Oliver Webber’s education took him to Wells, Cambridge, London and The Hague, and laid the foundations for an eclectic and adventurous approach to historical performance.
He is the artistic director of the Monteverdi String Band, and a respected specialist in the string music of the early 17 th century; MSB have broken new ground with their Madrigal Transformed programme, which premiered in Sardinia in May 2014 and will be touring in 2015/6.
Oliver is often consulted on instrumentation by other directors, and in 2012 he led the string band, researching and sourcing instruments for the Taverner Consort’s recording of L’Orfeo.
His skills as an orchestral leader and director are widely called upon in the UK and abroad: he is the leader of Ludus Baroque (Edinburgh), and a principal and guest leader with the Gabrieli Players, the Early Opera Company, the London Handel Orchestra and the Hanover Band.
As a soloist Oliver performs regularly at major London venues, as well as European festivals such as the Festival Paganiniano di Carro, Italy and the Vrijdag van Vredenburg series, Utrecht. He is also a member of the Parley of Instruments, Passacaglia and the London Handel Players, and his violin and (speaking!) voice are often heard on BBC Radio 3; a Handelian wig has even been known to be found on his head on occasions for BBC television.
Bringing the fruits of scholarly research to life on the concert platform is a driving force behind Oliver’s work; he was the instigator of the Monteverdi Violins project, helping to recreate a matching pair of violins for the Gabrieli Consort’s recording of Monteverdi’s Vespers in 2005. These violins are now highly sought-after for early Baroque projects internationally.
He makes his own gut strings, and his work on historical stringing has transformed the sound of a number of ensembles, including the Gabrieli Consort, Ludus Baroque, the Early Opera Company and of course MSB.
He is a professor at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and lectures throughout Europe on various aspects of historical performance.
Oliver lives in London with his wife and 2 sons, although they spend as much time as possible in the mountains of Liguria – just up the road from Triora!