Mark Keane, director
Dr Mark Keane is the founder and director of the Dublin Consort Singers. A music graduate of Trinity College Dublin and the DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama, he has recently completed doctoral studies at the Royal Irish Academy of Music (Trinity College Dublin) under Blanaid Murphy and Denise Neary, and his dissertation is titled Domestic Sacred Music in Jacobean England: John Amner’s Sacred Hymnes for Voyces and Vyols (1615). Mark gained a Master’s degree in Chant and Ritual Studies at the University of Limerick, and also holds diplomas in organ performance and conducting from Trinity College London, Royal School of Music, Royal College of Organists and London College of Music. A former organ scholar of the National Cathedral of St. Patrick in Dublin, he was appointed organist and director of music at Tuam Cathedral, Ireland, in 2013. He is currently Head of Music at Galway Community College and director of Tribal Chamber Choir. Mark enjoys a solo organ performance career, which has seen him play in St. Andrew’s Cathedral, Sydney; King’s Chapel and Trinity Church, Boston; St Thomas Church, New York; Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart, Newark; St. James’ Cathedral, Toronto; and Westminster Abbey, London. As a conductor, he has worked with the ConTempo Orchestra and DLR Opera Orchestra (Ireland), the Charnwood Symphony Orchestra (UK), the Czech Virtuoso Chamber Orchestra (Austria & Poland), the Wiener Domorchester (Austria), and the internationally acclaimed viol consort Phantasm (Dublin).
Jessica Haig, mezzo-soprano
Jessica Haig is a British mezzo-soprano and freelance arts manager living and working in London. She is a member of St Martin’s Voices, the professional choir at St Martin-in-the-Fields, and is also a regular on the professional London choral circuit, singing in churches such as the Royal Hospital Chelsea, All Saints Margaret Street and St James’ Piccadilly. Jessica was a member of The Sixteen’s prestigious young artist scheme, Genesis Sixteen (2015-16), where she received tutelage from Harry Christophers CBE, Eamonn Dougan and members of The Sixteen. Recent solo credits include: Haydn’s Nelson Mass and Mozart’s Reqiuem with St Martin’s Voices, Brandenburg Sinfonia and Dr Andrew Earis; Frank Martin’s Songs of Ariel and Sir James Macmillan’s Miserere with Schola Cantorum of Oxford and James Burton. Recent choral credits include: J.S. Bach’s Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied with Roderick Williams OBE, J.S. Bach’s Mass in B Minor with John Butt OBE, and Arvo Part’s Magnificat and Seven Antiphons with Tim Reader (all with The Epiphoni Consort and City of London Sinfonia). Recent recording credits include: Will Todd’s Passion Music and Jass Missa Brevis on Signum Records (to be released early 2019); and Sudden Light: choral works by David Bednall on Delphian Records with The Epiphoni Consort directed by Tim Reader.
Louise Prickett, mezzo-soprano
Louise Prickett was born in Brisbane, Australia and gained a Bachelor of Music at the University of Queensland, studying with Mark Jowett. She has appeared as a soloist and consort singer with many prominent Australian ensembles including Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, Cantillation, The Song Company, The Choir of St James’ Church King Street Sydney, The Schola of St Stephen’s Cathedral Brisbane and The Parsons Affayre. Louise appears as a soloist on the discs A Brandenburg Christmas (ABC Classics), Magnificat and Stabat Mater (Vox Foris). In 2011, Louise was awarded a bursary to study with Emma Kirkby at the Dartington International Summer School. In Europe, she has performed and recorded with consorts including Ars Nova, Aurora Nova, Stile Antico, Contrapunctus, Philharmonia Voices, The Hanover Band, Devon Baroque, The Cambridge Singers, Illuminare, the London Choral Sinfonia, Ex Cathedra, the National Chamber Choir of Ireland, the Zurich Sing-Akademie and Polyphony. Louise regularly deps in many London churches and is a regular soprano at St John’s Wood Parish Church. Solo engagements include the Stabat Mater by Dvorak, Handel Dixit Dominus, various Bach cantatas, the Tenebrae Responses by Couperin, the Monteverdi Vespers and Eternal Light by Howard Goodall. Louise has recorded advertisements for Three mobile and T-mobile; movie scores including The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies and The Owls of Ga’hoole; and has appeared on two episodes of Call the Midwife as a singing nun!
