Dr Amanda Babington is a violinist, recorder player, musette player, musicologist and editor. A lecturer in the school of Academic Studies at the Royal Northern College of Music, she has directed the University of Manchester Baroque Orchestra since 2006, and is a Visiting Performance Fellow at the University of Aberdeen.
As a performer, she appears regularly with many of the leading British and European period-instrument ensembles including Les Talens Lyrique, Dunedin Consort, Ex Cathedra, the Gabrieli Consort and Players, the Wallfisch Band and Fiori Musicali. She is regularly invited to give masterclasses and recitals across Europe, from Latvia to Budapest. In the UK, Amanda also plays with chamber ensembles Northern Baroque (www.northernbaroque.com), AB24 (www.ab24aberdeenbaroque.com), Aberdeen Early Music Collective, ArCco (www.arcco.org.uk) and Four's Company (https://www.hud.ac.uk/research/researchcentres/hucper/fourscompany/).
Described variously as a ‘canary on amphetamines’ (for her rendition of Vivaldi’s concerto in C for sopranino recorder) and a ‘glamorous string professional’, Amanda’s insatiable curiosity and passion for French Baroque music led her to begin learning the Musette (18th-century French bagpipes), and she has just completed a Masters degree in Musette at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven.
As a Visiting Performance Fellow she coaches students on period instruments, gives recitals and concerts and works on bi-annual staged student productions of works such as Purcell Fairy Queen, Eccles Judgement of Paris and a pastiche of Orfeo. Under her Directorship, the University of Manchester Baroque Orchestra's highlights have included a new reconstruction by Dr Rebecca Herissone of H. Purcell’s Come ye Sons of Arts, Pergolesi Stabat Mater, J. S. Bach Brandenburg Concerto III and Vivaldi Concerto for two cellos in g minor, RV531. Also in demand as a workshop leader, Amanda has coached student baroque ensembles at Huddersfield University, Liverpool University and Liverpool Hope University and is a tutor at the prestigious period-instrument Summer school Baroque Week.
Amanda completed a PhD (Handel’s Messiah: the Creative Process) at the University of Manchester in 2010 and has given various conference papers and published articles on Handel and Charles Jennens (librettist of Messiah). Her edition of Handel’s Dettingen Te Deum and Dettingen Anthem was published by the Hallische Händel-Ausgabe in 2016. Amanda is grateful to the Scottish Arts Trust for their financial assistance in the purchase of her violin, an English model from the 1790s.