Hazel Brooks violin
David Pollock harpsichord
Hazel Brooks and David Pollock have been charming audiences with their performances since 1999. Fired by a shared commitment to present music of the 17th and 18th centuries in an accessible way, these two prize-winning musicians have performed together throughout the UK and beyond. Of particular note are their highly-acclaimed concerts at the Early Music Festival in Barcelona.
Programmes by the duo have been praised for their varied and colourful textures; they mix great composers such as Bach, Handel and Vivaldi with other rare treats, producing a varied and colourful range of sound-textures. Hazel and David have developed a sensitive and communicative performing style which has led to many return invitations from promoters. Spoken introductions bring to life the musical and historical context of each piece and form an important part of their concerts. Duo Dorado performances are also visually interesting. Their beautifully decorated harpsichord forms a stunning centrepiece making each concert a feast for the eyes as well as the ears.
They have released a CD, L’Eleganza, on the Singing Space label, followed in 2011 by a new recording of music by William Croft on the CRD label.
Hazel Brooks studied at Clare College, Cambridge. After graduation she went on to study the violin at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Leipzig, and the Guildhall School of Music in London, where she specialised in early music. Here she won the Christopher Kite Memorial Prize and the Bankers Trust Pyramid Award, and she was a finalist in the international competitions in York and Antwerp.
As a baroque violinist, Hazel now works regularly as a recitalist and in chamber ensembles including Duo Dorado, the Brook Street Band and the Feinstein Ensemble. Solo recital venues have ranged from the South Bank Centre in London and St George’s Brandon Hill, to the Barcelona Early Music Festival. Hazel is frequently asked to lead orchestras and enjoys appearing as a concerto soloist.
Hazel also has an interest in unusual instruments and her recitals often include the viola d’amore. She is in demand as a medieval-fiddle specialist throughout Europe and America, and has released recordings with the Boston Camerata, USA (Warner Classics) and duo Trobairitz (Hyperion). She has been involved in a project combining Western and Moroccan musicians. Hazel has taught workshops at the Guildhall and Trinity College of Music.
David Pollock studied harpsichord at the Royal Academy of Music where he won the Croft Early Music First Prize. Since then he has appeared at such venues as the Purcell Room and St John’s Smith Square London, St George’s Bristol and St David’s Hall Cardiff. David has given critically acclaimed recitals at the Fairfield Halls Croydon and has performed in international music festivals in Great Britain and abroad. As a concerto soloist he has performed the complete harpsichord concertos of JS Bach.
An interest in contemporary music has led to composers writing specially for David. He gave the premiere of a large-scale work Seven Mimicries for Solo Harpsichord (1996) by Gavin Stevens, and recently Colin Hand’s Five Portraits for the Virginals (2008) and Robert Page’sSonata for Harpsichord (2009) have been the latest contributions to David’s repertoire of new music.
Solo CDs are The French Harpsichord and O Mistris Myne:150 years of English virginals music on the London Independent Records label. He is also harpsichordist with The Parnassian Ensemble whose A Noble Entertainment – Music from Queen Anne’s London was released in 2006 on the Avie label.