Emma Kirkby (Soprano)
The English soprano, Emma (Carolyn) Kirkby, studied classics at Oxford and received vocal training from Jessica Cash. Originally, she had no expectations of becoming a professional singer. As a classics student at Oxford and then a schoolteacher she sang for pleasure in choirs and small groups, always feeling at home most in Renaissance and Baroque repertoire.
Kirkby was a founding member of the Taverner Choir, and in 1973 began her long association with the Consort of Musicke. She took part in the early Decca Florilegium recordings with both the Consort of Musicke and the Academy of Ancient Music, at a time when most college-trained sopranos were not seeking a sound appropriate for early music instruments.
In 1999 Emma Kirkby was voted Artist of the Year by Classic FM Radio listeners. In 2000 she was awarded the OBE and then the DBE in 2007. She was awarded the Queen's Medal for Music in 2011.