“Palisander showcase their instrument with pride and pleasure”
- Credit: Archant
Hackney recorder virtuoso Lydia Gosnell, with quartet Palisander, won joint first prize at the inaugural Early Music Young Ensemble Competition this month.
The competition final took place to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Early Music Shop at the London International Exhibition of Early Music in Blackheath on Friday November 9.
Soprano singer Dame Emma Kirkby, harpsichordist James Johnstone and recorder player Tom Beets adjudicated this year’s competition, giving joint first place to Palisander together with duo Tinka Pypker and Anders Muskens, with each winning a £1,000 grant.
Lydia Gosnell – one quarter of Palisander, along with Miriam Monaghan, Caoimhe de Paor and Elspeth Robertson – is from Hackney and teaches for Hackney Music Service.
Speaking to the Gazette, she said: “We’ve all been coming to the festival for years.
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“It’s wonderful to win something that’s so prestigious, and as well as a grant we’ve won a recital at next year’s festival.”
Palisander – who play recorders ranging from six inches to six feet tall – performed a mix of traditional and contemporary pieces, including repertoire featured in their debut CD, Beware the Spider!
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Including historical stories and theatrical elements in their performance – dancing, percussion and using extended playing techniques – impressed the adjudicators.
Adjudicator Tom Beets told the Gazette: “Our compliments for the imaginative yet historically-supported theme that Palisander presented, entertaining everyone; and for the ensemble skills that they have developed!
“Palisander showcased their instrument with pride and pleasure and we are eager to find out what their future will bring.”
The quartet hope to produce a second CD in the next year or two and have gained funding from Arts Council England to tour their education project for children Recorder Revolution! to change perceptions of the recorder.
Palisander will be returning to Blackheath, this time at Blackheath Halls, this Sunday (December 2) to perform A Yule Tyde Morn at 11am and their Recorder Revolution! programme at 3pm.
Highlights from the competition will be played on BBC Radio 3’s The Early Music Show at 2pm on Sunday December 23. For more information on Palisander, visit their website.