History is now


Growing numbers of young musicians are incorporating elements of historically informed performance into their playing. Charlotte Gardner  investigates the reasons behind this phenomenon, explores the options for aspiring period artists and receives advice from both fledgling and long-standing practitioners

We’ve all done it as journalists. That is, come up with a clever hypothesis with the makings of an interesting article, only to have it crumble to ashes the moment we begin to do a bit of solid digging. However, that’s not what happened when I began to explore further a trend that I’d been spotting of late among young string players – namely, the rise in the number who are incorporating varying degrees of period performance into their stylistic boxes of tricks, even if they don’t plan to identify primarily as period instrument performers.

A high-profile recent example in these very pages was our February cover star, cellist Bruno Philippe, who last year added to his established reputation as a ‘modern’ soloist continuo playing with the Baroque Ensemble Jupiter. Or there’s Anastasia Kobekina, a BBC New Generation Artist who is now playing a Baroque cello in addition to her ‘modern’ instrument… 

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