Jane Manning was born in Norwich and studied at the Royal Academy of Music and in Switzerland. In her long career she has covered an exceptionally wide repertoire and has sung at many of the world’s leading Festivals and concert halls, appearing regularly in USA, Australasia and all over Europe as well as London, her home since 1965.Her engagements have included Bach under Karl Richter, Salieri under Nikolaus Harnoncourt, major operatic roles by Mozart, Purcell, Lully, Britten and Kurt Weill and countless BBC broadcasts of the whole range of recital repertoire, as well as many Promenade Concerts .
She is of course especially renowned as an interpreter of contemporary music and has given more than 350 world premieres, working closely with composers such as Bennett, Birtwistle, Boulez, Cage, Carter, Maxwell Davies, Knussen and Weir. Her extensive discography includes, as well as pieces by many British composers, major works by Messiaen, Satie, Berg, Dallapiccola, Schoenberg, and Ligeti.
Jane's Minstrels, who made their debut in July 1988 at the Ryedale Festival, were hand-picked from Britain's most gifted young musicians by Jane Manning, and represent an entirely new concept in ensembles, which cuts across barriers of generation and idiom.
Jane's Minstrels swiftly attained an enviable international reputation, acclaimed by press and public. As well as a nomination for one of LEB's 'Brightening-Up London' Awards, their first full season featured 3 London appearances, 2 of them at the South Bank for the SPNM and the Park Lane Group, and a tour of Spain. Engagements at the Aldeburgh Festival and Dartington, and visits to Italy, Denmark Norway and Belgium quickly followed. Their programmes combine contemporary works with classics from the early 20th century, with emphasis on British music.
Roger Montgomery (conductor and horn player) studied at the University of York and at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with Anthony Halsted. Interested in contemporary music and period instrument performance he plays horn with many of the leading groups in both fields, and is a member of the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House.
As a founder member and conductor of Jane's Minstrels he has given many premieres and performed at leading festivals in the UK and in the USA, Scandinavia and Europe, directing three compact disc recordings for the NMC label and frequently broadcasting for the BBC.
He has also directed Avanti!, BBC Singers, Endymion, Capricorn, Park Lane Group Ensemble, Ondine (in several series of Contemporary classics and new works) and the recently formed Orchestra 18/20. He was recently invited to conduct the Esbjerg Ensemble in the premiere of Morten Olsen's Ictus for Danish Radio. With New Music Players, he has directed many performances including Ligeti's Aventures and Nouvelles Aventures and the premiere and recording of James Wood's Crying Bird, Echoing Star. Roger teaches at Trinity College of Music.
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A celebration of the unique contribution to contemporary music of this outstanding artist who, over the past 35 years, has given more than 350 world premieres: this collection includes songs by Anthony Payne, Brian Elias and Alison Bauld, plus Judith Weir's tribute to Chagall ('Don't let that horse') and Anthony Gilbert's quirky Beastly Jingles.
"Jane Manning is something of a legend in her own lifetime... certainly one of the most remarkable instigators of artistic achievements in others in our day."
Hi-Fi News & Record Review 1995
Recording date: 7-8 December 1993
Engineer: Mike Clements
Producers: Anthony Burton, Bayan Northcott
Editing & mastering: Stephen Johns
Cover image: Photo by Ute Klaphake
(P) 1995 NMC Recordings Ltd