Phantasm, an award-winning consort of viols, was founded in 1994 by Laurence Dreyfus and has become recognised as the most exciting viol consort active on the world scene today. The ensemble catapulted into international prominence when its debut CD of works by Henry Purcell won a Gramophone Award for the Best Baroque Instrumental Recording of 1997. Since then, the consort has travelled the world over, performing in festivals and on concert series in cities such as Prague, Tokyo, Istanbul, Helsinki and Washington DC.
Recent engagements have included the Barcelona Early Music Festival, the Bergen International Festival, the Lufthansa Early Music Festival in London, Mazovia Baroque in Warsaw, the Stockholm Early Music Festival, Brussels’ Palais des Beaux Arts and Ghent’s De Bijloke hall.
Their fourteen recordings have also won consistent praise, and several have received awards, including a Gramophone Award in 2004 for the music of Orlando Gibbons, finalist for CD of the Year. Their first recording on the Scottish Linn label (named Gramophone’s Record Label of the Year in 2010) was devoted to the consort works of the 17th-century composer John Ward and was Editor’s Choice in BBC Music Magazine as well as a finalist for the 2010 Gramophone Early Music Award. The most recent CD for Linn, the Complete Consort Music of William Byrd, was awarded a Diapason d’Or, CD of the Month by BBC Music Magazine, and is a Gramophone finalist for the best Early Music recording of 2011.
Phantasm’s members (Britain, Finland and the USA) have been based at the University of Oxford since 2005 when they were appointed Consort-in-Residence. In Autumn 2010, they began a new association as Consort-in-Residence at Magdalen College, where they perform, develop viol consort playing among the students, and collaborate with Magdalen College Choir under its director, Daniel Hyde.