Our story so far...
With the emergence of Covid, and an uncertain horizon lying ahead for music making, Claremont Ensemble was created by Becky Gould to find opportunities for audiences and musicians to step forward together in new ways, and new formats.
In thinking how and where music could be performed live, Becky literally stumbled across their first stage whilst walking her dog around Claremont Farm.
It is with regard to the historic Claremont Farm, that the Ensemble's name was chosen.
Becky says this:
"At the core of Claremont Ensemble is a deep felt wish to reduce the distance between performer and audience, and to explore more conversational and inclusive performance styles, with the audience right at the heart of our concerts.
We invite you not only to get to know us personally as musicians during our concerts, but also to step into your own imagination and listen your own way; you will hear the familiar in different ways, and the new in equally exciting and inspiring ways.
We look forward to meeting you soon, please come and say hello!"
Originally from Gloucester, Sophie began learning the violin at the age of 4, with Caroline Lumsden. Growing up she was lucky enough to play for the Queen, Prince Phillip, Prince Edward and for Yehudi Menuhin's 80th birthday celebrations. She first performed at the Royal Albert Hall at the age of 11 with her string quintet, and was later awarded the Student Festival Award at the Cheltenham International Music Festival. Sophie studied at the Royal Academy of Music with Sophie Langdon and Lydia Mordkovitch. Here she was awarded the Sir John Barbirolli Prize for chamber music, as well as the Leverhulme Orchestral Fellowship. She was fortunate enough to study chamber music with members of the Alban Berg, Alberni and Carducci Quartets. She graduated with a Masters in 2010.
During her final year of study, Sophie was offered a position in the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, where she is now co-principal 2nd violin. She has performed with many of Britain's leading orchestras, including the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic, Britten Sinfonia, Hallé Orchestra and the Orchestra of Opera North. She has also performed as guest co-concertmaster of the Stavanger Symfoniorkester, Norway, and was leader of the Britten-Pears Orchestra in Aldeburgh.
Sophie has performed extensively as a chamber musician, in venues such as the Royal Albert Hall, the Royal Festival Hall and the Purcell Room, and in the Paganini and Peter Maxwell-Davies festivals in London. She has also collaborated with Mark-Anthony Turnage on a new work for string quartet, performed the world premiere of a Mozart fugue at the Handel House Museum and recorded the premiere of a Fantasia by Joseph Horovitz with the Carducci String Quartet. Alongside playing, Sophie is also passionate about her education and outreach work, as an ensemble coach for RLPO’s “In Harmony” programme, a violin tutor at the Liverpool Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, and a visiting musician for the RLPO’s Merseycare programme
Original music & soundscape produced by Claremont Ensemble.
In partnership with National Portrait Gallery, The Holburne Museum , Walker Art Gallery and National Museums Liverpool, Claremont Ensemble were commissioned to produce the musical content and soundscape for what was the worlds largest collection of Tudor portraiture al the time.
Featuring a wealth of iconic portraits of Henry VII, Henry VIII and Queen Elizabeth I, and Tudor life,
Claremont Ensemble's In-House composer,
Andy Scott crafted a soundscape to purposefully fit the space.
In this evocative soundscape haunting melodies mimic privvy court whispers, fanfares depict the royal trumpeters, and dynamic harmonies conjure up the passion, power and politics found along the dark and dusty Tudor corridors.
Production, Mixing and Mastering - Stan Scott,
Research and Arrangements - Lauren Scott
In getting to know all of the team at Claremont Farm, the Ensemble were struck by the significant Viking history in the land around Claremont Farm, and the importance it played in forming the shape of the British Isles as we know it today.
Hugely inspired by centuries old stories and poems, namely the famous 'Battle of Brunanburh' (Bromborough), the Vikings, and their part in Wirral history tapped right into the Ensemble's quest to find music that resonates with audience and musician alike.
Given their passion for folk music and the music it has inspired, Claremont Ensemble formed their own musical link with the past through a series of concerts and talks in partnership with Wirhalh Skyp Felagr (Wirral Ship Fellowship), Claremont Farm, Institute of Irish Studies,
President of the Scottish Society for Northern Studies and University of Liverpool.
Drawing on the enigmatic collection of Scandinavian Folk Music made famous by the Danish String Quartet, alongside compositions and arrangements of their own British Folk Music from the British Isles, Claremont Ensemble are forging a clear reputation for bringing the two mighty cultures back together once again, with the rich music of both lands
Claremont Ensemble have recently been invited to present their unique mix of music and story telling from the Scandinavian and British Isles in a private concert to delegates at University of Liverpool, July 2022, and have also been invited to be part of a project being formed around general Viking settlement here in the North West (yet to be announced.) Music from these projects will feature in a programme of folk inspired music, 'Shore to Shore' at Philharmonic Hall, Music Room 3rd October 2022
Violin & Viola:
Sarah Brandwood-Spencer, Sophie Coles, Austeja Juskaite-Igl, Becky Gould
Cello: Anna Stuart
Flute: Claire Fillihart
Harp: Lauren Scott, Elizabeth McNulty
Piano: Ron Abramski
Composers: Lauren Scott, Andy Scott
Arrangers: Becky Gould, Lauren Scott, Andy Scott.
Studios: 80 HERTZ Studios, Manchester. Sunnymill Studios, Sandbach
Sound Engineers: George Atkins, Andy Scott
Production, Mixing & Mastering: Stan Scott
Violin & Viola: James Pattinson,
Sarah Brandwood-Spencer, Karen Mainwaring, Sarah White, Becky Gould
Cello: Simon Denton, Amanda Turner, Alex Holladay, Anna Stuart
Flute: Eilidh Gillespie, Claire Fillihart
Clarinet: Amanda Burvill
Harp: En Hudson, Elizabeth McNulty, Lauren Scott
Composers: Ian Stephens, Lauren Scott, Andy Scott, Dan Whibley
Arrangers: En Hudson, James Pattinson, Becky Gould, Lauren Scott, Andy Scott, Dan Whibley
Studios: Airtight Studios, Manchester.
Sound Engineers: Seadna McPhail
Artistic Director, website design & photography, manager: Becky Gould
Creative Assistant, Video & Editing, Researcher: Lauren Scott
IT support: Jacob Walters
Business/mentoring: Mike Cunningham @ Mike Cunningham, Jill Barlow @ Jigsaw Coaching
Business support consultant: Kate Spicer
Merchandise: Paul Gould, Mon Ceramics
Promotion: Inprint Wirral Ltd
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