Emma Kirkby



Born: February 26, 1949; Camberley, England  
English soprano Emma Kirkby is one of the leading proponents of Renaissance and Baroque vocal music. Having begun her vocal studies with Jessica Cash at Oxford University (while studying classic literature), she made her 1974 concert debut in London; she has been regarded as an early music specialist from the beginning. She made her first tour of the United States in 1978; tours to all of the major music capitals of the world have followed. Read more Especially noteworthy was a tour of the Arabian states with lutenist Anthony Rooley.

She has been a member of the Academy of Ancient Music, The London Baroque, The Taverner Players and the Consort of Musicke. In her collaborations with these groups she has increased the public awareness of correct Baroque performance practice while carefully avoiding pedantry; she brings a great deal of drama and musicianship to her performances. Besides the lute songs of the Renaissance era, Kirkby is well known for her performances of the cantatas and passions of Bach and the choral music of Monteverdi. Though she has rarely appeared on the operatic stage, she had great success as Dorlina in Handel's Orlando and in the title role of Scarlatti's Giuditta.

Kirkby's voice is a very light, lyric soprano of unusual sweetness. She has excellent control of the voice and is able to sing without any vibrato -- a quality that many practitioners of early music prefer. Her recordings give an excellent view of the range of her repertoire -- at times even expanding on it, since she has recorded several operas which she has not sung on stage, including Purcell's Dido and Aeneas, Monteverdi' Orfeo, Handel's Orlando and Hasse's Cleofide. Read less
Buxtehude: Vocal Music, Vol 1 / Kirkby, Holloway, Et Al
Release Date: 02/27/2007   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8557251   Number of Discs: 1
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Browse 1-25 of 160 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    The Complete Bach Edition
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 567107 Release Date: 02/23/2018   Number of Discs: 153
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Max van Egmond,  Kurt Equiluz,  Paul Esswood,  Walter Gampert  ... 
    Conductor:  Nikolaus Harnoncourt,  Gustav Leonhardt,  Ton Koopman,  Jaap Schröder  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Concentus Musicus,  Chorus Viennensis,  Vienna Boys' Choir  ... 
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  • 2.
    A Pleasing Melancholy / Kirkby, Chelys Consort of Viols
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 2283 Release Date: 09/01/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Dowland,  Robert Jones,  Tobias Hume,  Thomas Simpson  ... 
    Performer:  James Akers,  Emma Kirkby
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chelys Consort of Viols
    SuperAudio CD: $19.99
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  • 3.
    Baroque Gold: 100 Great Tracks
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 4832158 Release Date: 06/30/2017   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Jean-Baptiste Lully,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Johann Pachelbel  ... 
    Performer:  Nigel North,  Christopher Hirons,  Christophe Rousset,  Ottavio Dantone  ... 
    Conductor:  Reinhard Goebel,  Philip Pickett,  Christopher Hogwood,  John Eliot Gardiner  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Musica Antiqua Cologne,  New London Consort,  Academy of Ancient Music  ... 
    CD: $29.99
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  • 4.
    The Beauty of Monteverdi
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 4797193 Release Date: 04/14/2017   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Claudio Monteverdi
    Performer:  David Miller,  Sandro Naglia,  Mark Tucker,  Nigel Robson  ... 
    Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner,  Andrea Marcon,  Anthony Rooley,  Paul McCreesh  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Baroque Soloists,  His Majestys Sagbutts and Cornetts,  Monteverdi Choir  ... 
    CD: $22.99
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  • 5.
    Medieval & Renaissance
    Label: L'oiseau Lyre   Catalog: 002550302 Release Date: 01/06/2017   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Anonymous,  Jaquemin de Senleches,  Guido Lange] [de,  Johannes Olivier  ... 
    Performer:  Rogers Covey-Crump,  Paul Elliot,  Margaret Philpot,  Catherine Bott  ... 
    Conductor:  Philip Pickett,  Anthony Rooley,  Trevor [viola da gamba] Jones,  Christopher Hogwood  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Medieval Ensemble,  New London Consort,  Consort of Musicke  ... 
    CD: $138.99
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  • 6.
    Handel: The Great Oratorios
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002522302 Release Date: 07/29/2016   Number of Discs: 41
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  Ian Partridge,  Emma Kirkby,  Patrizia Kwella,  Carolyn Watkinson  ... 
