AB24 is a new ensemble offering a myriad of different instrumental combinations. Its three players between them can offer a variety of sound combinations usually available only with a much larger ensemble.
Amanda Babington is a violinist and recorder player, specialising in historically informed performance. She plays regularly with many of the leading British and European period-instrument ensembles including Les Talens Lyrique, the Wallfisch Band, Dunedin Consort, Ex Cathedra, the Gabrieli Consort and Players and Fiori Musicali. Amanda is also currently studying the Musette...Since leaving the Royal Northern College of Music, Claire Babington has had a busy and varied career as a freelance cellist working with the Hallé, Liverpool Philharmonic and Manchester Camerata. As a baroque cellist Claire has combined solo performance with playing continuo for a wide range of vocal and instrumental repertoire. In demand as a continuo cellist she has worked on operas by Handel, Monteverdi Purcell and Rameau; as well as regular performances of Bach’s St John Passion and St Matthew Passion and Handel’s Messiah. Claire and Amanda are both Visiting Performance Fellows at the University of Aberdeen, and Amanda is Director of the University of Manchester Baroque Orchestra. David J Smith was organ scholar at St Peter’s College and Wadham College, Oxford, where he completed his doctorate on the instrumental music of Peter Philips (1560/61-1628). He became Assistant Director of Music at the University of Aberdeen in 1994, served as Head of Music from 2009 to 2013 and is Master of Chapel and Ceremonial Music and Organist to the University. As a performer, David specialises in early keyboard music from England and the Netherlands, and in improvisation.
Although AB24 is newly formed as an ensemble, its members have known each other for many years through their connections with Aberdeen. As Visiting Performance Fellows at the University of Aberdeen, Claire and Amanda have had many opportunities to perform alongside David, and their decision to utilise this experience by forming AB24 comes from a share love of the repertoire afforded to them by the wide variety of instrument combinations at their fingertips! The postcode name of the ensemble represents in pleasing symmetry the area of the city where all three members have, over the years, enjoyed living, working and performing.