Category Archives: Previous soloists

Fflur Wyn

Fflur sang with the choir during its Handel’s Messiah concert in March 2009.

Fflur Wyn, Soprano

Fflur Wyn graduated with a Dip.RAM from the Royal Academy of Music Opera Course where she studied with Beatrice Unsworth and Clara Taylor. Her awards include First Prize and Audience Prize at the National Handel Competition 2005, the London Welsh Young Singer of the Year 2005, the Kathleen Ferrier Bursary, the Bryn Terfel Scholarship and the MOCSA Young Welsh Singer Prize.

Her operatic performances include Pamina (The Magic Flute – Holland Park Opera); Clerida (Croesus by Keiser), Gretel (Hansel and Gretel) Papagena (The Magic Flute) all for Opera North; Iphis (Jephtha – Welsh National Opera); Karolka (Jenufa – St Endellion Festival with Richard Hickox); Susanna (The Marriage of Figaro – Court Opera); creating the role of Adele in Michael Berkley’s opera Jane Eyre with Music Theatre Wales, with appearances at The Linbury Theatre Covent Garden (BBC Radio 3 / CD Recording).

Her oratorio and concert appearances include Handel’s Messiah (Harry Bicket/English Concert), Bach Christmas Oratorio (Jan Willem de Vriend/Combattimento Consort), Haydn’s Creation (Paul McCreesh/The Gabrieli Consort), her Proms debut in Mozart’s Thamos at Cadogan Hall for the Proms Saturday Matinee series, Handel’s Jephtha (Daniel Reuss/Cappella Amsterdam), Mozart Exsultate Jubilate with both the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and The European Union Chamber Orchestra, Mozart Mass in C minor (Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra), Bach St John Passion (David Hill/Opera North Orchestra).

Future performances include Barbarina in Le Nozze di Figaro at La Monnaie.

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    Oliver Dunn

    Oliver sang with the choir during its Handel’s Messiah concert in March 2009.

    Oliver Dunn, Bass

    Man of Kent, Oliver Dunn is currently studying on the Opera Course at the Royal Academy of Music, where he studies with Mark Wildman and Iain Ledingham. Previously to this he completed a degree and two Post Graduate years of study at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester under the tutelage of Robert Alderson.

    On the concert platform he has appeared extensively across Britain with a variety of orchestras and ensembles including, The Hallé, The Hanover Band and Manchester Camerata. Oratorio performances include Mozart’s Vesperae Solennes de Confessore, Bach St Matthew Passion and St John Passion (Christus), Mendelssohn Elijah, Handel Messiah, Haydn Nelson Mass, Rossini Petite Messe Solennelle, Puccini Messa di Gloria, Purcell King Arthur and Karl Jenkins’ The Armed Man, conducted by the composer. Oliver also performed concert excerpts of Disney’s The Jungle Book and The Lion King with the RNCM Wind Orchestra at the Bridgewater Hall in which he played the roles of Baloo and Scar.

    Since his arrival at the Royal Academy Oliver has taken part in masterclasses with Chevalier José Cura, Dennis O’Neill and Robert Tear, as well as performing excerpts of Cosi fan Tutte and Rossini’s Il viaggio a Reims in the ‘5 days, 100 Concerts’ opening festival of the new King’s Place Concert venue close to King’s Cross Station.

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      Owen Willetts

      Owen sang with the choir during its Handel’s Messiah concert in March 2009.

      Owen Willetts, Alto

      Owen began singing as a choral scholar at Lichfield Cathedral. He then went on study at the Royal Academy of Music, where he spent four years studying with Noelle Barker, Iain Leadingham and David Lowe.

      Owen has worked on the concert stage with many of the leading names in historical performance, including John Elliot Gardiner, Emmanuelle Haim, Laurence Cummings, Richard Egar and Christian Curnyn. With the Irish Baroque Orchestra Owen has performed Vivaldi and Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater and Bach’s St. John Passion.

      In opera, Owen has performed the role of Ottone in Monteverdi’s L’Incoronazione di Poppea with Laurence Cummings and the Royal Academy Opera and for the Rekjavik Summer Opera; Anfinomus and Humano Fragilitata for Graham Vick and the Birmingham Opera Company, and covered the role of Pastore Uno for Emmanulle Haim in Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo. Owen performed the role of Satirino in Cavalli’s La Calisto, for the Iford Festival, with Christian Curnyn and the Early Opera Company. Owen covered the role of The Innocent in Harrison Birtwistle’s new opera The Minotaur, at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, and again at the ROH, the role of Satirino in Cavalli’s La Calisto. For the Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Owen covered the role of Ottone in Monteverdi’s L’Incoronzione di Poppea. Again with Emmanuelle Haim, he performed Purcell’s The Fairy Queen, which toured France, Belgium and the Netherlands. This Summer Owen will cover the role of Tolomeo in Handel’s Giulio Cesare for the Glyndebourne Festival Opera, and will sing the role of Ottone in Monteverdi’s L’Incoronazione de Poppea for Christian Curnyn and the Early Opera Company.