    Conductor:  Christopher Hogwood,  John Eliot Gardiner,  Trevor Pinnock,  Harry Christophers  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of Ancient Music,  English Baroque Soloists,  Westminster Cathedral Boys Choir  ... 
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  • 7.
    Aria: Bach's Most Beautiful Arias
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002489302 Release Date: 05/06/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Christine Schäfer,  Magdalena Kozená,  Thomas Quasthoff,  Renée Fleming  ... 
    Conductor:  Sebastian Weigle,  Andreas Delfs,  John Eliot Gardiner,  Lars Ulrik Mortensen  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Musica Antiqua Cologne,  Staatskapelle Dresden,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $7.99
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  • 8.
    The Sound of Shakespeare
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 555057 Release Date: 04/22/2016   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Anonymous,  Edmund Kete,  Traditional,  Robert Johnson  ... 
    Performer:  David Douglass,  Paul O'Dette,  Emily van Evera,  Lyle Nordstrom  ... 
    Conductor:  Paul Hillier
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Baroque
    CD: $15.99
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  • 9.
    The Decca Sound [Repackaged Edition]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002434502 Release Date: 01/29/2016   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Manuel de Falla,  Claude Debussy,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Enrique Granados  ... 
    Performer:  Teresa Berganza,  Alfredo Campoli,  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Cecilia Bartoli  ... 
    Conductor:  Ernest Ansermet,  Ataulfo Argenta,  Anatole Fistoulari,  Vladimir Ashkenazy  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suisse Romande Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $181.49
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  • 10.
    The Florilegium Series - Classical & Early Romantic
    Label: L'oiseau Lyre   Catalog: 002386502 Release Date: 10/15/2015   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Johann Wenzel Stamitz,  Luigi Boccherini,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Domenico Cimarosa  ... 
    Performer:  Alan Hacker,  Anthony Rolfe Johnson,  Emma Kirkby,  Michael George  ... 
    Conductor:  Christopher Hogwood,  Simon Preston,  Alan Hacker,  Arnold Östman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of Ancient Music,  The Music Party,  Oxford New College Choir  ... 
    CD: $148.49
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  • 11.
    Emma Kirkby: 5 Classic Albums
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 550589 Release Date: 07/10/2015   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Giaches de Wert,  Robert Jones,  John Dowland,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Performer:  Alan Ewing,  Evelyn Tubb,  Andrew King,  Rufus Müller  ... 
    Conductor:  Anthony Rooley,  Charles Medlam
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Consort of Musicke,  London Baroque
    CD: $24.99
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  • 12.
    The Bach Recordings / Hogwood, Academy of Ancient Music
    Label: L'oiseau Lyre   Catalog: 002307502 Release Date: 05/12/2015   Number of Discs: 20
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach,  Johann Christian Bach,  Wilhelm Friedemann Bach
    Performer:  Christophe Rousset,  Catherine Mackintosh,  Monica Huggett,  Christopher Hirons  ... 
    Conductor:  Christopher Hogwood
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of Ancient Music,  St. Paul Chamber Orchestra
    CD: $98.49
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  • 13.
    Handel: Messiah / Hogwood, AAM [2 CDs + 1 Blu-ray Audio]
    Label: L'oiseau Lyre   Catalog: 002298460 Release Date: 04/14/2015   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  Emma Kirkby,  Carolyn Watkinson,  Paul Elliott,  David Thomas  ... 
    Conductor:  Christopher Hogwood
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of Ancient Music,  Christ Church Cathedral Choir
    On sale! $49.98
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  • 14.
    Emma Kirby - The Complete Recitals [12-CD Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002268802 Release Date: 03/03/2015   Number of Discs: 12
    Composer:  Richard Edwards,  Thomas Campion,  John Dowland,  John Danyel  ... 
    Performer:  Emma Kirkby,  Anthony Rooley,  David Thomas,  Trevor [viola da gamba] Jones  ... 
    Conductor:  Christopher Hogwood
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of Ancient Music,  Consort of Musicke,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields  ... 
    CD: $44.49
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  • 15.