Leonora Dawson-Bowling, mezzo-soprano
London-based mezzo-soprano Leonora Dawson-Bowling is a regular concert soloist and sings with groups including the Philharmonia Voices, Oxford Camerata, Ex Cathedra, BBC Singers and Exaudi, and also runs her own vocal ensemble, the Mayfair Mints. Performing in a wide range of projects, Leonora’s recent appearances include performances of Stravinksy’s rarely heard vibrant ballet Les Noces and Shostakovich’s recently discovered unfinished opera Orango at the BBC Proms. She’s also sung in live performances of the original soundtracks at huge screenings of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey and Stephen Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind at the Royal Festival Hall and Royal Albert Hall. Recent solo recitals include Copland’s Twelve Poems of Emily Dickinson, Barber’s Hermit Songs and a range of 20th-century folk songs by Britten, Warlock, Moeran and Vaughan Williams. Leonora has a great penchant for early music and has performed the solos from many of Bach’s cantatas and oratorios and and two recent recitals ‘From Nobleman to Coquette’ and ‘Faith, Fiends and Fate’ featured a range Handel opera and oratorio arias. She has also recorded two CDs with early music group Musica Contexta exploring original tuning and orchestration, and setting down early works, hitherto unrecorded, by Andreas de Silva and Jacques Arcadelt. Leonora also sings regularly with around twenty of London’s professional church choirs including St Paul’s Cathedral, St Bride’s Fleet Street, St Paul’s Knightsbridge, the Royal Hospital Chelsea, St Margaret’s Westminster, St Etheldreda’s and St James’s Spanish Place.
Peter Di-Toro, tenor
Peter Di-Toro began singing when he was a pupil at the London Oratory School where he was a Choral Scholar with the Schola Cantorum, one of the country’s leading liturgical choirs. When studying at the University of East Anglia, Peter was a Choral Scholar at Norwich Cathedral under the direction of David Dunnett and studied singing with David Lowe at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. Also during this time, Peter was a regular member with The Choir of King’s College London and the Rodolfus Choir, with whom he toured many countries around Europe and made a number of recordings. Peter now sings for a number of professional choirs in the UK and abroad including: Collegium Vocale Gent, Dunedin Consort, Polyphony, Ex Cathedra, Voices of Time and Truth, Chamber Choir Ireland and the Cambridge Singers. As soloist, he has sung for the Royal Choral Society, University of Essex Choral Society, Liverpool Cathedral Choir, Norwich School Choral Society, Feltham Choral Society and CORO in works including Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610, Handel’s Messiah, Mozart’s Requiem, Purcell’s King Arthur, Bach’s Magnificat, Orff’s Carmina Burana and Haydn’s Creation. Future engagements include European tours with Collegium Vocale Gent under the direction of Philippe Herreweghe of works including Mendelssohn’s Elijah, CPE Bach’s Die letzten Leiden and concert performances of Philip Glass’s opera, Einstein on the Beach with contemporary music specialists Ictus Ensemble. He will also soon be performing with Polyphony at the Oslo Festival in a programme of music by Arvo Pärt.
Matthew Pochin, tenor
Matthew Pochin began his career as a chorister at Hereford Cathedral, where he later became a choral scholar and lay clerk. He went on to study with Marilyn Rees and Buddug Verona Jones at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, and currently studies privately with Gavin Carr. He has held positions at several churches across the city and currently sings with the choirs of St John’s Wood Parish Church and Belsize Square Synagogue. He also sings regularly with the choirs of HM Chapel Royal, Hampton Court and St Mary-le-Bow in the City of London. Matthew performs as an oratorio and consort soloist across the UK and Europe. Recent engagements include renaissance lieder by Ludwig Senfl with the Linarol Consort of Viols, Serenade for Tenor Horn and Strings (Britten) and Carmina Burana (Orff). He gives regular recitals of romantic lieder and English song, including works by Schubert, Schumann, Strauss, Britten, Finzi and Gurney. Matthew has also recorded for the BBC, performing Nïne otpushchayeshi from Rachmaninoff’s All Night Vigil for a documentary on the composer’s life. He can be heard on the upcoming recording of works by Thomas Tallis for men’s voices with the Gentlemen of HM Chapel Royal, Hampton Court on the Resonus Classics label. Matthew is a founder member and Artistic Director of Scaramella, specialising in music for men’s voices from the renaissance to modern close harmony. He also researches and prepares new performance editions and arrangements for the group.
He is a member of the unique Jewish barbershop group bOYbershop, performing traditional Jewish liturgical music, folksongs as well as close harmony standards and original comedy songs. In recent years the group have released an album of traditional Sephardi and Ladino melodies, toured to Strasbourg for interfaith festivals and have sung for the Chief Rabbi and Holocaust survivors.
