Patrons of Aberdeen Bach Choir
To mark our 60th Anniversary in 2016, the choir followed the example of many other musical ensembles and appointed patrons to raise the profile of our charity. We were delighted when two very distinguished musicians, Professor John Butt OBE and Dame Emma Kirkby, accepted our invitation to fulfil that role.
John Butt, Gardiner Professor of Music at the University of Glasgow, is a distinguished Bach scholar and author of a number of books on Bach and the music of the Baroque period. He is the Musical Director of the Dunedin Consort with whom he has made a number of highly acclaimed and award winning recordings including all the major works of JS Bach. He is also a Principal Artist with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. In 2011 he was awarded the Royal Academy of Music/Kohn Foundation’s Bach Prize, for his work in the performance and scholarship of Bach. In 2013 John Butt was awarded the medal of the Royal College of Organists and the OBE for his services to music in Scotland.
Emma Kirkby feels lucky in many ways: that she met renaissance vocal polyphony while still at school, that she studied Classics and sang with the Schola Cantorum at Oxford, and, best of all, that there she encountered “historical” instruments known to Renaissance and Baroque composers, the lute, harpsichord, and wind and string instruments, whose sound and human scale drew from her an instinctive response.
As a schoolteacher and amateur singer she was invited to perform professionally with pioneer groups; and long partnerships followed in Britain and abroad, with ensembles, individual players, and record companies, so that now Emma’s voice and style are recognized worldwide.
Emma was awarded a DBE in 2007, and in 2011 the Queen’s Medal for Music. Amazed by all this, she is nevertheless glad of the recognition it implies, for a way of music-making that values ensemble, clarity and stillness above volume and display; above all it is a joy to her to see a new generation of singers and players bringing their skills to this endeavour. She is also proud and grateful to be a patron of the Aberdeen Bach Choir.