Denner EnsembleThe Denner Ensemble is rapidly establishing itself at the forefront of the early music scene
Since its formation in 2001, the Denner Ensemble has had nothing but praise for its uplifting, energetic and engaging performances from music clubs, theatres, museums and festivals throughout the United Kingdom. The Music Ensemble are inspired by the famous Besozzi brothers who performed music for oboe and bassoon to great critical acclaim throughout Europe in the 18th Century, the Denner Ensemble was formed to re-establish this and other neglected double-reed repertoire composed by and for some of the most celebrated masters of the 18th century oboe and bassoon.
At The Forefront of The Early Music Scene
Specializing in historically informed interpretations and using copies of 18th century instruments including those of the famed woodwind maker Jacob Denner, (son of Johann Christoph Denner) the Denner Ensemble is rapidly establishing itself at the forefront of the early music scene with its thrilling, informative and exuberant performances. Programs include concertos, quintets, quartets and sonatas from the Baroque to the Classical period with strings, and other woodwinds as required. Flexible in line-up, the Denner Ensemble’s core members, Mark Baigent (oboe), Nathaniel Harrison (bassoon), Ben Sansom (violin), Rebecca Prosser (recorder) and Karen Glen (harpsichord), are highly experienced chamber, solo and orchestral musicians regularly working in the UK’s leading period instrument groups including the English Baroque Soloists, the Sixteen, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, and the King’s Consort.
studied recorders with Ross Winters and Ashley Solomon at the Royal College of Music. She also studied baroque violin with Catherine Mackintosh and Rachel Podger and piano with David Ward. After winning an Exhibition in her first year she subsequently became a scholar and also won an award from the Countess of Munster Musical Trust. In her final year she won the Century prize for Early Music and was a member of one of the prize-winning ensembles in the International Early Music competition held in York. Further success was also seen in the BBC Young Artists Forum and this led to many appearances in Festivals throughout the UK and broadcasts on BBC radio 3.
Throughout her career Rebecca has performed with many of the leading period instrument orchestras and ensembles including The English Concert, Kings Consort, Gabrielli Consort and Players, and Florilegium. With many of these groups she has toured throughout Europe and the Far East and appeared as both soloist and orchestral player in many prestigious festivals and venues. She has recorded as a soloist for the American Boy Choir in the USA and has featured on soundtracks for film and BBC television. She can frequently be seen playing with the Feinstein Ensemble in St Martins in the Field, Trafalgar Square.
Rebecca has enjoyed a busy teaching career and now teaches at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Bath Spa and Bristol University. She is an examiner with ABRSM and is often asked to adjudicate competitions and acts as an external specialist examiner for conservatoire exa
Karen Glen (harpsichord) started out as a viola player and pianist reading French and Music at Southampton University and the University of Rouen. Studying in Paris she fell in love with the harpsichord and returned to pursue this, first with Virginia Pleasants, then at the Royal Academy of Music with Virginia Black and John Toll, and afterwards with Maggie Cole.
She works as a freelance continuo player with orchestras and choirs, both baroque and modern, in the UK and Europe and continues to do session work on piano, harpsichord and keyboards. She is also involved in music education; this includes private tuition, workshops with the OAE and lecture recitals for English Heritage.
Nathaniel Harrison began playing the bassoon at the age of 13. He studied in London at the Royal College of Music and subsequently at the Hochschule für Musik und darstellende Kunst in Vienna. He is a former member of both the Kent County Youth Orchestra and the European Community Youth Orchetra. After a number of years playing full-time in Germany with the Städtisches Orchester Trier and then in the Netherlands with firstly Het Brabants Orkest in ‘s-Hertogenbosch then with Het Gelders Orkest in Arnhem he returned to a freelance career in the UK. Since then his work has been mainly focused on period instrument performance although he continues to work as a modern player. He is principal bassoon with the London Handel Orchestra but has also appeared with the King’s Consort, the Gabrieli Consort,the Sixteen,Ex Cathedra and, more recently, with Barokkanerne,Oslo. He was also involved in Sir John Eliot Gardiner’s Bach Cantata Pilgrimage project in 2000.His bassoon is a copy by Leslie Ross of an original instrument by Heinrich Scherer of around 1730 in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum,New York. He is a founder member of the Denner Ensemble and lives in London.