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        Oliver Sandig

        Oliver led the orchestra for the choir’s Handel’s Messiah concert in March 2009.

        Oliver Sandig, Violin

        Oliver Sandig studied in Trossingen and the Royal College of Music. It was through the European Union Baroque Orchestra that he started his career in Early Music. He regularly plays with Florilegium, The Sweelinck Ensemble, Vivace and with Charivari Agréable with whom he recorded Torelli’s Brandenburg Concertos in 2008. He is a regular player with Café Mozart and with them recorded a CD of the music of the Earl of Abingdon and works.

        Oliver also pursues a career in making and tuning harpsichords.

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          David Matthews

          David narrated for the Cantate Choir during its O Magnum Mysterium concert in December 2008

          David Matthews, Narrator

          David Matthews

          After reading English at Cambridge, David taught the subject for 32 years, becoming Head of English and Drama at Nottingham High School and the Manchester Grammar School and then Deputy Head at St. Olave’s, Orpington. Since retiring, he has taught WEA literature classes at Tonbridge and Westerham, has directed plays for churches in Otford and Orpington, and in 2007 read war poems as part of the Sevenoaks Philharmonic Choir’s performance of The Armed Man by Karl Jenkins.

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            David Soar

            David sang with the choir during its Mozart Requiem & Schubert Mass in C concert in March 2006.

            David Soar, Bass

            David was born in Nottinghamshire and studied organ and singing at the Royal Academy of Music. After a period as a freelance organist, conductor and singer, including the post of Director of Music at All Saints Church, Kingston, he joined the chorus of Welsh National Opera. He also performed a number of roles for the company including Captain and Zaretsky/Eugene Onegin, Doctor Grenvil/La Traviata, Bertand in Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta (including a performance at the 2005 BBC Proms) and Sarastro/The Magic Flute. Other roles include Banquo/Macbeth, Don Alfonso/Cosi fan tutte, and Superintendant Budd/Albert Herring. In concert he has performed Messiah, Creation, Elijah, Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle, Stanford’s Songs of the Fleet, Bach’s Mass in B minor, St John Passion, Magnificat and numerous cantatas including the solo bass cantata Ich habe genug.

            He is currently studying at the National Opera Studio where he is supported by a Sybil Tutton Award, the Kenneth Loveland Gift and the Nicholas John Trust. Future plans include Count Ceprano/Rigoletto for Opera Holland Park, before returning to WNO as an Associate Artist where roles will include Colline/La Boheme, Zuniga/Carmen and Bonze/Madam Butterfly.

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              Mark Bradbury

              Mark sang the role of the Evangelist in Cantate Choir’s performance of Bach’s St John Passion in March 2008

              Mark Bradbury, tenor

              Mark Bradbury

              Mark Bradbury was born in Cheshire and studied at the Royal Academy of Music. He was a member of the Glyndebourne Chorus from 1999-2005 and made his solo Glyndebourne debut at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in 2001 singing Bartholomew The Last Supper (Birtwistle). Other operatic roles include Parpignol La Boheme (RAH Raymond Gubbay), Arbace Idomeneo, Acis Acis and Galatea, Monostatos Die Zauberflote. As a founder member of European Voices, under Sir Simon Rattle, he has sung in Berlin and Salzburg in Les Boreades (Rameaux), Peter Grimes (Britten), and Wonderful Town (Bernstein). Concert work has included Bach’s Christmas Oratorio (RAM for Classic FM), Mozart’s Mass in C (QEH), Bach’s St John Passion (St John’s Chapel, Cambridge).

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                Jamie Laing

                Jamie sang for the Cantate Choir in its performance of Bach’s St John Passion in March 2008

                Jamie Laing, countertenor

                Jamie Laing

                Rapidly establishing himself at the forefront of the new generation of countertenors, James Laing studied at Uppingham School and was a choral scholar at Trinity College, Cambridge. He furthered his studies at the Royal College of Music with Robin Blaze. He was selected by Opera Now as amongst Who’s Hot for his performance as Nerone Agrippina at the London Handel Festival. His broadcast work includes Sports Personality of the Year for BBC TV, In Tune for Radio 3 and Midweek for Radio 4. A feature interview appeared in the January/February 2007 edition of Opera.

                James Laing’s engagements have included Oberon A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Raphael Tobias and the Angel for ETO, Raphael Tobias and the Angel at the Young Vic and for the Oundle Festival, Refugee Flight for Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Nerone Agrippina and John Brockes Passion at the London Handel Festival, Medoro Orlando for the Early Opera Company Pastor L’Orfeo for Opera North, Zephyrus Apollo and Hyacinthus for OTC, Dublin, and the Classical Opera Company, the B Minor Mass with the City of London Sinfonia in St Albans Abbey, the St John Passion at Symphony Hall, Birmingham, Messiah with the Apollo Chamber Orchestra, the English Chamber Orchestra and the Hallé Orchestra, the William Byrd Festival with Pacific Northwest Viols in the USA, The Scarlatti Dynasty at the Blumental International Music Festival, Israel, and Other Shakespearean Dreamers at The Liceu, Barcelona.

