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"Necessity is the mother of invention." - Frank Zappa

Richard Boothby

Richard Boothby has been playing the viol ever since David Fallows handed him a tenor viol in 1977. He was trying to help him with a thesis entitled ‘Wagner’s Ring and its tonality’ at Manchester University. After further study with Nikolaus Harnoncourt in Salzburg, he helped to found The Purcell Quartet in 1984 and Fretwork in 1985.
He has endeavoured to enrich the viol-consort repertory with new music from today’s finest composers, from Elvis Costello to George Benjamin, from Alexander Goehr to Nico Muhly. With the Purcell Quartet, he recorded nearly 50 albums for Hyperion and Chandos; and with Fretwork over 40 albums for Virgin Classics, Harmonia Mundi USA and most recently, Signum Classics.
He has arranged and transcribed much of the great keyboard music of JS Bach for viols, which were recorded under the title Alio Modo; and then his arrangement of the Goldberg Variations was recorded by Fretwork. In 1998 he directed performances of Monteverdi’s L’Incoronazione di Poppea with the Purcell Quartet; and in 2001 directed them in a fully staged production of L’Orfeo with Mark Padmore in the title role. In 2016, he performed a programme of the fabulous French and English repertory for two bass viols with Christophe Coin. And his recording of the complete lyra viol music of William Lawes for Harmonia Mundi, USA, was released in the same year. The following year he recorded Telemann’s recently-discovered Fantasias for Signum Records.
He frequently joins Mahan Esfahani in chamber music recitals with prominent soloists.
He is professor of Viola da Gamba at the Royal College in London.

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Alfonso Ferrabosco I
Music to Hear Alfonso Ferrabosco, Music for Lyra Viol from 1609
Richard Boothby
Georg Philipp Telemann
Solo Fantasias
Richard Boothby