About me

Welcome to my website! I am a multi-instrumentalist and published musicologist who loves above all to share my enthusiasm for Early Music. From a young age I had the good fortune to see how historically informed performance could really bring early music to life, whether it was Praetorius played on crumhorns or Bach played on a Baroque violin.

As a recorder player and violinist I have a wealth of repertoire from the 15th- to the 18th-centuries to explore and enjoy. A few years ago I fell in love with French Baroque repertoire, and so I set about learning a French instrument whose (short) history somehow represents the precarious glittery allure of life in France at the time of Louis XIV. Probably heard in Versailles’ famous hall of mirrors, this is of course the Musette.

Amanda Babington's signature
Amanda Babington playing at Valletta International Festival

Performer • Educator • Facilitator

I am a performer and musicologist, which means that my working life is enjoyably diverse. One week I might be playing concertos somewhere in Europe, the next might be spent leading workshops in a primary school and sifting through archives in preparation for a conference paper. I find that this mixture of activities really keeps me both informed and enthusiastic about the power of music in everyday life.

Amanda Babington Leading Collegium Musicum Riga

Performer

Soloist and Leader

I am Artistic Director of Baroque In The North (formerly known as Northern Baroque). As soloist and leader I enjoy regular invitations from ensembles across Europe, from Rouen to Riga.

Orchestral

I have worked with many of the leading British and European period-instrument ensembles including Les Talens LyriqueDunedin ConsortEx Cathedra, the Gabrieli Consort and Players and Fiori Musicali.

Chamber Ensembles

A founding member of Aberdeen Early Music Collective, I am also a member of chamber ensembles AB24, and Four's Company, based at the University of Huddersfield.

Recordings

I appear on several recordings with Les Talens Lyrique and Ex Cathedra, and a recording of music by Gottfried Finger is due for release later this year (The Harmonious Society of Tickle-Fiddle Gentlemen, Ramée/Outthere). Another recent release – Prigionero d'Amor – is a selection of newly-edited, and previously–unrecorded, chamber music by Giovanni Ruggieri.

Educator

Director and Coach

I have been Director of the University of Manchester Baroque Orchestra since 2006 and a Visiting Performance Fellow at Aberdeen University since 2011. I am a regular tutor for period-instrument Summer schools and have led workshops on period instruments at Huddersfield, Liverpool and Liverpool Hope Universities. I have also led workshops at Manchester Grammar School and in various primary schools across Scotland.

Amanda Babington directing the University of Manchester Baroque Orchestra

Musicology and pre-Concert talks

I have been a Lecturer at the Royal Northern College of Music since 2015, and before that I taught at the University of Manchester and Liverpool Hope University. I regularly present pre-concert talks and events, and have enjoyed giving them for Göttingen International Handel Festival, The Foundling Museum, London, Manchester Camerata, and the RNCM.

Amanda Babington delivering a pre-concert talk at Göttingen Handel Festival

Published work

  • G. F Handel Te Deum for the Victory at the Battle of Dettingen, HWV 283, and Anthem for the Victory of Dettingen, HWV 265, edited for the Hallische Händel-Ausgabe. Published Bärenreiter, 2016.
  • ‘Musical References in the Jennens-Holdsworth Correspondence (1729-46)’, Royal Musical Association Research Chronicle, 45/1 (2014), 76-129.
  • ‘Handel the Tutor’, Brio, 51/1 (2014), 16-22.
  • ‘Handel’s Messiah: The Creative Process’. Currently under peer review with Boydell and Brewer.

Conference papers (recent)

  • ‘What did Bonnie Prince Charlie play on his Musette?’, Colloque International: La Musette, un instrument de cour, un instrument tout cour, Université de Rouen, May 2019.
  • ‘The ‘other’ bagpipes: Bonnie Prince Charlie’s Musette, Annual Conference on Music in Eighteenth-Century Britain, Foundling Museum, London. November 2017.
  • ‘The Question of Influence in the Dissemination and Reception of Works by Foreign Composers Published in England in the Early Eighteenth Century’, as part of a Themed Session ‘Continental Music for the British Public: Exchange and Interaction in Early 18th Century London’, RMA conference 2015.

Facilitator

Hire a period ensemble

  • Do you want a baroque orchestra to accompany your choir?
  • Or a chamber ensemble of period instrument specialists for your music society?
  • Are you looking for incidental (early) music for your production?

Play a period instrument

  • Would you like to try playing a period instrument?
  • Or perhaps you already do and would like to meet others who play?
  • Do you want to extend your experience of playing period instruments and/or early repertoire?
  • Are you looking for work experience with a small ensemble or organisation?

If you answered yes to any of the above – or have another question concerning early music or period instruments – then you have come to the right place. These are some of the questions for which I have, over the years, found answers.

I love a challenge and I love to share my enthusiasm for early music. I regularly provide period instrument orchestras for works such as Bach’s B minor Mass and Handel’s Messiah. I have also provided orchestras and chamber ensembles for events ranging from comedy nights to award ceremonies. With AB24 and Baroque In The North (formerly known as Northern Baroque) I work closely with choirs and music societies, and provide educational workshops for schools, higher education institutions and – coming soon – the public.

Bring me your requests and I will facilitate them!