                James Laing’s current engagements include Oberon A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Coachman/Fox The Adventures of Pinocchio and Spirit Dido and Aeneas for Opera North, Endimione La Calisto (Cover) for the Royal Opera, London, Giuliano Eliogabalo for Grange Park Opera, the St Matthew Passion in Ripon Cathedral, Messiah at the Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham, and Vivaldi Cantatas with the Ten Tors Orchestra.

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                  David Stout

                  David sang the role of Jesus in Cantate Choir’s performance of Bach’s St John Passion in March 2008

                  David Stout

                  David Stout

                  David Stout studied Zoology at Durham University, sang with the choir of St. John’s College, Cambridge and studied on the Opera Course at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where he was recipient of the John Hosier Scholarship, the Harold Rosenthal Award and the Principal’s Prize 2006. He continues to study with Rudolf Piernay.

                  His extensive oratorio repertoire includes many of the major works. Operatic roles with British Youth Opera, Grange Park Opera and other companies have lead to roles in The Magic Flute and Carmen for WNO.

                  Forthcoming engagements include Sea Symphony in Gloucester Cathedral with the LPO, The Creation in the Cadogan Hall, Cimarosa Il Maestro di capella with the Haffner Orchestra, Matthäus Passion with the Hallé and a recording of The Creation with Edward Higginbottom and the Choir of New College Oxford, alongside roles with WNO and ENO.

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                    Costas Fotopoulos

                    Costas played with the choir during its Rachmaninov Vespers concert in June 2007.

                    Costas Fotopoulos, Piano

                    Costas is based in London and works internationally as a concert and silent film pianist, and as a composer and arranger for film, the stage and the concert hall. He studied as a solo concert pianist at the Royal Academy of Music and at the Juilliard School, and he has given many solo and chamber performances in this country as well as in Austria, Italy, America, Australia and New Zealand. He has recorded repertoire for BBC Radio, as well as the piano solo work, Cross hands, for a CD of music by British composer Nicholas Sackman, released on the Metier label.

                    Costas regularly provides live improvisations to silent films at the National Film Theatre and he has also accompanied films in New York, Warsaw and northern Italy. Recently, he provided a piano improvisation to sections of the Budget Speech, aired on BBC Radio 4.

                    For more information about Costas please visit his website.

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                      Susie Winkworth

                      Susie played with the choir during its Rachmaninov Vespers concert in June 2007.

                      Susie Winkworth, Cello

                      Susie won a scholarship to study at the Royal Academy of Music supported by the Countess of Munster Musical Trust, where she made several acclaimed recordings with the R.A.M. Soloists and director Clio Gould, and performed as soloist with the R.A.M. Chamber Orchestra and Lord Menuhin. In a varied freelance career Susie works as guest principal with the Belmont Ensemble of London, New London Soloists Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra and New London Sinfonia, and is principal ‘cello of ensemble flux, the European Orchestral Ensemble and the London Orchestra da Camera. She has toured worldwide with artistes from Kanye West to Katherine Jenkins, broadcasting on all major television channels and on film. As a chamber musician Susie performs across the UK, including work as soloist with the Philharmonia and concerts at Cheltenham, Deal, Swaledale and Woodfest (Cambridge) Festivals. She has given premieres of works by many composers including CDs of Melinda Maxwell and Michael Finnissy, and has worked as a lecturer on the MMus course at the Royal Academy of Music.

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                        Susan Gilmore-Bailey

                        Susan sang with the choir during its Baroque Masterworks concert in March 2007.

                        Susan Gilmore Bailey, Soprano

                        Performing throughout the United Kingdom, Europe and North America, soprano Susan Gilmour-Bailey enjoys a varied career of concert, oratorio, and opera performances. Her recent projects have included the role of Euridice in Monteverdi Orfeo at the Théâtre de Caen with Le Concert d’Astrée under Emmanuelle Haim and the soprano solos in the City of London Sinfonia/Royal Shakespeare Company production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Originally from Canada, Ms. Gilmour-Bailey currently resides in London where in 2002 she completed her Masters in Vocal Performance at the Royal Academy of Music. Future projects include a staged production of Bach St John Passion at le Châtelet in Paris under Emmanuelle Haim and principal roles in the Fairy Queen and King Arthur for the Armonico Consort.

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                          Donna Bateman

                          Donna sang with the choir during its Baroque Masterworks concert in March 2007.

                          Donna Bateman, Soprano

                          Donna Bateman is a graduate of the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, which she attended on a scholarship and distinguished herself as an award-winning music student. She won the coveted National Federation of Music Societies Award, and was a finalist in the Kathleen Ferrier Memorial Prize. She was awarded a further scholarship to continue her studies on the Opera Course at the Royal Academy of Music, where she graduated with Distinction and was awarded the G. Embley Memorial Prize.

