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Elizabeth Kenny

Elizabeth Kenny

Elizabeth Kenny is one of Europe's leading lute players.  She is a principal player with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and Concordia.



Dowland: Lachrimae or Seven Tears
Dowland: Lachrimae or Seven Tears
'The most sensuously tuneful hour of music ever written...' 

CKD 527  

Telemann: Recorder Sonatas and Fantasias
Telemann: Recorder Sonatas and Fantasias
Pamela Thorby completes her discography of eighteenth century favourites with Telemann. 

CKD 476  

Lawes: The Royal Consort
Lawes: The Royal Consort
The award-winning Phantasm celebrates William Lawes with a sublime collection of premiere recordings 

CKD 470  

The Nightingale and the Butterfly
The Nightingale and the Butterfly
Pamela Thorby teams up with renowned lutenist Elizabeth Kenny for her fourth solo album on Linn. 

CKD 341  

Mungrel Stuff
Mungrel Stuff
A selection of Scottish themed tunes from a great variety of composers. 

CKD 140  

Elizabeth Kenny - lute 

Elizabeth Kenny is one of Europe’s leading lute players: her playing has been described as ‘incandescent’ (Music and Vision), ‘radical’ (Independent on Sunday) and ‘indecently beautiful’ (Toronto Post). Kenny’s recital album Flying Horse: The ML Lutebook was released by Hyperion Records in 2009, and she has recorded chamber music by Lawes, Purcell and Dowland. With her group Theatre of the Ayre she created a concert version of John Blow’s Venus and Adonis that was released on the Wigmore Live label.

Kenny toured several smaller-scale projects in the UK during 2013–14, and also engaged in a unique collaboration with members of the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain. Tours of The Masque of Moments and Lutes & Ukes throughout 2015 were made possible by a major award from the Arts and Humanities Research Council. Kenny also recently devised and directed productions of Le Malade imaginaire and A Restoration Tempest for the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse.

Kenny is Professor of Lute at the Royal Academy of Music and a Reader in Performance at Southampton University. She was one of four artistic advisors for the York Early Music Festival, 2011–14.

Vote For Phantasm
01 February 2016
Nominated for a BBC Music Magazine Award
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ICMA Nominations Announced
20 November 2015
Three Linn Recordings Nominated
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Pamela Thorby to open CD Review...
27 August 2010
Andrew McGregor to play tracks from 'The Nightingale and the Butterfly'
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BBC Radio 3 'Record Review'
'An absolute pleasure. The recording is a beauty as well: rich and intimate...'
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American Record Guide
'The performances are excellent overall – tastefully phrased and lightly ornamented to bring out the genius of Telemann's writing.'
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Early Music Review
5 Stars
'Pamela Thorby's playing is by turns expressive and breathtaking...Highly recommended.'
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Gramophone
'...sheer interpretative intelligence and authority.'
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The Herald Scotland
Top 20 Classical Recordings 2016: 'Weird phrase lengths, irreverent accents, rogue harmonies…The viol writing of William Lawes is like nothing else, and Phantasm goes at it with a proper swing in its step. Sometimes the music repeats a snatch of melody just because it’s too good not to, which must have caused havoc for anyone trying to actually dance to these tunes.'


Iowa Public Radio
Flavorful Picks from 2015: 'This new release reveals their vibrant individuality and dancing energy with gloriously characterful playing, captured in exceptionally rich recorded sound.'
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BBC Radio 3 ‘CD Review’
‘Critics’ Choice’ from Hannah French
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Limelight Magazine
Chamber Music Recording of the Year 2015: 'The rhythmic vivacity and pungent push-pull swing of their playing rocks, while their ear for authentic period non-tempered tunings is exquisite.'
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Audio Video Club of Atlanta
'Pamela Thorby has never been in better form than she is here.'
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The Guardian
4 Stars
'a light touch and conversational spark...her solo Fantasias are breathtaking'
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ORF Austria
CD of the Day: 'Magnificent! ... Fantastic music performed by Phantasm.'
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WQXR New York
New and Noteworthy: 'This set explores the unique creative output of English Renaissance composer William Lawes.'
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Limelight Magazine
5 Stars
Recording of the Month: 'The emotional reach of the music is rich and constantly surprising.'
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BBC Music Magazine
5 Stars
'The musicians respond to Lawes's complex and variegated emotions with playing by turns buoyant and vigorous, graceful and serene. They delight, too, in his quirky wit.'
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Early Music Review
'This performance is outstanding. The playing is so expressive, wonderfully lyrical in the Pavens and Ayres, boisterous in the Sarabands. They use vibrato judiciously, the texture never clouded. The tone is always crystal bright, the articulation beautifully controlled, ranging from boisterously detached to sinuous legato, the theorbo (Elizabeth Kenny) matching their every move.'
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AllMusic
4½ Stars
'Dreyfus catches the music's experimental, almost revolutionary quality, and the rather gloomy sound of Oxford's Magdalen College Chapel fits the music beautifully. Highly recommended.'
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Nottingham Post
'Well worth a few hours of anyone's time.'
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MusicWeb International
'This is very enjoyable and varied music. The ensemble brings out the sheer delight of the various movements...'
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The Guardian
5 Stars
'The ensemble sound is luxuriantly rich, powered by Elizabeth Kenny's feisty theorbo strumming.'
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Classical Music
5 Stars
'Vivid, arresting and harmonically bold, Lawes' seemingly endless invention is matched by playing here of startling concentration and energy.'
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The Consort
"...lovers of French baroque music will find plenty of rich fare on this CD."
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International Record Review
"...Thorby plays with her customary vigour and agility, with generous and judiciously applied ornamentation."
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Scotland on Sunday
4 Stars
"...well worth hearing."
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BBC Music Magazine
4½ Stars
"...a disc full of delights and surprises."
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Gramophone
"...elegantly conversational...consistently bright"
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Classical Music Magazine
4 Stars
"delicious...first-rate"
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Sound and Music
"Questa opportunità viene colta alla perfezione dale due soliste inglesi..."
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Klassik.com
"...Pamela Thorby spielt beweglich, technisch ohne Anstrengung und makellos..."
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Early Music Review
"...charming pieces."
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The Herald
"It is music of wit, endless charm, poignant and tender expressiveness...A gentle, thoughtful experience."
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Audio Video Club of Atlanta
"Thorby caresses and shapes the gracious recorder melodies, taking them with incredible velocity when the occasion demands."
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AudioVideoHD
5 Stars
"Un álbum delicioso, relajante y perfectamente interpretado."
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MusicWeb International
"Everything here is utterly inconsequential and totally charming."
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Independent on Sunday
"Pamela Thorby's soft, sweet, natural tone is ideally suited to the whimsical delicacies of d'Hervelois, Philidor and Dieupart."
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