Wendy Hancock RIP 06/10/1951 – 24/10/2016

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We are devastated to announce that our dear friend Wendy died on 24th October, peacefully, at home. We owe her so much as a friend, a colleague, and guiding light of MDD and we will miss her deeply.


Wendy studied at Exeter, Cambridge, and Nottingham universities. She was a specialist in the interpretation of Renaissance and Baroque music, performing widely on Baroque flute, recorder (playing instruments by Anthony Arnold), and viol. For ten years she was editor of Chelys, the journal of the Viola da Gamba Society. In Nottingham she founded the Holme Pierrepont Opera Trust for the performance of Baroque opera on original instruments; she also co-founded the ensemble Galliarda. She researched 17th-century performance-practice, and country house music, especially the musical connections of Nathaniel Curzon at Kedleston Hall, near Derby, in the mid-18th century. She also taught part-time for Nottingham University. Wendy performed mainly on the Baroque flute, recorder and viol, with the ensembles Galliarda and Musica Donum Dei, which she founded and of which she was Artistic Director. She recorded several CDs with MDD and one with Galliarda, (‘Gaudete,  ‘A Merry Wassail’,  Ring-a-Ring-a-Roses and ‘All The World’s a Stage’ with MDD, and Josef i Maria with Galliarda)

Wendy Hancock was born in London, and spent much of her life in Nottingham. After a first degree in music from Exeter University, she gained a PGCE in secondary music teaching from Cambridge University. School music teaching was not for her however, so she returned to university – this time Nottingham – to study for an MA and an M. Phil. Teaching careers at South-East Derbyshire (sixth-form) college and for the Department of Continuing Education at Nottingham University followed.

Wendy also taught on summer schools such as Dolmetsch, Norvis, the Antwerp International Summer School, and Le Tréport, northern France, and gave special lectures on performance-practice at Bangor and Birmingham universities. Latterly she coached the early music ensembles at Nottingham University, and taught privately.

For ten years, between 1977 and 1987 she was editor of Chelys, the journal of the Viola da Gamba Society, and in 2013 she was guest editor of the online journal. Her article, ‘Thomas Mace and a sense of Humour: the case for expression in 17th-century instrumental music’, was recently published by both the Viola da Gamba and Lute Societies, and translated into German as a festschrift.

Other interests concerned the musical connections of the Curzon family, at Kedleston Hall, near Derby in the 18th century. She was interviewed by Suzie Klein on this subject at Kedleston Hall for ‘In Tune’ in April 2014.

In her spare time, Wendy enjoyed swimming, walking, cycling, cooking and digging the allotment.