With a voice described as “flawless… heartfelt… heavenly” ( Early Music America ), and “totally beguiling” (The Guardian), Clare Wilkinson makes music with groups of different shapes and sizes – baroque orchestra, consort of viols, vocal consort, lute, piano – and loves them all. Particularly sought after for her interpretations of Bach, Clare has been alto soloist in all his major works with Sir John Eliot Gardiner, highlights being Cantata 170, Vergnügte Ruh , at the Spiegelsaal Köthen and the Matthew Passion at the Thomaskirche Leipzig. Bach recordings include the Magnificat (Butt), Welt, Gute Nacht (Gardiner), the St John & St Matthew Passions (Butt), the St Mark Passion (Willens) and Trauer-Music (Parrott – Gramophone Critics’ Choice). Clare also enjoys stage work: for example Venere in Monteverdi’s Ballo dell’Ingrate (BBC Proms), Galatea (London Handel Festival), mezzo/percussion in David Lang’s Little Match Girl Passion (Cryptic Theatre), I Fagiolini’s ‘secret theatre’ project The Full Monteverdi, and Amore in Gluck’s Orfeo (Ministry of Operatic Affairs). She was part of a staging of Bach motets as part of GOT Company’s critically-acclaimed show ‘Death Actually’ at the 2014 Spitalfields Festival.
Equally at home with viols, Clare is a regular guest of The Rose Consort of Viols and Fretwork, both on stage and in the recording studio, enjoying a comprehensive survey of the repertoire, from William Byrd to Tan Dun. Numerous composers have written for Clare. She premièred works written for her by John Joubert, Duncan Druce, and her father Stephen Wilkinson at the Wigmore Hall. Clare runs her own group, Courtiers of Grace, specialising in programmes which tell stories through music and readings. In addition to the Bach discs mentioned above, Clare’s many recordings include Orfeo (Parrott), the Gramophone Award-winning Messiah (Butt), Mynstrelles with Straunge Sounds & Gramophone Award-nominated Adoramus Te (Rose Consort of Viols). The Silken Tent (Fretwork) featuring two songs of Byrd never recorded before, is available via the Fretwork website.