Pamela Thorby

Pamela Thorby

Pamela Thorby

Always stylish in whichever repertoire she chooses, Pamela's wide appeal stems from an innate love of communicating through her playing, a natural, dynamic stage presence and a sophisticated and intelligent use of her virtuosic skills.


    Pamela Thorby is unique among recorder players in the breadth and variety of her work and is widely regarded as the UK’s most stylish and creative recorder virtuoso. Through her playing and teaching, she has been at the forefront of raising standards and expectations for the instrument in the UK over the last 20 years. Her ability to assimilate many styles of music and her love of improvisation has led to work with leading jazz, folk and pop artists, and her stylish virtuosity can be heard on many film soundtracks and numerous recordings of music ranging from the medieval period to the present day. She has toured internationally as concerto soloist, chamber musician and orchestral principal and appears on over 100 recordings in those roles.

    Thorby was the driving force behind the much-admired Palladian Ensemble. They toured worldwide, performing more than 1000 concerts over 16 years and making for Linn ten acclaimed albums that garnered seven prestigious Diapason d’Or Awards. Thorby has also made numerous solo recordings on Linn: Baroque recorder concertos with Sonnerie, led by Monica Huggett (Gramophone Critic’s Choice), Handel recorder sonatas with Richard Egarr (BBC Music Magazine Chamber Music Disc of the Month and Gramophone Critic’s Choice), Garden of Early Delights with the harpist Andrew Lawrence-King (‘This is Paradise indeed’: Gramophone) and French Baroque works, The Nightingale and the Butterfly, with the lutenist Elizabeth Kenny.

    As a student, Thorby was awarded the Dove Prize for the highest mark on graduation from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. After postgraduate studies she was awarded a Dutch Government Scholarship to spend a further year studying with Walter van Hauwe at the Sweelinck Conservatorium in Amsterdam. Shortly after this, she became principal teacher of recorder at the GSMD. Thorby is now Professor of Recorder at the Royal Academy of Music in London, where she leads the recorder teaching and was recently made an Honorary Associate. She also teaches recorder at the University of York.