The go-to guide for early music



Lydia Gosnell - Miriam Monaghan - Caoimhe de Paor - Tabea Debus

Palisander prides itself on presenting imaginative, historical programmes with a wide range of repertoire; performing largely from memory, on recorders up to 6 feet tall. Comprised of alumni from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Palisander has quickly established itself as a vibrant young ensemble. Devising their own choreography, as well as writing new compositions and unique arrangements for the ensemble, the group’s members are keen ambassadors for the recorder’s versatility. This is brought to life in the exciting theatrical concerts, for which Palisander is known. “Palisander – making recorders phenomenally interesting and exciting” – Katie Derham, BBC Radio 3, 2019.

Palisander is delighted to have been selected for the prestigious Emerging European Ensembles’ Scheme, initially in 2019, but now as an Experienced Ensemble. This has provided the group with residencies, training and performance opportunities, across Europe. Winners of the Biagio Marini Competition (First Prize and Audience Prize) 2022 and the London International Exhibition of Early Music’s inaugural chamber music competition 2018, Palisander competed as finalists in the prestigious York Early Music International Young Artists Competition 2022 and Royal Over-Seas League Mixed Ensembles’ Competition 2019 and was awarded a Golden Medal in the Manhattan International Music Competition 2019. In 2016, Palisander was selected for St John's Smith Square’s Young Artists' Scheme. Director, Richard Heason, said “Palisander is one of the most engaging and characterful groups of young performers I have ever had the pleasure of working with. As soon as they start to play, the audience is drawn in and engrossed in the astonishing interaction and dialogue Palisander display”. In 2015, the quartet was selected for Brighton Early Music Festival’s ‘Early Music Live!’ scheme; ‘the leading training and apprenticeship scheme for young early music ensembles’.

Palisander has performed at Newbury Spring Festival, Cheltenham Music Festival and London Festival of Baroque Music, as well as London Fashion Week. Last year, Palisander gave a concert tour of Scotland, supported by the Tunnell Trust. The group received a warm reception and enjoyed performing in remote places, including the Isles of Eigg and Skye. The quartet's international performances include Ireland, France, Italy, Greece, Malta, Czech Republic, Japan and Russia. In 2021, Palisander devised an imaginative ‘recorders-only’ interpretation of Handel’s opera, Partenope, as part of the Göttingen International Handel Festival, Germany. Palisander has featured on radio, including BBC Radio 3.

Palisander’s debut album, Beware the Spider! was self-released in 2017 and received a 4 star review from BBC Music Magazine, as well as being voted First Place in the Magazine’s First Listen Podcast. Robert Huggil said ‘This charming disc not only shows off the ensemble's skills admirably, but provides a programme which intrigues’. Classic FM featured a live performance film of one of the pieces on the album, which has received over 4.6 million views! The group will release its next album, later this year.

Palisander is thrilled to have been the partner ensemble of the National Centre for Early Music's Young Composer Award 2021, in collaboration with BBC Radio 3. The quartet enjoyed working with the shortlisted composers performing the winners' pieces as part of its concert at the London Festival of Baroque Music, broadcast on BBC Radio 3.

Described as “Early Music’s very own Spice Girls”, Palisander enjoys giving regular family concerts and educational workshops. This includes working for the prestigious Live Music Now scheme, founded by Yehudi Menuhin and previously, being featured artists in Wigmore Hall’s Chamber Tots series. Palisander collaborated with puppet theatre company Rust and Stardust, to develop a unique family show. Dr Dee’s Daughter and the Philosopher’s Stone is supported by Arts Council England and has given performances across the country, including Lake District Summer Music and Wiltshire Music Centre. The group has been awarded another ACE grant to tour educational project Recorder Revolution! which brings inspiring, interactive performances to schools and music venues across England. Palisander are grateful to have received a grant from the Continuo Foundation, to launch online performances of the quartet’s programme, ‘Double, Double Toil and Trouble’, accompanied by interactive online workshops, for amateur recorder players.

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Past programmes