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. My recording of Georg Phillip Telemann's wonderful, newly-discovered 12 Fantasias for solo viol have been issued on Signum Classics:
  2. Last week, I played a couple of pieces on BBC Radio 3's In Tune - some Lawes Lyra viol music, and The first Telemann Fantasia - along with a short interview with Shaun Rafferty.  It's still available on BBC iPlayer.
  3. I'll be playing a selection of the Telemann in the Ryedale Festival on Friday 20th July:
  4. I'll be playing a concert almost every day in Dartington Summer School this year: with Fretwork on Sunday 29th; with Asako Morikawa on Monday 30th and with Clare Wilkinson, also on 30th; with In Echo on Tuesday 31st; and later in the week with Jeffrey Skidmore.