Geoff Willams, baritone
Geoff Williams recently graduated from the Royal Academy of Music with a Masters degree with Distinction and continues his studies with Janice Chapman and Gavin Carr. He is an accomplished soloist and sings with some of the top choirs in London such as the BBC singers, Tenebrae, London Voices and Sonoro choir. His recent solo work includes Bach’s St John Passion, Orff’s Carmina Burana and Verdi’s Requiem. Geoff also sings regularly at Westminster Cathedral, Westminster Abbey and St Bartholomew the Great. He is also on the ‘Professional Singers Scheme’ with the Philharmonia Chorus which has enabled him to work with the world’s top conductors including Semyon Bychkov, Christoph von Dohnányi, Vasily Petrenko and Yaron Traub. He made his Operatic debut with Longborough Festival Opera as ‘Domestico’ in La Traviata also covering the ‘Marchese d’Obigny’. Other roles include ‘Don Alfonso’ from ‘Cosi fan tutti’ in a set of opera scenes with the Royal Academy of Music and ‘General Achilla’ from ‘Giulio Cesare’ with Kings College Opera. He has also appeared in high profile events such as Terry Pratchett’s memorial concert at the Barbican and the documentary ‘The Joy of Rachmaninoff’ broadcast on BBC4. More recently he has appeared with the Villiers Quatet in St John’s Smith Sqaure performing Dover Beach by Samuel Barber.
Richard Smith, bass
In 2016, Fretwork celebrated its 30th anniversary. In these last three decades, they have explored the core repertory of great English consort music, from Taverner to Purcell, and made classic recordings against which others are judged. In addition to this, Fretwork have become known as pioneers of contemporary music for viols, having commissioned over 40 new works. The list of composers is like the role call of the most prominent writers of our time: George Benjamin, Michael Nyman, Sir John Tavener, Gavin Bryars, Elvis Costello, Alexander Goehr, John Woolrich, Orlando Gough, Fabrice Fitch, Peter Sculthorpe, Sally Beamish, Tan Dun, Barry Guy, Andrew Keeling, Thea Musgrave, Simon Bainbridge, Poul Ruders, John Joubert, Duncan Druce & Nico Muhly. The group now frequently presents programmes consisting entirely of contemporary music. In 2008, they recorded two tracks on Ryuichi Sakamoto’s album ‘Out of Noise’. They now tour the United States most years, and made their Carnegie Hall debut in February of 2010. In that year, they also curated a week-long concert series of concerts at Kings Place. The culmination of this week was the world premier of ‘The World Encompassed’ by Orlando Gough, a 70-minute piece describing in musical terms Drake’s circumnavigation of the globe in 1577-80.
In 2011, The National Centre for Early Music, in collaboration with the BBC, hosted a competition for young composers to create a four-minute piece for Fretwork. They workshopped the shortlisted pieces at the NCEM in York in October, and then the winning entries were premiered in Kings Place in December 2011. The following year, they premiered ‘My Days’ for The Hilliard Ensemble & Fretwork by one of today’s most exciting young composers – Nico Muhly – in Wigmore Hall; while 2013 was their busiest year for a decade: they played no fewer than ten concerts in London’s major chamber music halls: Wigmore Hall, Kings Place, Cadogan Hall & the Royal College of Music. In 2014 they continued to concentrate on the music of John Dowland with a major tour of the UK with one of todays greatest tenors: Ian Bostridge. They also spent a week in the Britten Studio in Aldeburgh re-working Orlando Gough’s ‘The World Encompassed’, to incorporate a spoken narrative drawn from contemporary accounts. ‘Slow: an In Nomine” by Nico Muhly was premiered in 2015 at Kings Place in London, and they collaborated with celebrated actor Simon Callow in the revised version of The World Encompassed and recorded it for Signum Classics. They celebrated their 30th anniversary with a star-studded concert at Kings Place in June of 2016; and recorded four new albums, including The World Encompassed, and later that year they made their longest tour of America, taking in the USA, Canada & Colombia. In 2018 they performed and recorded a programme celebrating the music of Michael Nyman – who is 75 in 2019 – with the exceptional counter-tenor, Iestyn Davies; and in 2019 they will tour North America with this programme. Also in 2019, they begin a series of concerts at Wigmore Hall presenting the greatest English consort music from the Golden Age – six concerts ranging from Cornyshe to Purcell.
Dr. Mark Keane directs the viol consort Fretwork and the Dublin Consort Singers in a special recording for Rubicon Classics of music by John Amner. Read more about the ensembles and the musical director here.