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Lucie Skeaping

Uncovering forgotten music and bringing it to life through her own performances is Lucie's skill and passion.

Uncovering forgotten music and bringing it to life through her own performances is Lucie’s skill and passion. She went to the Royal College of Music planning to be a virtuoso violinist but soon discovered early music, took up the lute and viol, and became a founder member of The City Waites - exploring, in particular, the street ballads, theatre songs and dances of 17th century England. Recordings, broadcasts and concerts throughout the world followed.

A diversion into television as presenter of BBC’s ‘Playschool’ and other programmes led to stage work including pantomime, musical theatre and ballad opera. Returning to music, Lucie worked with the City Waites, the Michael Nyman Band, the Martin Best Ensemble, the Consort of Musick, the English Concert of Viols, and the (then rather daring) ‘Sadista Sisters’, eventually forming her own klezmer band The Burning Bush who led the UK revival of traditional Jewish music.

An invitation to present a Radio 4 documentary about the exiled Jews of Spain led to further series’ on early and traditional music and their history, along with appearances on Radio 3 regulars such as Composer of the Week, CD Review and others.

Alongside writing, researching and presenting The Early Music Show, Lucie continues to perform. Highlights include playing on Venice’s Grand Canal, performing for the Queen at the Royal National Theatre, singing with The Burning Bush and the BBC Concert Orchestra to a packed Royal Festival Hall, appearing in Polanski’s movie ‘The Pianist’ filmed in Warsaw, singing English folksongs at a palace in Bahrain, playing ‘Jenny Diver’ in The Beggar’s Opera at Regents Park Open Air Theatre, winning the Music Industry Award for her book Broadside Ballads and performing klezmer to an audience of nuns in South America.

Her publications include the TES shortlisted Let’s Make Tudor Music (Stainer and Bell 1999) used widely in primary schools, the award-winning Broadside Ballads (Faber Music 2006), and an edition of rare musical comedies from the Tudor and Jacobean stage Singing Simpkin and other Bawdy Jigs (University of Exeter Press 2014) which continues to receive much interest in the press and the academic world. Lucie has contributed articles to the BBC Music Magazine, Early Music Today, History Today, Opera magazine, the Financial Times and others. Following the release of her CD of 17th century low-life songs, ‘Penny Merriments’ (Naxos), The Telegraph dubbed Lucie ‘the bawdy babe of Radio 3’.

Twitter: @lucieskeaping