Barbara Maria Rathbone is the founder and Director of Musica Universalis, established in 2010.
Born in London of Irish-English parentage, she trained as a soprano and pianist and has performed extensively as a soprano in the UK and Europe. She has also completed her first novel, 'The Conductor's Wife', and is now writing her second. She is passionate about music and her guilty secret is being a frustrated concert pianist, although her neighbours are not unaware of this! She also enjoys travel, philosophy, European languages and beautiful shoes.
"My life began fully when my musical life began, as an embryonic pianist on an recalcitrantly actioned black upright in my parents' study. However, I developed as a soprano in my late teens and the voice won out over the piano - a decision I sometimes rue, but by then I had also realised that to be more than a adequate pianist I would have to be dedicated to many hours of practice that the voice does not require on a daily basis, which was why the singers at college were more visible (although there are other reasons for this!). This left me free to enjoy listening to a lot music, and I was far more attached to orchestral and chamber music than only vocal.
Music, I realise, is my identity much more than just being a soprano and a pianist - everything I am and do is to serve the greatest music, and honour those who complete our lives in the performance of it at the highest level. Above all, regardless of how clichéd it may sound - as life moves through its various vicissitudes, great music-making is the sinew of eternity, ever expressing the best of humanity. The Sufi poet Rumi said - 'let the beauty of what you love be what you do' and in Musica Universalis I have found the true resonance of this ideal."
Musica Universalis is a full member of IAMA (International Artist Managers' Association) www.iamaworld.com