Richard Boothby

viola da gamba

Richard Boothby has been playing the viol ever since David Fallows handed him a tenor viol while attempting to teach him about Wagner’s ‘Ring’ in Manchester University in 1977.  He founded The Purcell Quartet in 1984 and Fretwork in 1985. 

He has helped to enrich the viol-consort repertory with new music from today’s composers, from Elvis Costello to George Benjamin. 

With the Purcell Quartet he recorded nearly 50 albums for Hyperion and Chandos; and with Fretwork he recorded over 30 albums.  His record of the complete solo lyra viol music of William Lawes on Harmonia Mundi was greeted with high critical praise; and he has recently record the rediscovered fantasias for solo viol by Telemann.

In addition to his work with Fretwork, he now regularly performs both entirely alone, in programmes that include the new Telemann Fantasias, lyra viol music, Abel’s solo improvisations and contemporary music.

He is professor of Viola da Gamba at the Royal College in London 


Latest news:

  1. I've just completed my recording of Telemann's recently-discovered Fantasias for solo viol. We recorded them in my local church for Signum Classics and t2. hey should be out sometime next year.
  2. I have several performances coming up in Dartington next week - a recital with Jane Chapman on 2nd August; accompanying Emma Kirkby with David Miller (lute), when I will also play a couple of Lyra pieces by Alfonso Ferrabosco; In Echo on 3rd August; Florentine carnival songs with Bill Lyons; and 'Birds on Fire' with Fretwork as the opening concert of the week.