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Oliver Webber 


Violin

Theresa Caudle


Violin

Wendi Kelly


Alto Viola

David Brooker 


Tenor Viola

Christopher Suckling


Bass Violin

Bill Hunt   


Violone

David Miller


Chitarrone 

Eligio Luis Quinteiro


Theorbo 

The collective expertise of MSB’s members in repertoire, style and ornamentation has brought exhilaration to performances ranging from intimate madrigals to grand polychoral celebrations for a decade. They have performed in major venues throughout the UK, including a great many performances of Monteverdi’s famous 1610 Vespers, and have enjoyed many fruitful professional collaborations, such as the Birmingham Opera Company’s outstanding Monteverdi cycle with Graham Vick, and the Brighton Festival’s extraordinary 2012 production of the Florentine Intermedii; they regularly collaborate with the English Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble and Passacaglia, and 2014 has seen them explore Buxtehude, Lully and Rameau. Their unique programme “The Madrigal Transformed”, an innovative exploration of madrigals and diminutions with inspiring contemporary readings, also received its debut at the Echi Lontani festival, Sardinia, in 2014; critics described the performance as “the very embodiment of sprezzatura”, “wonderfully vivid and vital”, and “technically superb, but in a highly expressive way”.

Members of MSB also work individually with other pioneering ensembles, including the Gabrieli Consort and Players, The Taverner Consort, The Parley of Instruments, and Abbandonata; they engage in original research on a great variety of topics including ornamentation, historical stringing, organology and continuo realisation. Bringing the fruits of this research to life on the concert platform is a driving force behind their work.

The instruments used by the band are not “Renaissance” violins, but if a label is required it would be “Early Baroque”: instruments modelled on originals from the early decades of the 17th century, rather than the 18th century, when innovations which led the violin away from its origins as a consort instrument transformed its sound into something perhaps more brilliant but less rich and grounded. The use of matching instruments brings a unique sound to the ensemble – as a recent critic wrote, “The MSB’s sound is quite unlike any that of any other ensemble I know that plays this music”.

The coming months bring Venetian festivals in Northern Ireland and Venice, and a project based on the life of Galileo.

More information, photographs and video clips are available on the MSB website (opens in new window).