Emma Kirkby

4 September 2012
Emma Kirkby to Sing at Judith Nelson Memorial Concert

10th September was Judith's Nelson's birthday and her friends and colleagues have organised an evening to commemorate this very special person. I am due to sing in Québec on the 8th so am delighted to be able to fly on and share a little in the event.

The concert will be held on Monday, September 10, 7 to 9 pm, at the First Congregational Church, 2345 Channing Way, Berkeley, California. Admission is gratis and all are welcome.

There will be a full programme from wonderful musicians, most of whom, like me, were lucky enough to work with Judy, and treasure the memory of this generous and supremely musical soul, whose beautiful voice was matched with quick intelligence, sensitivity to others and an unending sense of fun.

I was so lucky to sing with her, especially in the late 70s and 80s, in projects of varying sizes, from Christopher Hogwood's larger ones — "Messiah," Handel anthems, through Purcell songs and Couperin's "Leçons de Ténèbres" — to the Consort of Musicke and Anthony Rooley's chamber programmes of Monteverdi madrigals and Italian "Duetti da Camera."

I learnt enormously from Judy without ever being made to feel the junior I was. She was the ideal duet partner, as many singers discovered; and on her return to USA in the 90s continued a radiant presence in operas, concerts and classes.

Judy was in at the start of Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and their tributes to her on the 10th, along with those from many other friends, will be an unique and beautiful event.

All best to all — Emma