LIFEM | 9-12 November 2022

Tatty Theo

London-born Tatty Theo comes from a family of cellists going back several generations, and her interest in baroque repertoire became apparent at a young age. Tatty’s earliest experiences of the cello were playing duets with her grandfather William Pleeth and listening to her uncle Anthony perform Geminiani sonatas on the baroque cello. After reading music at The Queen’s College, Oxford, Tatty continued her studies at postgraduate level at the Royal College of Music where she won many of the Early Music prizes. She has performed as a soloist at Festivals throughout Britain and Europe, with live broadcasts for BBC and various European radio stations.   

A lifelong passion for Handel and a love of performing chamber music are two of Tatty’s driving forces and this was instrumental in her founding the award-winning period instrument group The Brook Street Band. The Band performs and teaches throughout the UK and Europe, with post-Covid projects in development further afield. Tatty has also established love: Handel, The Brook Street Band’s own critically acclaimed music festival. This biennial festival, centred in East Anglia is dedicated to Handel’s music, and fuses several of the Band’s passions, working with young people in schools, and extending chamber music and concert links within this community. The Band’s wide-ranging educational work is supported through its charitable trust. 

With The Brook Street Band, Tatty regularly broadcasts for Radio 3 and Classic FM and is heard on stations all around the world. The Band’s extensive discography has been singled out for critical acclaim with accolades including Gramophone Magazine Editor’s Choice and inclusion in the chamber music/small ensemble selection category at the Grammy Awards. 

Tatty writes for various print and online publications about Handel and eighteenth-century music in general. She is also researching material for an eventual book examining Handel’s use of the cello. Recent work includes the first two chapters of a book about William Pleeth, the results of Tatty’s Finzi scholarship to research William’s musical life in London pre-1930 and his studies in Leipzig from 1930–32. Tatty is also a freelance festival programmer, with recent events including the “Muffat Festival” for St. John’s Smith Square, and the “Handeliade” for Handel & Hendrix in London.  

“a riveting performance, which varied between affecting simplicity and visceral excitement…all the playing was high quality, but particular praise must go to the cellist Tatty Theo, the group’s founder, for her beautifully subtle underpinning and shading of the melodic lines above.” The Strad Magazine 


The Judges