Claire Duff, Artistic Director
Claire Duff is an eminent baroque violinist whose ‘stylish solo violin playing’ (Vickers, Gramophone) has been described as having ‘all the excitement of a high-wire act’, (M. Dervan, The Irish Times). Claire has recently been elected Associate of the Royal Academy of Music, London, an award to former students who have made a notable contribution to the music profession. Claire is leader of the Irish Baroque Orchestra, with which she regularly performs as soloist to critical acclaim. She has led Florilegium, I Fagiolini, English Touring Opera, The Kings Consort, and Camerata Kilkenny. Claire has co-led the Academy of Ancient Music and played principal second with The English Concert. She has an extensive discography, including a highly acclaimed CD of Bach’s Double Violin Concerto with Monica Huggett and the Irish Baroque Orchestra and, more recently, a recording of Telemann’s concerto for two violins and bassoon. Claire is passionate about music education and is a teacher of baroque violin at the Royal Irish Academy of Music.
Claire is the grateful recipient of Music Network’s Music Capital Scheme Award 2010 and a 2007 Arts Council of Ireland Bursary.
Malcolm Proud, Continuo (Harpsichord)
Malcolm Proud won first prize at the Edinburgh International Harpsichord Competition in 1982. He has performed at all the major Irish festivals and has toured Finland, Denmark, Holland, UK, Switzerland, Germany, France, Italy, USA., Japan, Canada, Estonia, Latvia, Belgium, Austria and Portugal. In 2016 he gave harpsichord recitals at the National Concert Hall in Dublin, at Fenton House in London playing the Queen’s 1612 Ruckers, at the Cobbe Collection of Historical Keyboard Instruments in Hatchlands, Surrey, and at Handel House in London.
Organist of St Canice’s Cathedral in Kilkenny, his CD of Bach’s Clavierübung III recorded on the Metzler Organ at Stein am Rhein in Switzerland was released in 2008 on the Maya Recordings label.
In 2010 Malcolm Proud played all six of Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos with Sir John Eliot Gardiner’s English Baroque Soloists at the London Proms and the Schleswig-Holstein Festival in Germany. He is co-founder with Swiss violinist Maya Homburger of Camerata Kilkenny and has performed concertos with the Academy of Ancient Music and the European Union Baroque Orchestra.
He has recorded Bach’s 5th Brandenburg Concerto with both the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and the English Baroque Soloists. His most recent recording – J.S. Bach’s Six Partitas for Harpsichord on the Maya Recordings Label – has been critically acclaimed.
Malcolm Proud is supported by Music Network’s Music Capital Scheme, funded by The Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. Music Network is funded by the Arts Council.
Sarah McMahon, Continuo (Cello)
Sarah McMahon began her cello studies with Nora Gilleece at the Royal Irish Academy of Music in Dublin in 1987. In 1995 she moved to London where she studied at the Royal Academy of Music with David Strange, Jenny Ward-Clarke and Colin Carr, graduating in 2001 with a first class BMus and a DipRAM distinction.
Sarah is passionate about historical performance and is principal cellist with the Irish Baroque Orchestra and Academy of Ancient Music, and Camerata Kilkenny. She is also regularly invited to play as guest principal cellist with Arcangelo, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and Aurora Orchestra.
Sarah is a dedicated chamber musician and a founder member of the Callino String Quartet. The Quartet was founded in 1999 and enjoys performing a challenging and eclectic repertoire, having worked with numerous composers including Kurtàg, Vasks, Kevin Volans, Aleksandra Vrebalov and Ian Wilson on their compositions for string quartet. They have also collaborated with diverse artists such as the Belcea Quartet, Edgar Meyer, rock band Arcade Fire and jazz guitarist John Abercrombie.
Sarah has appeared as concerto soloist with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and the Irish Baroque Orchestra and featured in a critically acclaimed disc for Hyperion of the Vivaldi Double Cello Concerto with Jonathan Cohen and the Kings Consort.