                          Her opera roles include Susanna Le Nozze di Figaro and Helena A Midsummer Night’s Dream for English Touring Opera, Mrs Coyle Owen Wingrave, Gismonda Ottone, for the London Handel Society, Frasquita Carmen, Queen Erisbe L’Ormindo for the Sir William Walton Trust in Italy and Marzelline in Birmingham Opera Company’s Award-winning production of Fidelio directed by Graham Vick and broadcast live on BBC4. Donna returned to BOC to perform the role of Cunegonde Candide, after which she performed the role of Coralina in Il Toreador at the Batignano Opera Festival. Most recently she performed in Flashmob, broadcast live on BBC Television. Recent Operatic highlights this season include 1st Nymph and The Foreign Princess in Rusalka for Iford Arts, Pamina, Magic Flute for English Touring Opera, her debut for The Royal Opera House ROH2 as Miranda in The Gentle Giant, La Cuisinière in Le Rossignol for the CBSO at the Symphomy Hall, Birmingham, Pamina, The Magic Flute in Lisbon and Zerbinetta for Birmingham Opera Company directed by Graham Vick.

                          Donna Bateman’s acknowledged expertise in contemporary operatic repertoire has earned her four major engagements and three recent world premieres. These major roles include Kalypso Linen from Smyrna by Edward Rushton, Khin Myo The Piano Tuner by Nigel Osborne co-commissioned by Music Theatre Wales and the Royal Opera House, Miranda Rainland by Joseph Phibbs and Miss Pescado in Judith Weir’s Armida, which was specially commissioned for Channel 4 Television and was broadcast on Christmas day.

                          Donna regularly performs recitals and concerts in the UK and abroad. She was invited to sing at the opening ceremony of the World Athletics Championships, was a soloist at the Royal Albert Hall, London, for the National Insurance Awards with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, while this season she has made regular appearances in concert with The Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra. Her Oratorio engagements include St. Matthew Passion, In Terra Pax at St. John’s, Smith Square, Haydn’s St Cecilia Mass at Winchester Cathedral and Mozart’s Mass in C minor at Chichester Cathedral with the Orchestra of St John’s, conducted by John Lubbock.

                          Her most recent solo engagements include Mahler’s Symphony no.8 at The Symphony Hall, Birmingham, David Fanshawe’s African Sanctus broadcast live on Radio 4 from St Martin in the fields, Carmina Burana with the Nottingham Symphony Orchestra at the Albert Hall Nottingham and Bernstein’s Mass at The Barbican Hall London with the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Marin Alsop and recorded live by Radio 3.

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                            Charne Rochford

                            Charne sang with the choir during its Mozart Requiem & Schubert Mass in C concert in March 2006.

                            Charne Rochford, Tenor

                            Charne was born in London. He trained at the Royal Academy of Music as an undergraduate. He later rejoined the Academy on the Opera Course.

                            On the concert platform his repertoire includes Mozart’s Requiem, Handel’s Messiah, Puccini Messe di Gloria, Verdi Requiem and Britten St. Nicholas.

                            In 2002 he made his Royal Opera House debut in Graham Vick’s Die Meistersinger as an Apprentice. He covered Pinkerton and later portrayed Tamino for Clonter Opera. In 2004 he sang Puccini’s Rodolpho for the Dartington Festival, supported by the Foyle Foundation. Last summer he made his Glyndebourne Festival Opera debut as the 1st Armed Man/2nd Priest with the O.A.E.

                            Future engagements include covering Alfred in Die Fledermaus for Glyndebourne Festival Opera and 2nd Priest in a film of the Magic Flute directed by Kenneth Branagh.

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                              Julia Riley

                              Julia sang with the choir during its Mozart’s Requiem and Schubert’s Mass in C concert in March 2006.

                              Julia Riley, Mezzo-soprano

                              Julia Riley was born in York and studied at the Royal Academy of Music. She was then awarded an Entrance Scholarship for the Royal Academy Opera Course where she trained with Noelle Barker and Ingrid Surgenor. While at the Royal Academy Julia received rave reviews for her portrayal of Prince Charming in Massenet’s Cendrillon. “Julia Riley’s unforced and ample singing was the prime vocal pleasure.” Richard Fairman/The Financial Times/March 2005.

                              In December 2005 Julia made her Glyndebourne on Tour debut as Cherubino/Le nozze di Figaro. She recently made her Scottish Opera on Tour debut as Mezzo soloist with Essential Scottish Opera. In Glyndebourne Festival 2005 Julia performed Jonathan Dove’s mezzo song cycle All you who sleep tonight, with pianist Andrew Smith. This formed part of the Jerwood Chorus Scheme and was the first performance in the Glyndebourne Jerwood Studio.

                              Other opera roles include Bridesmaid/Le nozze di Figaro/Glyndebourne on Tour, Prince Charming/Massenet/Royal Academy Opera, Ino/Handel/British Youth Opera, Medoro/Handel/Dartington, Tisbe/Rossini/Opera East.

