s Silent Film Festival. She has performed in venues such as Wilton’s Music Hall, Kings Place, St Martin-in-the-Fields, Milton Court Concert Hall and the Globe Theatre and The London Handel Festival. Lydia shared the excitement of the Olympic Opening and Closing Ceremonies, having been selected to perform primarily as a drummer! Lydia has given performances with Southern Sinfonia, The Amadé Players, Les Bougies Baroques and Eboracum Baroque orchestras, the Academy of Ancient Music, both as a recorder player and historical flautist. She currently teaches at the Centre for Young Musicians, a division of the Guildhall School.
Sarah Groser first played the viola da gamba as a child, encouraged by her viol-playing father, whilst waiting to start on the cello. She concentrated on the cello until her late teens when she heard viols playing in consort, and was captivated by the sound. At Manchester University she was able to study both Baroque cello and viol with Charles Medlam of London Baroque, and continued on to Rotterdams Conservatorium to study Baroque cello with Jaap ter Linden. Later she had lessons with Jordi Savall as an external student at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis. Since her studies, Sarah has concentrated on the viol, and more recently the violone. She was a member of the Rose Consort of viols for 15 years and of Sonnerie under Monica Huggett for three years. She has also played with London Baroque, Fretwork, Charivari Agreable, and the Dowland Consort. In 2001 Sarah moved from England to West Cork, Ireland, where she is in frequent demand as both a solo bass viol player and as a continuo player. In Ireland, she has played with The Irish Baroque Orchestra, the IBO Concert Soloists, Camerata Kilkenny, Morisca, The Orchestra of St Cecilia, Madrigal 75, and as a duo with Sarah Cunningham.
Rory is a Dublin based tenor and recent graduate of Trinity College Dublin and the Royal Irish Academy of Music where he studied Music Education and received vocal tuition from Dr Veronica Dunne and Dr Imelda Drumm.
He is an experienced choral singer, currently employed as a Lay Vicar Choral in St Patrick’s Cathedral Dublin and is embarking on his first year as a member of Chamber Choir Ireland. He has recent engagements with top Irish ensembles such as Resurgam Choir, Sestina Music and Tonnta Music. He is also a member of the newly formed Passio Vocal Ensemble who will perform their first programme of contemporary choral music in 2022. As a soloist he was recently awarded the O’Mara Cup at the 2021 Feis Ceoil and in 2019 performed Mendelssohn’s Die Erste Walpurgisnacht and Christus with Dublin University Choral Society.
Cecilia Madden is a native of Limerick where she directs Ancór Chamber Choir and is Deputy Principal of Limerick School of Music. Cecilia read Music and History at Trinity College Dublin to MPhil level where she was awarded a double exhibition for her studies. In parallel with her academic studies she sang as a Choral Scholar and later conducted the Chapel Choir and University Orchestra at Trinity while she also studied Oboe Performance at DIT Conservatory of Music. Further focus in Choral Conducting at the Berlin Hochschule für Musik followed where she also sang with the three choirs of Berlin Cathedral. Since returning to Ireland, Cecilia has conducted several other choirs and continued her studies at postgraduate level in Music Education and Educational Leadership & Management at the University of Limerick and NUI Maynooth respectively. As well as conducting and performing regularly as a recorder player, oboist and pianist, Cecilia also sings as an ensemble singer, recently becoming a founding member of Sagittarius Hiberniensis under the direction of Peter Barley at St Mary’s Cathedral, Limerick.
Miriam Monaghan is the Programming Director and Researcher for Palisander. She is the first recorder player to be profiled in BBC Music Magazine’s Rising Star: Great Artists of Tomorrow feature, and was asked by Classic FM to give a recorder lesson to former Top Gear presenter, James May. She studied to postgraduate level at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. As a soloist, Miriam won a City Music Foundation Award in their inaugural year, and a Help Musician’s UK Postgraduate Performance Award. She has been a finalist and prize winner in numerous competitions in London and has appeared as a soloist alongside numerous ensembles: including the English Chamber Orchestra, New London Orchestra, Britten-Pears Baroque Orchestra and the Oxford Bach Soloists. Recital highlights include the City of London Festival in ‘The Recorder of London’; and appearing as the soloist for Vivaldi’s Four Seasons alongside Eboracum Baroque in 2018–19.
Kevin Neville is a bass singer who performs as a soloist of sacred and secular repertoire, including art song, lieder, oratorio and opera. He is originally from Limerick City where he began his studies in voice with Olive Cowpar. He completed his BA (Hons) in Music and English Literature at Trinity College Dublin and his MMus under the tutelage of Emmanuel Lawler at the Conservatory of Music and Drama D.I.T. He now studies with Kathryn Harries. Kevin has won numerous competitions throughout Ireland and has sung in masterclasses for Sir Thomas Allen, Patricia Bardon, Iain Burnside, Brenda Hurley, Dame Felicity Lott and Ingrid Surgenor. Major prizes include the Limerick Senior Singing Bursary, The Christopher Lynch Award, The Capuchin Cup and the Lieder Prize. He made his debut in 2018 with Irish National Opera as Schlemihl in Offenbach’s The Tales of Hoffmann. He made his debut at the Blackwater Valley Opera Festival as The Regent in Balfe’s The Sleeping Queen in 2019 and went on to play the role again at the Mananan International Festival of Music & the Arts. Also in 2019 he sang the role of Official Registrar in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly with INO. In 2020, Kevin created the role of George Hare in a research and development project for the Arts Council Ireland called No. 2 Pery Square by Fiona Linnane for Opera Workshop Limerick and will reprise this role in 2022. Kevin is a grateful recipient of Arts Council bursaries.
