I started learning the flute at the age of 11, studying first with George MacIlwham in Glasgow, and subsequently with David Nicholson at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, where I won a MacFarlane scholarship. After that I had some lessons with Oliver Bannister in London. While an undergraduate at Cambridge University I played in the University Orchestra and took part in memorable performances of Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius at the Aldeburgh Festival with Britten conducting and Peter Pears as tenor soloist, and as an obligato player in the St. Mathew Passion in King’s College chapel with David Willcocks and the King’s College choir.
In 1972 I bought an original single-keyed baroque flute out of curiosity and fell in love with the instrument. I taught myself for several years, and then studied with Stephen Preston at the Guildhall School of Music in London. When I moved to Canada in 1982 I started playing with a number of musical groups in Halifax and gave numerous performances at the Crousetown Baroque Festival and with the Halifax Baroque Orchestra.
In 1988 I moved to Vancouver and founded a trio with harpsichordist Penny Clarke and gambist Pat Unruh which later became the ensemble ‘Well-Tempered Baroque’. With this group I performed at the Hornby Island Festival and other venues in mainland BC, the Gulf Islands and Vancouver Island. We often performed with the violinist Greg Maldonado and soprano Liz MacIsaac. I have worked with other early music groups in the area, including Duo Noblesse Oblige, the Modern Baroque Opera Company and the Seattle based group B.O.M.B. (now working under a name with fewer negative connotations). I also teach, and have contributed invited book reviews to the journal Musick.
The first (slow) movement of a flute sonata in E minor by Frederick the Great of Prussia, played by myself, Penny Clarke (harpsichord) and Pat Unruh (Viola da Gamba).