                              Oratorio and concert performances include Christmas Oratorio/St James’ Piccadilly/English Baroque Orchestra, B Minor Mass/London Bach Festival, Mozart/Requiem/St-Martin-In-The-Field, In the beginning/Copland/Southwark Cathedral, and Les nuits d’été/Berlioz/Penzance Orchestral Society. Future plans include understudying Dorabella in the 2006 Glyndebourne Festival.

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                                Lonnie Christophers

                                Lonnie read during the choir’s Remember! concert in November 2006.

                                Lonnie Christophers, Orator

                                Lonnie is a graduate in Music from Royal Holloway, University of London and is at present, Head of Drama at The Granville School in Sevenoaks. She has acted in many leading roles for both Stag Theatre Company and Shoreham Village Players including Anna King & I; Alice Killing of Sister George; Hermione Winter’s Tale; Lady Macbeth Macbeth; Judith Bliss Hay Fever; Mrs Erlynne Lady Windemere’s Fan.

                                With her daughter, Antonia, she has formed Ashes Youth Theatre Company and she also coaches students preparing for LAMDA examinations and for audition for NYT.

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                                  James Wallace

                                  James read during the choir’s Remember! concert in November 2006.

                                  James Wallace, Orator

                                  James Wallace is a local businessman who, when time allows, treads the boards with the Shoreham Village Players. He has acted professionally; three summer seasons with the Kent Rep at Hever Castle, sundry outings on the London fringe fringe and the odd commercial and film (very odd in some cases, but all done in the best possible taste!).

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                                    Michael Higgins

                                    Michael regularly performs with the Cantate Choir.

                                    Michael Higgins, Piano

                                    Michael Higgins studied at the Birmingham Conservatoire, later specialising in piano accompaniment and chamber music at the Royal Academy of Music, London, with Julius Drake and Iain Ledingham. He has performed in master classes given by Clifford Benson, Thomas Hampson, Rudolf Jansen, Bryce Morrison and Udo Reinemann. Michael also studied organ with Andrew Fletcher and was Organ Scholar at the Metropolitan Cathedral of Saint Chad, Birmingham.

                                    Abroad, Michael has performed with singers and instrumentalists in Germany, Hungary, Italy, Australia and New Zealand. He performs regularly throughout the United Kingdom and has worked with the National Youth Choirs and National Children’s Choir of Great Britain, Midland Festival Chorus, Royal Academy Opera and the Royal Ballet School. In the past year Michael has made a successful return visit to New Zealand to lead workshops for choral accompanists by invitation of the New Zealand Choral Federation.

                                    As a composer, he has answered a number of commissions, including songs for a set of educational books published in Singapore, and many of his choral and organ works are published worldwide by Kevin Mayhew Publishers.

                                    Michael was awarded the Joseph Weingarten Memorial Trust Scholarship for 2005-06 and has recently completed his studies with Kálmán Dráfi at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music, Budapest.

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                                      Hilmar Hauer

                                      Hilmar will perform with the choir at it’s Christmas with Cantate concert in December 2005.

                                      Hilmar Hauer comes from Dortmund, Germany and studied trumpet with Prof. Adolf Weresch at the Musikhochschule Karlsruhe, Germany. Work experience include performances with the Linden Baroque Orchestra (on natural trumpet)

                                      Amadeus Orchestra (based in Manchester), National Musicians Symphony Orchestra (NMSO), London and Live performances of concertos by Haydn, Hummel, Neruda, Arutiunian,, Vivaldi, Telemann, Bach and others. Recent performances include Jan Koetsier, Concerto for trumpet, trombone and orchestra. Between 1996-1999 he performed regularly with the Badische Staatskapelle (orchestra of the opera in Karlsruhe) and then with the Südwestdeutsche Philharmonie Konstanz. He was also principal trumpet of the Heeresmusikkorps Stuttgart)

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                                        Claude Lamon

                                        Claude will perform with the choir at the Christmas with Cantate concert in December 2005.

                                        Trumpeter Claude Lamon was born in South Africa, where he has performed with numerous orchestras and ensembles, including the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra and the National Chamber Orchestra. Through his work, Claude became involved with music education in local townships, recognising the importance of nuturing musical skills and creativity. A french national, Claude obtained a Prix de Trompette et Musique de Chambre, studying under international soloist Pierre Dutot. In Germany, he performed with the Orchestra at the Bayreuth Festival.

                                        Moving to the UK in 2002, Claude became particularly involved with chamber music, appearing as a soloist with soprano Sara Egan and Suzanne Anderson in performances of Bach’s Cantata 51. Enjoying work with new composers, including Oxford’s John Caldwell, Claude is currently working on repertoire for trumpet and voice. Other interests include promoting French music, and providing a platform for South African composers and musicians, a passion reflected in the repertoire and artists of Voce Ensemble.

                                        Recent appearances include soloist performances in Vivaldi’s Double Trumpet Concerto and Handel’s Suite in D, at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and Glasgow’s Royal Academy of Music and Dance. Bringing his expertise to the local community, Claude teaches trumpet at schools in the Sevenoaks and Tunbridge Wells areas, and coaches the Lydian Orchestra, West Kent’s premiere youth orchestra.

