Early music mourns a vibrant leader, 55

Early music mourns a vibrant leader, 55


norman lebrecht

November 17, 2021

The London-based medieval and early music ensemble Joglaresa has announced the death of its leader, Belinda Sykes.

Yesterday morning our beloved bandleader Belinda Sykes passed away peacefully. We can’t adequately put into words the impact that Belinda has had on all of our lives both musically and personally. Belinda was a force of nature with an almost unparalleled wealth of knowledge and a great friend and mentor to us all. We will miss her dearly, but we know her legacy and her music will live on for many years to come. Her incredible voice and musicianship brought so much joy to so many.

Belinda studied voice and improvisation in Morocco, Bulgaria, Syria, Spain and India; oboe and recorder at the Guildhall School of Music.
She sang with many ensembles and played oboe in the Gabrieli Consort, English Concert, King’s Consort, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Age of Enlightenment, and The Hanover Band.

She also worked with such living composers as Harrison Birtwistle and Jocelyn Pook.

Diagnosed in 2019 with terminal cancer, she spent her last two years fundraising for Sarcoma UK.

Belinda will be much missed.



  • Sue Sonata Form says:

    Absolutely dreadful. She looks so full of life in that picture!!