B i o g r a p h y
Charme du Hautbois was formed in 2013 by Mark Baigent and Nathaniel Harrison to explore forgotten treasures for oboe and bassoon from the 19th and early 20th centuries using piano, harp or strings as accompaniment.
Both players are highly accomplished chamber and orchestral musicians in the early music field, regularly performing with the Gabrieli Consort, Kings Consort, English Baroque Soloists, Orchestre Revolutionaire et Romantique both in the UK and abroad.
As chamber musicians, they are both highly experienced with appearances with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Denner Ensemble, Pipers 3 oboe trio at music clubs, festivals and on Radios 3, 4 and Classic FM.
'How often do you hear a whole programme of music that you've never head, played on instruments
that you've never heard and find the entire experience bewithching!'
Alexander Rider, harp (Erard)
Alex Rider is a harpist much in demand as a chamber and orchestral musician, as well as being recognised for his interest in music new and old. Notable engagements include orchestral work with the BBC concert orchestra, Orchestre Revolutionaire et Romantique, London Sinfonietta Academy and New Sinfonia of London; solo recitals for the Deal Festival, Stogumber Festival and Canterbury music club; a Radio 3 broadcast of Takemitsu’s chamber music (as part of the BBC total immersion series); travelling to the Banff centre, Canada, to play for the Canadian premiere of Britten’s opera Owen Wingrave; the world premieres of solo works by Robert Saxton and Simon Holt (at London’s Milton Court), and two consecutive summers performing with the Schleswig Holstein Festival Orchestra (Germany). Whilst in Germany Alex made several acclaimed chamber appearances playing works by Mendelssohn, Hoffman and Ravel. Alex is a regular guest principal harpist of the Kristiansund Opera and Ballet (Norway), where he has also appeared playing Debussy’s Danses, chamber works by Ravel and Jolivet and broadcast on Norwegian radio. Alex studied under Gabriella Dall'olio and Frances Kelly, and was then a scholarship student of Imogen Barford at the Guildhall school of music and drama, where he graduated with distinction, and was subsequently honoured with a Guildhall Artists’ fellowship. Active in the United Kingdom Harp association, Alex currently edits their magazine, HARP.
Michael Freyhan, piano
A graduate of Cambridge University, Michael Freyhan combines musicological research with a concert and recording career. He has performed as a pianist and harpsichordist on radio, television and in leading concert venues across five continents. In former years he was also active as a professional violinist and viola player, having led the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain as a teenager. He has been a repetiteur at Glyndebourne Opera House and held teaching appointments at the Royal Academy of Music, Reading University and Birmingham Conservatoire. A published author, Michael has contributed articles to the Journal of the American Musicological Society, Mozart‑Jahrbuch, Musical Opinion, Acta Musicologica, The Strad, Strings (formerly as London Corresponding Editor), Piano Quarterly and Brio, and lectured widely at American universities, including Harvard, Princeton, Stanford and New York, and in Europe at Oxford, Cambridge, London, Leipzig and Moscow.
His recording of Spohr Piano Trios with the ‘Beethoven Broadwood Trio’ won a Critics' Choice award in The Gramophone.
Mark Baigent, oboe
is one of the UK’s leading period oboists, specialising in music from baroque to modern. Neil Black described his oboe playing ‘of rare delicacy’, his baroque playing as ‘declamatory and soothing by turns’ (Graham Rikson, The Arts Desk), and Berio said on hearing Marks rendition of his oboe Sequenza that it was the best performance he had heard. As an orchestral oboist Mark regularly records performs tours and broadcasts baroque, classical, romantic and early twentieth century repertoire with leading period instrument music groups throughout Europe including, Orchestre Revolutionnaire et Romantique, the English Baroque Soloists, the Kings Consort, Classical Opera, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, London Handel Orchestra, Hanover Band, Academy of Ancient Music, Irish Baroque, Neue Philharmonie Utrecht, and Le Cercle de L’Harmonie. Mark also regularly works as a soloist and chamber musician recently performing the Hummel oboe concerto, premiering Boughtons 2nd oboe quartet, new works by David Knotts with his oboe trio Pipers 3 and regularly performs 19th century chamber music with his ensemble ‘Charme du Hautbois’. This year he performs Krommers F major oboe concerto at Bridgnorth Haydn Festival where he is principal oboe and is recording the complete chamber music for oboe by Rutland Boughton.
Hilary Norris, Organ
Hilary was Organ Scholar at Keble College Oxford, and then won scholarships to go on to study with Jacques van Oortmerssen in Amsterdam. She has toured Sweden, Italy, Germany and Holland, and performs regularly in the UK, often on harpsichord or organ continuo. She is Director of Studies for the Diocese of Hereford Organists’ Training Scheme.
Our string players perform on instruments set up to the age of the music to be performed. Usually this involves gut strings with or without a wound wire top string producing a more earthy translucent sound which together with playing styles emulated from the time including portamenti and differing levels of vibrato creates a unique and colorful sound-world lost in modern performances.
String players are drqwn from the top of the early-music profession and include Mathew Truscott who is one of the countries foremost players and leads amongst other groups the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and Dorothea Vogel who works with the Allegri String Quartet and free-lances with period instrument orchestras including the Kings Consort.
Nathaniel Harrison, bassoon
was born in Sevenoaks. He studied at the Royal College of Music and at the Hochschule fur Musik und darstellende Kunst in Vienna. After a number of years playing fulltime in orchestras in Germany and the Netherlands he returned to the UK. Since then he has built up a busy and diverse freelance career. Although his work is mainly in the world of period performance, he continues to work as a modern player, appearing from time to time on the French system bassoon, an instrument once played throughout the UK and now rarely heard in this country.
As a performer on historical instruments he is a regular member of the London Handel Orchestra and the Hanover Band, however he continues to work with various period instrument orchestras including the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Orchestre Revolutionaire et Romantique, Academy of Ancient Music, Gabrieli Consort, Kings Consort, Ex Cathedra and the Sixteen. Most recently he has been working with the French period instrument orchestra ‘Les siècles’ in Paris.