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Alison Crum (Viola da gamba)

Born: November 23, 1949 - England

The English gambist, Alison Crum, got her first viol while studying music at Reading University, and went on to study at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels with Wieland Kuijken and, later, with Jordi Savall at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis.

Alison Crum is one of the best known British exponents of the viol. As teacher, performer, and moving-spirit behind several well-known groups, she travels all over the world giving recitals and lectures, and teaching on summer schools and workshops. As a soloist, she gives recitals, with or without continuo-instruments, and offer a wide range of music for one, two, and three viols. Her large collection of instruments and versaltility as a player allows various programmes. Her repertoire includes music by such composers as Ortiz, Rogniono, Hume, Jenkins, Simpson, Schenk, Marais, François Couperin, J.S. Bach, Georg Philipp Telemann and Abel. Alison Crum is most often accompanied by Roy Marks, who plays lutes, theorbo and viols, as well as keyboard instruments. They are often joined by viol players, Susanna Pell or Andrew Kerr, to include the wide repertoire of music for three viols, but Alison also gives unaccompanied recitals, or joins with singers or other instrumentalists.

Alison Crum has made over 90 recordings - mostly with the Consort of Musicke, the Dowland Consort, Musica Antiqua of London, and the Rose Consort of Viols - but also featuring as a soloist on two discs of Marais, and more recently with Laurence Cummings, on a recording of the three Bach gamba sonatas, and playing Italian virtuoso divisions on Renaissance viols with Musica Antiqua on their 'Word Play' CD.

Alison Crum has been called 'the doyenne of British viol teachers', and has a worldwide reputation for her teaching skills. She has a busy schedule of teaching in the UK, Professor of Viola da gamba at Trinity College of Music London, and holding teaching posts also at West Dean College, (where she teaches apprentice viol makers, and supervises them on the practical details of setting up their instruments) and at many British universities including Birmingham and Edinburgh. She also gives private lessons and group coaching in many parts of the country including London, Oxford, Derby, Leeds and Devon. Further afield she teaches on a regular basis in Germany, Belgium and Italy, and in many parts of the USA. She has also made several visits to Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Hong Kong and Israel. Crum is President of the Viola da Gamba Society of Great Britain, She directs many courses for viol players, including the International Viol Summer School, attracting players from all over the world, and has had published a series of graded music books centred around her highly acclaimed textbook Play the Viol - now in its 5th reprint. Her second book, The Viol Rules was published in November 2009.

Discography: J.S. Bach: Viola da gamba sonatas (Signum); Marais: Greatest Masterworks (Naxos, 2-CD); Dietrich Buxtehude: Jubilate Domino (Meridian); Elizabethon Christmas Anthems (Amon Ra); Lawes: Consort music for Viols, Lutes and Theorbos (Naxos); Tomkins: Consort Music for Viols and Voices (Naxos); Gibbons: Consort and Keyboard Music (Naxos); Byrd: Consort and Keyboard Music (Naxos); Jenkins: All in a Garden Green (Naxos); Dowland: Consort Music and Songs (Naxos); Purcell: Fantazias (Naxos); Elizabethan Songs and Consort Music (Naxos); Four Gentlemen of the Chapel Royal (DXL); John Ward Consort Music: Upon a bank with roses (CPO); Alfonso Ferrabosco: Consort Music (CPO); Ah, Dear Heart (Woodmansterne); Lachrymae (Amon Ra); Born is the Babe (Woodmansterne).

Source: Alison Crum Website; Wikipedia Website (March 2012)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (January 2013)

Alison Crum: Short Biography | Recordings of Instrumental Works
Reviews of Instrumental Recordings:
Bach's Viola da Gamba Sonatas from Laurence Cummings [D. Satz] | Review of Bach Sonatas for Viola da Gamba and Harpsichord by Alison Crum and Laurence Cummings [K. McElhearn]

Recordings of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works




Robert King


BWV 54 [1st, w/ counter-tenor James Bowman]

Links to other Sites

Alison Crum (Official Website)
Alison Crum (Trinity College of Music)
Alison Crum (West Dean College)

Alison Crum (Wikipedia)
Alison Crum (BBC Music)

Biographies of Performers: Main Page | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z
Explanation | Acronyms | Missing Biographies | The Sad Corner


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