GAIL HENNESSY is one of the foremost exponents of the baroque oboe in Britain. She was born in Wisconsin in the USA, and studied modern oboe at the University of Louisville before taking a position as cor anglais player in an orchestra in North Carolina. There she encountered a baroque oboe for the first time, and fell in love with its sound. This, together with her empathy for baroque music, led her to study Historical Performance Practice at Washington University and ultimately drew her to Britain. She was an apprentice to baroque oboe maker Mary Kirkpatrick in Oxfordshire, and studied baroque oboe with the late David Reichenberg through the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
She now has a busy career playing and recording with many of Britain's early music groups, including The Academy of Ancient Music, La Serenissima, New London Consort, The Parley of Instruments, St. James's Baroque, and Ex Cathedra. She appears as a soloist and chamber musician around the world, and has been broadcast as a soloist on BBC Radio 3, and on radio in France, Denmark, Japan, Switzerland, Belgium and the USA. She also encourages composers to write new music for old instruments, and has premiered works by Jennifer Fowler (1988), Roderick Williams (2004), Rhian Samuel (2008), and Thea Musgrave (2011). Her highly acclaimed recordings of Bach sonatas and Vivaldi chamber music are available on the Signum label.
Gail Hennessy was an exquisite oboe soloist. Early Music Review Aug 2012
Gail Hennessy’s rounded and mellifluous oboe playing beguilingly caresses the gentle contours of Vivaldi’s melodic line in a way that the older recordings, albeit on modern instruments, failed to do. “ BBC Music Magazine Sept 2011
Gail Hennessy, oboe, shapes the Alla Francese in RV 543 as if exhaling a Gauloise.” Classic FM Magazine Aug 2011