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                                          Sweelinck Ensemble

                                          The Cantate Choir performed with the Sweelinck Ensemble during its Renaissance Revealed concert, a concert of Italian Renaissance music and images in March 2005.

                                          Sweelinck Ensemble

                                          Sweelinck Ensemble, performing with Cantate Choir in their Renaissance Revealed concert in March 2005
                                          The Sweelinck Ensemble aims to recreate the vibrant musical life of the seventeenth century through performing music of the highest quality, with a particular emphasis on German and Italian repertoire. To facilitate the many various types of music in this period the group is flexible, using voices and instruments of all types according to the area of repertoire performed.

                                          Founded by Martin Knizia the ensemble was a finalist in the 1999 York Early Music Network Competition. It has since appeared at major venues such as St Martin-in-the-Fields, St James’ Piccadilly, the Brompton Oratory, and as a regular performer at the London Bach Festival. The ensemble broadcasts on BBC Radio 3 and throughout Europe on Euroclassic Notturno.

                                          For Renaissance Revealed the ensemble will play with the Cantate Choir, and also in various combinations alone. They will perform music from the early seventeenth century by Giovanni Battista, Dario Castello, and Giovanni Picchi. For this concert the group comprises two violins, cornet and trombones, chiterone and organ.

                                          The Sweelinck Ensemble’s first CD, the First Book of Sonatas by Dario Castello, is due to be released in spring 2005.

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                                            Ross Brown

                                            Ross played trumpet with the choir during its Concert of Christmas Music in December 2003.

                                            Ross started to play the trumpet at the age of ten, and at fifteen was awarded a scholarship to sudy at Wells Catherdral Schoold with Robert Farley. Ross now stuides at the Roayal Academy of Music with Howeard Snell and Paul Archibald, and Natural Trumpet with Robert Farley. Whilst studying at the Academy, he has performed a trumpet concerto with Academy Brass and has been awarded the Leslie Regan Brass prize, the Robert Alva Memorial prize, and the William Thomas Steven prize. He is principal trumpet of the European Union Baroque Orchestra, and has performed and recorded with them through Europe, as well as performing with the Hanover Band, The Sixteen, The Gabrieli Consort and Players, Canzona, The Classical Opera Company, The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, the former Wallace Collection and the Kings Consort.

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                                              Heidi Sutcliffe

                                              Heidi played trumpet with the choir during its Concert of Christmas Music in December 2003.

                                              Heidi is currently studying in her fourth year at the Royal Academy of Music studying with Howard Snell and Paul Archibald. Whilst at the Academy she has been awarded various prizes: the Leslie Regan Brass award (2001), the William Steven-Thomas prize (2002) and the John West prize (2003). This summer she represented the Academy in the Encuentro de Musica y Academia de Santander, Spain. Last year Heidi joined the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra on their European tour under Claudio Abbado and represented the Academy in the Kyoto International Festival in Japan, performing as soloist as well as in the international symphony orchestra.

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                                                Elizabeth Moore

                                                Elizabeth performs regularly with the Cantate Choir in various concerts.

                                                Elizabeth Moor, Cello

                                                Elizabeth Moore played in the National Youth Orchestra before being awarded the Sterndale Bennett Scholarship to study at the Royal Academy of Music. She was continuo ‘cellist for the Thomas Tallis Society for 10 years and performs for music clubs and festivals with chamber groups and as recitalist. Together with the Amicitia String Quartet, she broadcast on Classic FM’s Masterclass in 1994 and with The Chantry Choir for the BBC In Praise of God series in 1998. She has taught at Sevenoaks School and privately since 1971.

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                                                  Clifford Benson

                                                  Clifford performed with the choir in its Summer Love Songs & Jazz concert in June 2003.

                                                  I was lost in admiration for the elegance of Clifford Benson’s playing“. Gramophone

                                                  The evening’s pianist was Clifford Benson who played as if he had composed the music himself, here and in older works as well.” The Times

                                                  Clifford Benson showed himself an equally graceful and adept pianist in every style required of him.” Sunday Times

                                                  Clifford Benson, who is the pianist performing with the choir at their concerts in March 2003.
                                                  Clifford is probably unusual as a pianist, in that his career spans the whole range of the piano repertoire. He performs as a soloist in recitals and concertos, as a chamber musician with long-standing colleagues William Bennett, Trevor Wye, Levon Chilingirian and Thea King, and as an accompanist, in particular with the baritone Stephen Varcoe.

                                                  Clifford is known for his outstanding musicianship and sensitivity, his strong feeling for poetry and colour, and for the passion that he imparts in his performing and teaching.

                                                  He was born in Essex, England, and studied at the Royal College of Music with Cyril Smith and Lamar Crowson. Whilst there, he was awarded the Chopin Sonata Prize, the Geoffrey Tankard Lieder Prize for Accompaniment, and the Tagore Gold Medal as the outstanding musician of his final year. A Martin Music Fund Scholarship, awarded by the New Philharmonia Orchestra, enabled him to further his studies.

