Lucie Skeaping | Uncovering forgotten music

I trained as a violinist at the Royal College of Music then worked on the concert platform and in the theatre, later working for BBC television as a presenter of children’s programmes. My interest in Early Music began when I formed ‘The City Waites’, a four-piece band focusing on 17th and early 18th century English popular music, broadside ballads in particular (The Daily Telegraph dubbed me 'the bawdy babe of Radio 3'). In between touring the world and recording more than 30 CDs, I presented music documentaries for BBC Radio 4, then becoming presenter of Radio 3's ‘Early Music Show’.

Interested in exploring the music of my own heritage, I formed what was to become Britain’s leading klezmer band ‘The Burning Bush’. Recordings, broadcasts and international tours followed, with sell-out concerts at London's Royal Festival Hall, Barbican and Queen Elizabeth Hall; appearances/soundtracks include Polanski's Oscar-winning movie 'The Pianist' and Simon Schama's 'History of Britain' for BBC TV. Other television appearances and roles include 'The Beggar's Opera' (for Jonathan Miller), 'Mr Pepys' Diary', 'Dickens' London', 'The One Show', 'Rude Britannia', Songs of Praise, BBC Breakfast, a documentary on painter William Dobson (for Waldemar Januszczak) and 'Sounds of London' for Jools Holland.

I have worked as a musician with the Royal National Theatre, Shakespeare’s Globe, Rambert Dance Company and the RSC. I am a Patron of the Finchley Children’s Music Group, an Ambassador/Adjudicator for the charity ‘Live Music Now’ and contributer to the schools’ song-bank, ‘Sing Up’.

I write a regular column for 'Early Music Today' and have contributed articles for the BBC Music Magazine, Financial Times, History Today, BBC History Magazine. My books include ‘Let’s Make Tudor Music’ for Stainer and Bell (Runner-up, TES Award) ‘Broadside Ballads’ for Faber Music (Winner, Music Industry Award for Best Classical Music Publication 2006),and ‘Singing Simpkin and other Bawdy Jigs: Musical Comedy on the Shakespearean Stage’ (with co-authored with Roger Clegg) for Exeter University Press.

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