Vice President – Dame Emma Kirkby
Dame Emma Kirkby studied classics at Oxford (Somerville College) and became a teacher with no expectations of becoming a professional singer. She sang for pleasure in choirs and small groups and was a founder member of the Taverner Choir and was most at home with Renaissance and Baroque repertoire. She took part in recordings with the Academy of Ancient Music ant a time when most college-trained sopranos were not seeking a sound appropriate for early music instruments.
She built long term relationships with chamber groups and orchestras, particularly London Baroque, the Freiburger Barockorchester and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and now with some of the younger groups, the Palladian Ensemble and Florilegium. She has made well over a hundred recordings of all kinds from madrigals of the Italian and English Renaissance, Bach and other cantatas and oratorios. In 1999 she was voted Artist of the Year by Classic FM listeners and in 1997 was appointed DBE. Despite all her recording activity, Dame Emma prefers live concerts, especially the pleasure of performing favourite programmes with colleagues.