Who we are

Baroque In The North (formerly known as Northern Baroque) formed in 2003, initially as a chamber ensemble. Over the years our success led to requests for us to provide music for choirs and so Baroque In The North developed the flexibility that enables us to perform works involving larger forces, such as Handel’s Messiah, Dixit Dominus and Israel in Egypt, J. S. Bach’s B Minor Mass, Magnificat and St John Passion, and Vivaldi’s Gloria. Our combined educational expertise feeds naturally into workshops, coaching sessions and ‘come and play’ days.

Baroque In The North sitting in Gorton Monastery ready to begin a concert to a sell-our audience

Learn more about us

Amanda Babington head shot

Amanda Babington

violin, recorder, musette

Artistic Director of Baroque In The North (formerly known as Northern Baroque), Amanda specialises in 17th- and 18th-century repertoire. As a violinist and recorder player she records and performs regularly in the UK and Europe with many of the leading British and European period-instrument ensembles, including Les Talens Lyrique, Dunedin Consort, Ex Cathedra, the Gabrieli Consort and Players, Florilegium, and Fiori Musicali.

She appears on several recordings with Les Talens Lyrique and Ex Cathedra, as well as a recording of newly-edited and previously–unrecorded music by Giovanni Ruggieri (Aberdeen Early Music Collective, Vox Regis label, 2018) and another of music by Gottfried Finger (Harmonious Society of Tickle Fiddle Gentlemen, Ramée label, due for release 2019).

Described as a ‘canary on amphetamines’ (for her performance of Vivaldi’s concerto for sopranino recorder), Amanda recently completed a Master’s degree in performance at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium, where she specialised on musette – 18th century French bagpipes. This makes her one of only a handful of musette players in the world.

“Amanda soared magnificently whether on violin…on recorder…or on musette.”

In addition to her work with Baroque In The North,  Amanda is a member of chamber ensembles AB24, Four’s Company and Aberdeen Early Music Collective. She has given masterclasses at various universities and conservatoires including the Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music, Riga in 2016 and 2018.

“Amanda’s performance was absolutely stunning and the audience responded with a much extended ovation.”

Amanda is a Visiting Performance Fellow at Aberdeen University and has been Director of the University of Manchester Baroque Orchestra since 2006. She teaches at the Royal Northern College of Music, and has given talks for Göttingen Handel-Festival, The Foundling Museum, London, and Manchester Camerata.

Claire Babington head shot

Claire Babington

cello

Claire studied performance at the Royal Northern College of Music, and later at Manchester University, researching the sources and inspiration behind modern day continuo cellist’s performance practices.

She has performed as a freelance cellist across the UK with the Hallé, Liverpool Philharmonic and currently with Manchester Camerata.

As a baroque cellist, Claire has combined solo performance with continuo, ranging from 18th-century opera and oratorio to chamber music as well as solo cello repertoire by Bach, Vivaldi, Bononcini, Lanzetti and Telemann.

Claire is a Visiting Performance Fellow at Aberdeen University and regularly gives continuo coaching and workshops at Universities and summer schools across the country. In addition to Baroque In The North (formerly known as Northern Baroque), she is a member of Scottish early music ensemble AB24 and is part of the continuo team that makes up Aberdeen Early Music Collective, whose recent recording of Ruggieri’s Sonatas and Cantatas is already gathering glowing reviews.

At the other end of the spectrum, Claire is also a keen advocate and performer of new music: her recording of The Seventh Door by Panos Demopolous is soon to be re-released on the Metier label. She has also recently given the UK premiere of Unidentified Edges and Into the World of Light for soprano and cello by composer Geoffrey Palmer and the debut recording of Dance Curves for piano trio and dancer by James Redlinghueys. Claire is also a resident cello tutor at Oxford Cello School.

Cait Walker head shot

Cait Walker

oboe

Cait enjoys a varied career as a musician. A specialist in period performance on the oboe, she has played with some of the country’s leading ensembles including the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, the 18th Century Concert Orchestra, Kings Consort, Florilegium, Irish Baroque Orchestra, Gabrielli Consort, Academy of Ancient Music and has performed in many of the major concert venues both here and abroad as both an orchestral and chamber musician. Cait has featured as concerto soloist with several orchestras, performed on the radio and has written and performed music for a variety of contemporary dance pieces, poetry and plays.

David Francis headshot

David Francis

harpsichord

David combines an active performing life with work as an educationalist. As a harpsichordist his extensive career spans the many facets of the instrument, with his directing, recital and concerto experience encompassing renaissance, baroque, classical and 20th century music. Highly regarded as a continuo player, he has toured extensively as a chamber musician, and appeared with Britain’s leading orchestras, distinguished soloists and conductors. He has recorded for CD (including with an R’n’B Band!), broadcast on Classic FM, Radios 2, 3 and the World Service, as well as film projects, including for BBC 2. Currently he is particularly linked with the RLPO and the 18th Century Concert Orchestra, as well as a variety of chamber ensembles, including ​Baroque In The North (formerly known as Northern Baroque).

David’s enjoyment of teaching is reflected in a varied career that has been bookended by working in very different high profile institutions; the Royal Northern College of Music, where he established an Early Music Department, helped to lead the Keyboard School and was Senior Lecturer in harpsichord; and The Manchester Grammar School, where he was Head of Academic Music. He has also taught harpsichord at Chetham’s School of Music, as well as for a number of Universities. He is now harpsichord tutor at Manchester University, and examines for the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music.