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|Barbara began playing recorder at junior school and has played with several recorder groups including the Bristol Recorder Ensemble conducted by David Silk. She has had lessons with Imogen Triner. Currently, she plays with the Blockflute Band as well as the Bristowe Consort. Barbara also plays piano and cello.
|Lindsay played recorder at primary school, then moved on to play flute throughout school and university. Settling in Birmingham in the
early 90s, she discovered that a James Galway-inspired glut of flautists made ensemble opportunities very rare, and so dug out a dusty
descant and treble and signed up for a recorder ensemble evening class at the Midland Arts Centre. Through this route she unearthed an
undiscovered world of recorder players, begged, borrowed and hire purchased some bigger instruments, and joined the 6-piece Noteworthy
Recorder Group. Lindsay moved to Bristol in 1998, and later met the Bristowe Consort players through the Society of Recorder Players'
Lindsay works in management of health and social care services.
|Val began playing recorders at junior school, playing the whole range of instruments down to the bass, and moved on to play clarinet at senior school.
She has played with many different groups of musicians, from orchestras to folk dance bands. As well as playing with Bristowe Consort, Val currently performs with Phoenix Recorder Orchestra, and Phoenix Chamber Recorder Orchestra, Recorders Incorporated, Blockflute Band, and Fewtrils 3. She has performed in mixed ensembles as part of Concert Party and Musica Buena.
Val’s professional career was in hospital pharmacy
|Dick is a retired agricultural scientist who has spent much of his working life in East, Central and Southern Africa and then as a
consultant in Central Asia.
Dick has played the recorder since the age of 5 when his parents gave him a recorder for his birthday. At that time his father was learning the recorder in an evening class at Morley College with Edgar Hunt and Walter Bergmann and Dick received the tuition second hand! His younger sister also learned from and early age and together formed the "Little Trio" which performed occasionally. Dick received further tution and encouragement from Denis Bloodworth who was his biology teacher at Tiffin Boys' School, Kingston-upon-Thames. Denis was a very well-known figure in the recorder world until his death in 2017. Dick was able to play in many ensembles arranged by Denis including incidental music for the school's drama productions and had the opportunity to play his first concerto (Baston No.2) with the school orchestra conducted by Denis.
At Southamption University, where he read botany, he was also encouraged by the professor of music, Peter Evans, and spent a large amount of his spare time involved in music making. His first job was in Kenya, where he married his wife Carolyn, a 'cellist, and together they were heavily involved in music making, especially in the Nakuru Theatre, where Dick was musical director of many shows including production of Trial by Jury, Mikado, HMS Pinafore and Calamity Jane. After 5 years in Kenya they returned to UK in 1970 and were based in Cambridge where Dick became musical director of the Cambridge Branch of the SRP. However in 1974 they returned to Africa (Tanzania) and, after a short time there, returned to Kenya for a further six years, followed by a move to Zambia where he was musical director of the Lusaka Music Society for seven years.
Dick moved to Bristol in 1995 and joined the Bristol Branch of the Society of Recorder Players and in 1998 invited Val, Ellen, Barbara and Simon to join him in forming the Bristowe Consort; Lindsay joined in 2001. He is Music Director of the Bristol Branch of the SRP also conducts the Blockflute Band (which is a recorder ensemble formed from its members). Dick is also a member of the Phoenix Recorder Orchestra, the Phoenix Chamber Orchestra and a baroque group, Zalifenta.
|Ellen was taught recorder by Sister Cyril in Dominican Convent Cabra Junior School. As a student at Trinity College Dublin she discovered the
Dublin Branch of the Society of Recorder Players, and began to attend the Irish Recorder and
Viol Course, where she is still an enthusiastic participant on recorder, viol and cornamuse.
Since moving to Bristol in 1991, Ellen has become Chair of the Bristol Branch of the Society of Recorder Players, and plays in Pink Noise Recorder Consort, Bristowe Consort and Blockflute Band. She has previously performed with Rosafresca.
Ellen teaches Classics at the University of Bristol.
|Like many players, Simon Toomer began playing the recorder at primary school but gave it up when encouraged to play the more ‘serious’ oboe.
After a break of almost 20 years he rediscovered the instrument after becoming aware of its potential from hearing professional performances of
Vivaldi’s recorder concerti.
"I love the recorder for its simplicity but also for the fact that behind its apparent ease of playing lies an extremely challenging instrument that requires enormous imagination and perseverance to reveal its full qualities."
Simon is a professional forester and arboriculturalist.