Meet the orchestra: viol player Richard Boothby



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Richard Boothby is a member of the viol consort Fretwork

  • Meet the orchestra: viol player Richard Boothby

    Richard Boothby (© Edward Webb)

  • Summarise your instrument

    ‘A bowed guitar.’

    Best thing about it?

    ‘Its ability to blend with other viols and yet remain distinctive.’

    Worst thing about it?

    ‘Keeping it in tune during concerts.’

    Why did you choose the viol?

    ‘I was a cello player and was chosen to play it by a tutor.’

    Do you ever wish you played another instrument?

    ‘Yes, when I’m trying to get it on a plane.’

    How much is your Instrument worth?

    ‘About £10,000.’

    Your favourite pieces for the instrument?

    ‘Orlando Gough’s “Birds on Fire” from 2001, and any of the consorts by the Baroque composer William Lawes.’

    When are you playing next in London?

    ‘On Friday, in a late-night concert at St Martin-in-the-Fields.’

    Tell us a joke about viol players

    ‘Are there any? How about: How do you get a viola player to play a tremolo? Write a semibreve and mark it “solo”.’

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Users say


that was the worst joke i have heard in years!!!!!!