“Ear-catching bass viol playing” (The Times, August 2012)
“Wonderfully delicate cello playing” (Emma Kirkby, London, 2006)
“Phenomenal ornamentation” (Passauer Neue Presse, 2009)
Caroline Ritchie is a performer on all sizes of viol, medieval fiddle, lirone, and early cello. Her concert and recording career spans a broad spectrum of music, from the mid-15th to the 18th centuries and beyond.
As a soloist, she collaborates frequently with harpsichordist Ralph Stelzenmüller (a project described by the south German press as ‘musical fireworks’), with violist Henrik Persson, and lutenist Lynda Sayce. She is a core member of viol consorts Newe Vialles (UK), Compass Consort, and The Earl his Viols (Basel), and has guested with Musick and Mirth (Berne) and Phantasm (London). A committed chamber musician, she can be heard with ensembles including Ensemble Danguy (Tobie Miller), Per Sonat (Sabine Lutzenberger), Ensemble Leones (Marc Lewon), &Cetera (Ulrike Hofbauer), Ensemble Archimboldo (Thilo Hirsch), and others.
Orchestral work has included The New London Consort, Barokksolistene, the Dunedin Consort, the Hanover Band, the Academy of Ancient Music, and the Manchester Camerata, amongst others. She can be heard in all major festivals and concert series throughout Europe, and also plays regularly in Canada. A lifelong love of theatre and the spoken word has led to many collaborations over the years, most recently with the Basel actress Serena Wey.
Caroline studied at New College, Oxford, the Royal Academy of Music, and later at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, where her studies were generously supported by the Leverhulme Trust. She studied cello with Jenny Ward Clarke, viol with Richard Cambell, Rainer Zipperling, and Paolo Pandolfo, and renaissance viols and vielle with Randall Cook. She was inspired by lessons and masterclasses with Sarah Cunningham and Wieland Kuijken.
A passionate teacher and repertoire coach, from 2007-2019 she taught viol and consort playing at the Royal Academy of Music in London. With Henrik Persson, she co-founded the annual South West Viols Festival in Culmstock, Devon, a weekend of teaching and masterclasses. In addition to her performance work, she is available for individual lessons, ensemble coaching, consort workshops, pre-concert talks, and more. Please enquire via the Contact page.