Palisander is a recorder quartet that prides itself on presenting imaginative, historical programmes with a wide range of repertoire, performing largely from memory on recorders up to 6 feet tall. Comprised of alumni from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Palisander has quickly established itself as a vibrant ensemble that devises their own choreography, writes new compositions and unique arrangements for the ensemble, and are keen ambassadors for the recorder’s versatility. Palisander was selected for the prestigious Emerging European Ensembles’ Scheme 2019–21, providing the group with residencies, training and performance opportunities across Europe. Winners of the 2018 London International Exhibition of Early Music’s inaugural chamber music competition, the group was awarded a Golden Medal in the Manhattan International Music Competition 2019. Palisander has performed at Newbury Spring Festival, Cheltenham Music Festival, London Festival of Baroque Music, London Fashion Week, and they have toured Scotland, Ireland, France, Italy, Greece, Japan and Russia. Their debut album “Beware the Spider!” was self-released in 2017 and received a 4 star review from BBC Music Magazine. The quartet have featured on radio and were thrilled to be the partner ensemble of the National Centre for Early Music’s Young Composer Award 2020 in collaboration with BBC Radio 3. Palisander enjoys giving family concerts and educational workshops, including the prestigious Live Music Now scheme, and as featured artists in Wigmore Hall’s Chamber Tots series. The group has recently been awarded another Arts Council England grant to tour “Recorder Revolution!” which brings interactive, educational performances to schools and music venues across England.
Andrew Robinson studied viola da gamba and chamber music with José Vázquez. He has directed The Consort of St Sepulchre and The Dublin Viols, and played the viola da gamba solos in Bach’s Passions under John Beckett and Killian Farrell. He has taught in the Royal Irish Academy of Music and the DIT Conservatory (now TU Dublin).
Jenny Robinson is a recorder player featured in many groups including The Consort of St Sepulchre and The Dublin Viols, and she has played concertos with The RTÉ Concert Orchestra, The Irish Chamber Orchestra and The Irish Baroque Orchestra. She has taught in the Royal Irish Academy of Music and the DIT Conservatory (now TU Dublin).
Lucy Robinson began playing and performing on the viol as a teenager, learning with her uncle Andrew and has played with many wonderful musicians and diverse groups since then, including The Consort of St.Sepulchre, The Dublin Viols, Seanma, Irish Chamber Orchestra, Irish Baroque Orchestra, Anúna, Alchemy and Crux. She has performed all over Ireland at Early music festivals in Belfast, Dublin, Lismore, Galway, Sligo and Cork and many other venues around the country. Lucy is also a weaver and an artist.
Malachy Robinson is a dedicated chamber musician. Principal double-bass with the Irish Chamber Orchestra, he is also a founder member of the Irish Baroque Orchestra, and has appeared with many period-instrument orchestras including the Academy of Ancient Music, the Sixteen, the OAE and the English Concert. Malachy is a prize-winning graduate of London’s Guildhall School of Music with a Masters degree in Historical Musicology from the University of London. As a continuo viol player, he has performed with Armoniosa, Trio Quattro, Camerata Kilkenny, the Earley Musicke Ensemble, St James’ Baroque, Chamber Choir Ireland and Sestina. His early music training was from his father Andrew, whose consort, the Dublin Viols, he is proud to be a member of. His viol is by René Slotboom, Utrecht. www.malachyrobinson.com
After graduating her studies in Austria with distinction (BA), Teresa Wrann moved to London in 2017 where she graduated from her Master’s Degree (MPerf/MMus) in 2019 and is currently completing her Artist Diploma degree at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama.Teresa has enjoyed various competition successes across Europe. She was a multiple awardee at the nationwide competition “Prima la Musica” (AT) in solo and chamber music categories and the “Youth Music Competition Schiers” (CH) and has participated in the ORDA competition in Amsterdam(NL). She was also invited twice to perform as a soloist with the orchestra of the VLK as well as the Symphonic Wind Orchestra Vorarlberg and was part of the talent concert schemes of the Austrian national broadcasting corporation, ORF and the “Podium Konzerte”, where she played for the Princess of Liechtenstein. Having experience as a soloist as well as a chamber musician, Teresa is part of the internationally acclaimed recorder quartet Palisander as well as Baroque chamber ensemble Apollo’s Cabinet. She has performed at prominent venues and events including St.Martin-In-The-Fields, Blackheath Halls, V&A Museum, Milton Court, Apothecaries Hall, Moncorthaus Feldkirch & Kulturhaus Dornbirn (AT), with the English National Opera, at the London Handel Festival, the Brighton Early Music Festival, the Open Recorder Days Amsterdam and OudeMuziek Festival Fringe (NL).