Penelope Rapson, Fiori’s founder and artistic director, is one of many Oxford musicians, including Jane Glover and Emma Kirkby, who have championed the revival of music before Mozart. Penelope was born in Wirksworth, Derbyshire and read music at Somerville College, Oxford, studying with David Wulstan.
She gained her Oxford doctorate in 1982 with “A technique for identifying textual errors and its application to the sources of music by Thomas Tallis”, a thesis which the University of Oxford selected for Garland’s series of outstanding dissertations from British universities. For a time she held the position of Tutor in Music at St Hilda’s College, Oxford.
Hallmarks of Penelope’s direction are her skilful blend of known and unknown baroque repertoire, making for interesting programming, and the freshness and vitality of Fiori Musicali’s performances under her baton.
Penelope also initiated a revival of the traditional annual celebrations at Stationers’ Hall to mark the Feast Day of St Cecilia, patron saint of music. She has directed Fiori Musicali in numerous concerts and recordings since 1983.