                                                  With the violinist Levon Chilingirian, he was first prize-winner in the BBC Beethoven and the Munich International Duo Competitions, which led to numerous collaborations with prestigious artists, to solo and chamber music recitals and to recordings for BBC Radio 3 and Classic FM.

                                                  Clifford was the pianist for the Jacqueline du Pré masterclasses on BBC 2 television and has appeared as a soloist and chamber musician at the Proms. A member of the Nash Ensemble for many years, he enjoyed a wide-ranging repertoire, performing with such artists as Cleo Laine, Eartha Kitt, Marion Montgomery, Sarah Walker, John Taverner and Sir Simon Rattle. He has also worked with conductors Sir Charles Mackerras, George Hurst, Daniel Barenboim and Sir Neville Marriner.

                                                  Clifford enjoys composing and has given some notable world premières of other contemporary composers, including:

                                                  • Richard Rodney Bennett’s Three Romantic Pieces on a BBC Pebble Mill live broadcast.
                                                  • Malcolm Lipkin’s Sonata No 4 for BBC Bristol.
                                                  • The London première of Lipkin’s Second Violin and Piano Sonata in December 2000 with Levon Chilingirian and several first performances of works by F L Dunkin Wedd.

                                                  As a recording artist, Clifford has encompassed a whole range of styles from Mozart to the present day. Apart from his recordings for Hyperion, specialising in English music, he has covered much of the flute and piano repertoire with William Bennett and Trevor Wye, and has recorded other combinations for Chandos, CRD and Deutsche Grammophon.

                                                  Clifford currently teaches solo piano and gives piano chamber music workshops at the Royal Academy of Music, London. He has adjudicated at many music festivals, at the major colleges of music in Britain, and has been a panel member for the BBC Young Musician of the Year. Travelling for much of the year, he has given recitals and masterclasses in Europe, the Middle and Far East, the USA and Canada.

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                                                    Junko Nakamura

                                                    Junko Nakamura supported Clifford Benson in the choir’s Summer Love Songs & Jazz concert in June 2003.

                                                    Junko Nakamura, Piano

                                                    Junko Nakamura was born in 1970 in Tokyo, Japan. She studied at Tokyo College of Music, graduating in 2002. Last September she was awarded a Thomas Jennings Exhibition Award to study solo and chamber music with Professor Clifford Benson at the Royal Academy of Music. In the Academy’s internal competitions, she won the Christian Carpenter Prize for the best pianoforte recital, was very highly commended as the runner-up in the Brahms Sonata Prize, and was chosen as one of the six finalists of the RAM Club Prize encompassing all instruments. The final of this is to be held later in June.

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                                                      Nicholas Shaw

                                                      Nicholas played with the choir during its two concert in March 2003.

                                                      Nicholas Shaw began playing the organ whilst a scholar at Wellington College, Berkshire, and has since held organ scholarships at Rochester and Westminster Cathedrals, and at Magdalen College, Oxford. He currently combines the post of Sub-Oganist and Keeper of the Songes to Her Majesty’s Chapel Royal with a busy freelance career in London.

                                                      Nicholas has appeared as soloist and accompanist on television and radio, including solo work on Radio 3’s In Tune programme and at the Enthronement Services for both the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Archbishop of Westminster. As a continuo player he has appeared with the Orchestre Philharmonic de Strasbourg in France.

                                                      After graduating from Oxford, Nicholas continued his studies as the Robinson Scholar at the Royal Academy of Music. Here he studied choral direction with Patrick Russill and graduated with a MMus in 2001. He has recently been appointed a Visiting Music Tutor at The King’s School Canterbury, where he conducts the 30-voice Chamber Choir.

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                                                        Murray Stewart

                                                        Murray conducted the choir during its Magnificat! concert in January 2003.

                                                        Murray Stewart, Conductor

                                                        Born in London, Murray Stewart read Music at Cambridge University, where he was Organ Scholar at Trinity Hall. His early years were devoted to following a career as an Organist. Following studies in St Albans with Peter Hurford and later with Daniel Roth in Paris on an Arts Council Scholarship, he recorded the complete organ works of Cesar Franck, and works by Vierne for the Danish label, Kontrapunkt.

                                                        Since 1988, Murray Stewart has devoted himself exclusively to a conducting career, studying with Harold Gray, Meredith Davies and Sir Charles Mackerras. He has worked with many Orchestras including the Philharmonia Orchestra, the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, the Bournemouth Sinfonietta, the Ulster Orchestra, the City of London Sinfonia, and the London Philharmonic Youth Orchestra. Murray Stewart has also worked with the BBC Concert Orchestra, with whom he has recorded the complete orchestral works of Maurice Durufle. He has also worked with the Musici de Praga and with the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, including a performance of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony at the Smetana Hall, Prague.

