emilia benjamin  viola da gamba

The members of Trio Sonnerie

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Monica Huggett
director & violin
Emilia Benjamin
viola da gamba
James Johnstone
harpsichord

Emilia has been a core member of Trio Sonnerie, formerly Sonnerie, since 1994, and has played all of her 4 instruments in it at one point or another. She is also a core member of the viol consort Concordia and plays as a guest with the viol consort Phantasm.

The last instrument she took up was the lirone, a few years back. It is a sweet-sounding, many stringed bowed lyre which is used to heavenly effect principally in early Italian opera. In 2007 she played it in L'Incoronazione di Poppea at Glyndebourne with the OAE, and in 2009 added the 'Hollywood effect' to Cavalli's Eliogabolo at Grange Park with the Early Opera Company, directed by Christian Curnyn. The EOC is one of Emilia's regular groups, and she plays violin and viola with them as well as viol and lirone.

As a viola player Emilia plays with the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra and the Irish Baroque Orchestra, and played Brandenburg 6 on the Gramophone award-winning CD released last year of all the Brandenburgs, directed by Trevor Pinnock with the European Brandenburg Ensemble. As a violinist and viola player, Emilia plays with various other groups, both chamber and orchestral.