Friday 31st January in The United Free Church at 7.30pm


Hannah Medlam soprano

Alex McCartney theorbo

Charles Medlam bass viol


Hannah Medlam was home-educated trilingually until her two final school years, which she spent at the Purcell School studying the violin and piano.  As a teenager she performed the Mendelssohn violin concerto with the Hampshire County Youth Orchestra in Winchester and Italy, and the Beethoven with the Newbury Baroque Players. She studied at the Vienna Hochschule in the violin class of Edward Zienkowski, but was also inspired there by the Hungarian singing teacher Tünde Szaboki to pursue her vocal interests.  After two years in Paris and one each in Amsterdam and London she won a place at the National Opera School in Marseilles.  Soon after she took the lead role in Janaceks “Cunning Little Vixen” at the Montpellier Opera and engagements in England, Germany, France, Italy, Turkey and Belgium, Mahler’s 4th Symphony at St Johns, Smith Square as well as the role of Mimi in La Bohème for Reisoper in the Netherlands and the lead role in John Christopher Smith’s Ciro Riconosciuto at the Mittel-Franken Festival soon followed. Recent recitals have taken her to the Como Music Festival, the Cité des Arts in Paris, to Viterbo, St.Jean de Luz, Istanbul, Iszmir and Trabzon. Hannah recently spent several months in Rome to improve her spoken Italian and to further her bel canto with Maestro Romualdo Savastano. In May last year she made her Japanese debut in a Bruckner mass.  She sings frequently with London Baroque and has recently discovered the lute song repertoire.

Alex McCartney has a busy performing schedule which takes him to concert halls across the world.  In 2015 he released his debut solo album Mésangeau’s Experiments to critical acclaim. His second solo album Elizabeth’s Lutes, released in June 2016, was similarly well recieved. His latest album of theorbo music by Kapsberger was released January 2017.  Alex performs as a soloist with artists such as Iestyn Davies, Ensemble Libro Primo (Sabine Stoffer), Ensemble Marsyas (Peter Whelan), The Gabrieli Consort, Cupid and Death, and Poeticall Musicke.  As a continuo player Alex’s playing has been described as ‘sinewy and sensuous, ornaments rarely exaggerated’ [Observer]: he holds principal positions in La Nuova Musica and Poeticall Musicke and is delighted to perform with other UK-based baroque groups.  Alex teaches the lute at the University of Aberdeen and at home in Glasgow, he has also created an Online Lute Tutor which has over 150 subscribers.  In his spare time he enjoys making lutes.

Charles Medlam studied the cello in London, Paris, Vienna and Salzburg before becoming interested in the bass viol and early performing styles. After a year lecturing and playing in the resident string quartet at the Chinese University of Hong Kong he returned to Europe and studied with Maurice Gendron at the Paris Conservatoire, Wolfang Herzer in Vienna and subsequently cello with Heidi Litschauer and performance practice with Nikolaus Harnoncourt in Salzburg.  After graduating with distinction from the Mozarteum he pursued his interest in the viol on frequent courses with Wieland Kuijken. He founded London Baroque with Ingrid Seifert in 1978 and has played some 2700 concerts with the group world-wide.  His bass viol is a Barak Norman made in London in 1689, which has had a seventh string added for the French repertoire.  His book “Approaches to the Bach Suites” was published in 2014.

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