    Haydn: Complete Masses, Stabat Mater
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002260302 Release Date: 02/03/2015   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn
    Performer:  Anthony Rolfe Johnson,  Alfreda Hodgson,  Arleen Augér,  Gwynne Howell  ... 
    Conductor:  Laszlo Heltay,  Simon Preston,  John Eliot Gardiner,  George Guest
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Argo Chamber Orchestra,  Academy of Ancient Music,  Christ Church Cathedral Choir  ... 
    CD: $32.99
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  • 16.
    Stradella: Duets /   Kirkby, Ryden ,  Foresti, Astronio, Harmonices Mundi
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94343 Release Date: 10/28/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alessandro Stradella
    Performer:  Sergio Foresti,  Emma Kirkby,  Susanne Rydén,  Alessio Tosi  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Astronio
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Harmonices Mundi
    CD: $8.99
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  • 17.
    Danyel: Lute Songs / Anthony Rooley, Consort Of Musick
    Label: Eloquence   Catalog: 002083102 Release Date: 08/12/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Danyel
    Performer:  Anthony Rooley,  Trevor [viola da gamba] Jones,  Emma Kirkby,  Martyn Hill  ... 
    Conductor:  Anthony Rooley
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Consort of Musicke
    CD: $14.99
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  • 18.
    Arie Antiche / Emma Kirkby, Anthony Rooley
    Label: United Classics   Catalog: 13028 Release Date: 06/10/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giulio Caccini,  Johann Nauwach,  Angelo Notari,  Claudio Saracini  ... 
    Performer:  Emma Kirkby,  Anthony Rooley
    CD: $12.99
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  • 19.
    Maynard: The XII Wonders of the World; Campion, Hume, Ravescroft, Parsons: Character Songs
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002069502 Release Date: 06/03/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Anonymous,  Tobias Hume,  John Maynard,  Thomas Campion  ... 
    Performer:  John York Skinner,  Anthony Rooley,  Emma Kirkby,  Martyn Hill  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Consort of Musicke
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  • 20.
    John Christopher Smith: The Seasons / Mammel, Kirkby, Simon, Mead, Riedelbauch
    Label: Christophorus   Catalog: 77382 Release Date: 03/25/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  John Christopher Smith
    Performer:  Emma Kirkby,  Hans Jörg Mammel,  Tim Mead,  Markus Simon
    Conductor:  Wolfgang Riedelbauch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Musica Franconia Festival Chorus,  La Banda
    CD: $24.99
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  • 21.
    40th Anniversary Box: Handel Sacred Masterworks
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 615797 Release Date: 03/11/2014   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Anonymous,  George Frideric Handel,  Giovanni Francesco Anerio
    Performer:  Emma Kirkby,  Jill Feldman,  Emily van Evera
    Conductor:  Andrew Parrott
    On sale! $38.98
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  • 22.
    Baroque Vocal Masterpieces
    Label: Griffin   Catalog: 4081 Release Date: 02/04/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claudio Monteverdi,  Giacomo Carissimi,  Bonifazio Graziani,  Jeremiah Clarke  ... 
    Performer:  Emma Kirkby,  Robert Jones,  Martin Pickering,  David [Bass Vocal] Beaven
    Conductor:  Richard Stangroom
    CD: $16.99
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  • 23.
    Emma Kirkby In Recital / Christopher Wilson
    Label: Kultur Video   Catalog: 4890 Release Date: 10/29/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Pierre Guédron,  Nicholas Lanier,  William Lawes,  Nicolas Vallet  ... 
    Performer:  Emma Kirkby,  Christopher Wilson
    On sale! $29.99
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  • 24.
    St Matthew Passion
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 3001 Release Date: 07/12/2013   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Michael George,  Martyn Hill,  Emma Kirkby,  Rogers Covey-Crump  ... 
    Conductor:  Stephen Cleobury
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Brandenburg Consort,  Cambridge King's College Choir
    On sale! $53.98
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  • 25.
    Angelo Notari: The First New Music
    Label: United Classics   Catalog: 2012080 Release Date: 03/26/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Angelo Notari
    Performer:  Emma Kirkby,  Evelyn [Soprano Vocal] Tubb,  David Thomas,  Joseph [Tenor Vocals] Cornwell  ... 
    Conductor:  Anthony Rooley
    CD: $12.99
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