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London, England, United Kingdom | MAJOR

London, England, United Kingdom | MAJOR
Band Classical


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Rare Sounds at the Rüschhaus: Consortium5 offered an engaging tour across epochs, countries and musical styles in the historical venue of the Rüschhaus (Münster, Germany). The numerous guests relished the accomplished and intriguing recorder concert, and expressed their gratitude for such a musical treat with long applause. - Westfalische Nachrichten

Consortium5's fare is about as far as you can get from painful school-day recorder recitals of Frère Jacques - they perform a considerable repertoire on a staggering range of instruments... ...from the cloudy tones of the 6ft sub-bass recorder to the virtuoso descant, this 45-minute concert of Renaissance and Baroque quartets, with a couple of contemporary pieces thrown in for good measure, was not short on finesse.
- The Scotsman

The result of this year's Early Music competition must have been close to call, the eventual winners, Le Jardin Secret, receiving concerts, broadcasts and that most valuable debut recording as part of their prize. Five very differing groups had come through to the final presented through one long day. The result must have stunned those who had Consortium5 as the runaway winners, the five attractive young ladies playing a fabulous set of recorders in listener-friendly music, both looked and sounded the most marketable group on view, even if recorders are not normally your scene. - Yorkshire Post

'...The other event I shall long remember was a morning recital by an accomplished recorder quintet.

Consortium5, formed as a student group at the Royal Academy of Music, took the palm for preparation and presentation; they'd thought of everything! They played their Noyses, Sounds and Sweet Ayres all by memory and in various locations - up in the gallery as well as on stage.

Most striking was a sequence in the aisle at the middle of the Chapel, close to those audience members far from the front. First they formed an inward facing circle showing close rapport and eye contact; then they turned to become an outward facing circle demonstrating their long practised ensemble with rhythmic and tonal unanimity. The items were introduced by each of the five girls, projected in clear voice right to the back of the chapel; this made us feel we were getting to know them as individuals.

They are planning their first CD (hear excerpts on line) and I suggested that they should consider filming for a DVD or, failing that, an online video, such as has been done to great success by my favourite group at last year's Festival, Pantagruel on Consortium5 was invited to accompany part of Byrd's Mass for Five Voices at Sunday's Festival Eucharist in the ORNC Chapel, where we took our farewell of GreenwichEMF2008.

Peter Grahame Woolf'


'...But PLG always chooses well, so it is unlikely that the musicians heard will be anything less than top-notch...Consortium5 is a group of five former students from the Royal Academy of music. In terms of the range and versatility of the recorder, this was a revelation. The premieres of Darren Bloom’s Consorts and Kathryn Butler’s Cassiopeia were contrasted; the former rather ‘electronic’-sounding in construction (short and delightful, too) and exploring the recorder’s didgeridoo qualities, an aboriginal suggestion that also informed Butler’s piece, which otherwise was rather static and stilted. Daniel Bickerton’s The Court Jester invoked a sense of period and character – and just a little (harmless) madness!
The members of Consortium5 played The Court Jester from memory, as they also did the first performance of Brooks Frederickson’s Quintet for Fifteen Recorders. Yes, there are 15 varieties of recorder – from sopranino to subbass (the latter a big beast indeed!). This was a top to bottom investigation of the instruments’ potential. Stealing the show, though, was the premiere (to a PLG commission) of David Bedford’s Variations and Cadenzas on a theme from Susato’s ‘Danserye’, which began as the musicians made their return from backstage, the jaunty theme itself ideally sounded on recorders and then treated to some brilliant variants (occasionally involving the musicians playing two instruments simultaneously!). With the recorders sometimes masquerading as penny-whistles and accordions (in terms of timbre), Bedford’s whimsical imagination has created a mischievous scamp of a piece that really brightens the spirits.'

Colin Anderson
Purcell Room, Southbank, 5th January 2009


Tangled Pipes (2011)
(Nonclassical Label)



Consortium5 met at the Royal Academy of Music and was founded out of a shared love of consort music and recorders. Described by Daniel Bruggen as embodying ‘the true spirit of consort playing’, Consortium5 are one of the foremost recorder consorts of their generation. Currently signed to the Nonclassical Label, Consortium5 are committed to the performance of historical and contemporary music in equal measure.

Consortium5 have won many prizes and awards for their vision and unrestrained, technically commanding playing, including funding from the Britten Pears Foundation, the RVW Trust and The Performing Rights Society, a residency on the Park Lane Group Young Artists Series, a two year Junior Fellowship at Trinity College of Music, a residency on the Live Music Now scheme and the Deutsche Bank Pyramid Award. In 2009 Consortium5 made their Purcell Room debut to critical acclaim. January 2011 will see the launch of their debut album Tangled Pipes on the Nonclassical Label.

Consortium5 are also committed to community performance and have given numerous educational concerts across the UK, reaching over 8000 children since 2006, many of whom had never previously attended a concert.

Consortium5 currently work regularly with composers and have so far commissioned over 20 works since 2007. It has been Consortium5’s great delight to discover the fascination these instruments hold for composers and the richness and variety with which their language speaks through the consort. Consortium5 are particularly interested in the bridges that these compositions build between new and old, creating new consorts from the archaic consort form and new works for historical instruments.

In 2011 Consortium5 will collaborate with the vocal ensemble Juice on a new piece by the composer Luke Styles. This work will draw on vocal and instrumental traditions. The text has been specially written by London poet Jacob Sam la Rose.

For more information on Consortium5, including forthcoming events, reviews and testimonials, photos and audio clips please visit our website