Caroline Ritchie is a performer on all sizes of viol, lirone, vielle and early cello. Her playing has been described in The Times as ‘ear-catching’ and by other reviewers as ‘noble’, ‘wonderfully delicate’, and able to ‘make the notes breathe…almost as if produced by the human voice’.
As a soloist, she has performed throughout Europe, often with harpsichordist Ralph Stelzenmüller. Their collaboration has been described by the south German press as ‘musical fireworks’. As a chamber musician, she works with medieval, renaissance and baroque ensembles including Le Miroir de Musique, Ensemble Leones, Per Sonat, La Fonte Musica, Il Bacio, Mediva, Phantasm, I Fedeli, La Mouveance, and Habsburger Camerata. In 2015, with colleague Henrik Persson, she co-founded Newe Vialles, a London-based viol consort already attracting attention for its vivid approach to the English consort repertoire.
As continuo cellist, orchestra member and soloist, Caroline has worked with ensembles including The New London Consort, Barokksolistene, the Dunedin Consort, the Hanover Band, the Academy of Ancient Music, and the Manchester Camerata. She has played in festivals and concert series including the Royal Academy of Music’s Bach Cantatas, the Basel Abendmusik, the Innsbrucker Festwochen der Alte Musik, the Leipziger Bachfest, and the Edinburgh Festival, and has worked as a theatre musician for Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. She can be heard on the Ricercar, Glossa and Christophorus labels (forthcoming).
Caroline grew up in Chichester, West Sussex (UK). After an undergraduate degree in music at New College, Oxford, she studied with Jenny Ward Clarke and Richard Campbell at the Royal Academy of Music (London), and with Paolo Pandolfo and Randall Cook at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis (Basel, Switzerland), where her Masters in Early Music Performance and associated research into the viola bastarda was generously supported by a Study Abroad Studentship from the Leverhulme Trust. Further inspiration came from lessons with Sarah Cunningham and Reiner Zipperling.
Caroline is a passionate teacher of her instruments, and for the past nine years has taught consort playing and second-study viol at the Royal Academy of Music in London. She has coached ensembles and directed projects at the universities of Aberdeen, Chichester and Nottingham, and works with private students of all ages. Her research into the viola bastarda has led to a demand for conference presentations and recitals, most recently in Birmingham (2015) and Basel (2016).