Mark Baigent performs contemporary music with his chamber group Pipers 3 who have broadcast on BBC Radio 3 & Classic FM, and regularly freelances with this country’s leading period orchestras including The Kings Consort, the English Baroque Soloists with whom he undertook the epic ‘Bach Pilgrimage’ in 2000 and Orchestre Revolutionnaire et Romantique who under Sir John Eliot Gardiner has performed Berlioz to Stravinsky. As a chamber musician Mark has also given performances of the Mozart and Beethoven octets with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.
Kate Aldridge of the Denner Ensemble studied at the Royal College of Music with Peter Buckoke. During this time she won places on both the OAE and the LSO String Schemes. Further Postgraduate study in Historical Performance was taken with Chi-chi Nwanoku at the Royal Academy of Music, supported by a Winifred Disney Award, where Kate graduated with distinction.
Kate is now a busy freelancer working in the UK and abroad with many period ensembles including Gabrieli Consort, Retrospect Ensemble, Academy of Ancient Music, Les Siecles, Cafe Zimmerman and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.
William Hunt of the Denner Ensemble graduated from Cambridge university in modern languages and law, took post-graduate early music studies at the Guildhall School of Music and subsequently studied the viol with Wieland Kuijken. After being a member of the chamber ensemble London Baroque for several years, in 1985 he became a founder member of the viol consort Fretwork, which is widely acclaimed for its international concert activity and many recordings. He has played viol and violone with many of the leading period instrument ensembles in England and has also held teaching posts at various times with many of the music conservatories, including the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, The Royal Academy of Music, the Royal College of Music and Birmingham Conservatory. He is now increasingly occupied with running Fretwork Editions, a specialist publisher of music for viols.
David Hatcher of the Ensemble Group studied viola da gamba with Charles Medlam and rennaissance wind instruments with Philip Thorby at Trinity College of Music, London. In 1987 he moved to Japan where he was to remain for the next nine years, taking an active part in that country’s flourishing early music scene. There he founded the viol consort “Chelys”, with the three principle viola da gamba players of Japan, going on to perform and record both as a soloist, with Chelys and in association with other leading Japanese ensembles and visiting artists including Evelyn Tubb, Sprezzatura, and the Japanese ensembles “Ensemble Ecclesia” and the “Bach Collegium of Japan.” He has also appeared on NHK (Japanese national television) in the classic historical docu-soap ‘Taiga Drama’, watched by millions of Japanese, and his recordings with Anthony Rooley’s Consort of Musicke, Evelyn Tubb and Bach Collegium of Japan and I Fagiolini are regularly broadcast on BBC Radio. In fact, his music appearances include performing with Fretwork and the Dunedin Consort in the Edinburgh Festival 2011, consort songs with Dame Emma Kirkby, the recording of Striggio’s 40-part mass with Robert Hollingworth and in Damon Albarn’s new opera for the Manchester International Festival 2011, “Dr Dee”, with a small ensemble of period instrumentalists and the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, since recorded for EMI.
Ben Sansom plays violin in The Denner Ensemble and completed his Masters Degree in Architecture at the Royal College of Art before crossing Kensington Gore to study Baroque Violin at the Royal College of Music with Catherine Mackintosh and Andrew Manze.
Since then his one-handed playing has taken him all over the world with many of the leading period-instrument orchestras and exciting new chamber groups.
Ben has broadcast as a soloist on BBC Radio 3 and France Musique, and plays a violin of 1710, made in the very heart of Paris (within a stone’s throw of the Palais du Louvre) by one of the top luthiers of 18th-century France, Jacques Bocquay. A small renaissance violin, and a big baroque viola often vie for his attention too!
Buy the New CD on Amazon
A recently released debut CD, ‘The profound, the sublime and the frivolous, brings together some of the Denner’s favorite concert repertoire of the past ten years in a collection of music that mixes the French and Italian styles, from the early days of the baroque oboe and bassoon in Versailles to the rich and virtuosic music of the later baroque. To buy a CD click here! Also available to listen to and download on iTunes, Spotify and Amazon.
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