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Gail Hennessy

Oboe, Recorder
Gail Hennessy

GAIL HENNESSY is one of the foremost exponents of the baroque oboe in Britain. She was born in Wisconsin in the USA, and studied modern oboe at the University of Louisville before taking a position as cor anglais player in an orchestra in North Carolina. During her time there she encountered a baroque oboe for the first time, and fell in love with its sound. This, together with her empathy for baroque music, led her to study Historical Performance Practice at Washington University and ultimately drew her to Britain. She was an apprentice to baroque oboe maker Mary Kirkpatrick in Oxfordshire, and studied baroque oboe with the late David Reichenberg through the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. She now has a busy career playing and recording with many of Britain's early music groups, often appearing as a soloist and chamber musician. She is also is a highly regarded teacher and chamber music coach, and teaches baroque oboe at the Royal College of Music and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, as well as at Birmingham Conservatoire. She encourages composers to write new music for old instruments, and has premiered works by Jennifer Fowler (1988), Roderick Williams (2004 & 2021), Rhian Samuel (2008), Peter McCarthy (2011) and Thea Musgrave (2011).