Jeremy Brooker has been at the forefront of the contemporary revival of interest in the baryton, and has been widely praised for his mastery of self-accompanied baryton playing. He is one of only a handful of performers who have attempted to revive this lost art in modern times. He is a founder member of the International Baryton Society, and has published new editions of original music and various papers on aspects of the instrument's history.
Following a concert by the Hauschka Ensemble in Eisenstadt, in the very room where Haydn might have heard his baryton music performed for the first time, he was honoured by the presentation of a baryton built for Alfred Lessing, one of the great pioneers of the post-war years. This has allowed him to explore the 18th and 19th century repertoire for the instrument. A third instrument, a unique 3-manual baryton designed to play some of the 17th century repertoire, will be completed early next year.
In addition to performing original repertoire on appropriate instruments, Jeremy Brooker has inspired many composers to write new music for him. Works by Stephen Gibson and the distinguished British composer Stephen Dodgson are featured on the acclaimed CD Rare Birds. He recently gave the first performance of Honeymoon Sky, a work for baryton, sitar and strings, at the Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool, with members of the Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.
Other innovative projects include regular collaborations viola d'amore player and composer Rachel Stott (as the Ariosti Ensemble), and with Sarangi virtuoso Surinder Sandhu in Saurang, a unique fusion of classical Indian and Western Baroque improvisation and composition. The Sarangi is a classical Indian instrument, which features three gut strings played with the bow and 40 sympathetic strings. The unusual playing technique, by which the player stops the strings with the cuticles rather than the fingertips, perfectly matches the subtle inflexions of the human voice. For further information, contact www.saurang.co.uk
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The Hauschka Ensemble
24 Holmesdale Road
London N6 5TQ
International Baryton Society
Recordings by Jeremy Brooker
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