Keith Pascoe


Keith Pascoe playing at the Chamber Music on Valentia Feastival

In 2016 Keith Pascoe received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Concert Hall, Dublin for his work with the Vanbrugh Quartet. He is an internationally respected violinist, conductor, lecturer, and editor.

His professional career began after prize winning studies at the Royal College of Music, London where he studied violin with Jaroslav Vanecek, piano with Eileen Reynolds, and conducting with Norman del Mar. His professional life began in 1981, when he became a founding member (and first leader) of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. Subsequent full-time positions included sub-leader of the London Philharmonic at the age of twenty-three, assistant director of the Academy of St. Martin-in-the Fields (with whom he has appeared as soloist), and ten years with exclusive EMI artists, the Britten Quartet. From 1998- 2017, he was a member of the Vanbrugh Quartet, artists-in-residence to University College Cork. The Vanbrugh continue to tour and play concerts with pianist Michael McHale and other artists. In January 2019 he was invited to lead an international orchestra in Bologna, Italy to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the death of conductor Claudio Abbado. 

As conductor, Keith was principal conductor of the Cork Symphony Orchestra from 2004 until 2015 when he was appointed conductor of the newly established Cork Fleischmann Symphony Orchestra. In that time he has conducted an extensive repertoire of symphonies, and has conducted for such soloists as sopranos Cara O’Sullivan, Majella Cullagh, Mary Hegarty, Sinead Ni Mhurchu and the The Three Irish Sopranos; violinists Mairéad Hickey, Sarah Sexton, Tasmin Little, and Nigel Kennedy with whom he also played Bach’s concerto for two violins; cellists Christopher Marwood, Julian Lloyd Webber, Yseult Cooper-Stockdale; pianists Ciara Moroney, David Syme, Kevin Jansson, and Barry Douglas; the Fleischmann Choir, as well as the Army Band of 1 Southern Brigade; International choirs including the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Choir, and the Harlow Chorus.  He opened Cork’s International Choral Festival notably with A Sea Symphony by Vaughan-Williams in 2008, and Verdi’s Requiem in 2017, and has conducted at the Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool, and at the National Concert Hall, Dublin. He conducted the DIT Conservatory’s production of Britten’s opera Noye’s Fludde in Dublin, and gave the premiere of Paul Alday’s first symphony, the first symphony known to have been composed in Ireland. 

In addition to his busy performing schedule, he has been researching the music of the eighteenth-century composer Luigi Boccherini. His critical editions of previously unpublished works by Boccherini, issued by HH Edition, have been critically acclaimed, and his discovery of a lost manuscript catalogue of the composer has been cited and referenced by international scholars. He is currently working on a rare manuscript to be published as a critical edition in the near future. His teaching and coaching commitments have taken him across the world, including to such major institutions as Royal College of Music, London; Royal Academy of Music, London; Chethams School of Music, Manchester; Edsberg Institut, Stockholm; Hong Kong University, Kiev Conservatory, University of Southern California, Liverpool University, Birmingham Conservatoire, Yehudi Menuhin School, inter alia. He has received an honorary ARAM from the Royal Academy of Music of Music, London and was awarded first-class honours MA, and first-class honours MPhil from Cork Institute of Technology and UCC, National University of Ireland respectively. He is a Lecturer in chamber music, and violin at the Technical University Dublin. He lives in Cork City, Ireland.

“…Pascoe’s intensely musical, deeply personal, and wonderfully moving account of the [Mendelssohn] concerto to match, at times even surpass, the playing of the best international soloists it has been my pleasure to hear”.

Irish Examiner 2017