                                                        Murray Stewart, Conductor

                                                        Murray Stewart is Artistic Director of the London Pro Arte Orchestra and the London Pro Arte Baroque Orchestra. With the former, he has conducted many Premieres, including works by Ropartz, Langlais, Sallinen, Kokkonen, Szymanowski, Howells, Patterson, Brian Chapple, Piers Hellawell, Geoffrey Burgon, Howard Blake, Naji Hakim and Robert Walker, all to critical acclaim. Murray Stewart is a former Conductor of the Collegium Musicum of London, where he succeeded Laszlo Heltay, Bristol Choral Society and the London Forest Choir. He was also Artistic Director of Finchley Children’s Music Group, with whom he gave the British Premiere of Pierre Max Dubois’ opera Le ruban merveilleux at Sadlers Wells, and appeared regularly on television. He is currently Music Director of the East London Chorus, and appears regularly as a Guest Conductor with other distinguished choirs at home and abroad, and has recorded with the West German Radio Choir in Cologne.

                                                        Murray Stewart, Composer

                                                        Since early days, Murray Stewart has maintained a strong interest in French repertoire of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He has recorded two discs of music by Jean Langlais for Koch International. Murray Stewart also made the premiere Recording of Richard Maunder’s edition of the Mozart Requiem, in its entirety, and on modern instruments, as well as a Christmas disc for Conifer Classics, which enjoyed great success in the classical charts. He has conducted over 20 Premieres both at home and abroad, including works by Kenneth Leighton and Naji Hakim in concerts this Season. Future engagements include the World Premiere recording in Belgium of the Requiem Mass by Rodriguez de Ledesma, and concerts in Spain of music by Britten and Stravinsky. Murray Stewart has appeared with the London Pro Arte Orchestra in the International Orchestral Concerts Series at the Fairfield Hall, Croydon.

                                                        For further biographical information, visit Murray’s professional website

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                                                          Amy Freston

                                                          Amy sang with the choir during its Magnificat! concert in January 2003.

                                                          Amy Freston, Soprano

                                                          Amy Freston trained as a classical dancer at the Central School of Ballet and now studies singing with Sandra Dugdale at the RNCM. Whilst at the RNCM she has taken part ina number of the College’s opera productions including Verdi’s Falstaff (covering Nanetta), Sondheim’s Into the Woods (playing both Snow White and Rapunzal), Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte (covering the first boy) and Janàcek’s Jenufa (chorus and dancer). She performed the role of Asteria in the RNCM’s production of Handel’s Tamerlano and is a winner of the Alexander Young Award and the Brigette Fassbaender prize for lieder.

                                                          Recent engagements include the role of Galatea in Kent Opera’s Sprin 2002 production of Handel’s Acis and Galatea, the role of Sister Genevieve in Puccini’s Suor Angelica with Opera Holland Park, and soprano soloist in a performance of two Bach Cantatas and a Harrison Birtwistle song cycle, in the presence of the composer, at the home of Alfred Brendel this summer.

                                                          Recent concert performances include soloist in Carmina Burana with the City of Birmingham Symphony Hall, Mozart’s Exsultate Jubilate and Brahms’ Requiem with Nottingham Choral Trust, and Vivaldi’s cantata Nulla in mundo pax sincera with the RNCM chamber orchestra conducted by Douglas Boyd.

                                                          For Opera North Amy covered the Sandman and the Dewfairy in their Summer 2001 production of Hansel and Gretel, and last January sang the role of Pamina in a two-week workshop of Die Zauberflöte in preparation for their Spring 2003 production directed by Tim Supple. Amy also sang the role of Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier for a masterclass lead by James Holmes this November.

                                                          Amy is most grateful to the Countess of Munster Musical Trust and the Peter Moores Foundation for their generous support of her studies.

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                                                            London Pro Arte Orchestra & London Pro Arte Baroque Orchestra

                                                            The Cantate Choir perfomed with the London Pro Arte Orchestra and London Pro Arte Baroque Orchestra during the Magnificat concert as part of the Tudely Festival in January 2003.

                                                            London ProArte Orchestra

                                                            London Pro Arte Orchestra

                                                            Originally founded in 1985 as the Orchestra of St James, the London Pro Arte Orchestra is now in its fourteenth Season. Murray Stewart became Artistic Director and Principal Conductor in 1985, and since that time the Orchestra has given over 100 concerts both at home and abroad. The Orchestra made its South Bank debut in 1986, appearing at St John’s, Smith Square the following year. It appears regularly in all of London’s major Concert Halls, making its Barbican debut in 1995, as well as the Fairfield Hall in Croydon. The Orchestra has regularly appeared at the Colston Hall in Bristol.

                                                            The London Pro Arte Orchestra has toured abroad in France and Denmark, being invited to give the opening concert at the Vendsyssel Festival, when it broadcast on Danish Radio. The London Pro Arte Brass Ensemble (one of three associated Ensembles of the Orchestra) has since returned to Denmark, recording once again for Danish Radio.

                                                            A number of distinguished soloists have appeared with the Orchestra, including the late Manoug Parikian, Erich Gruenberg, Peter Katin, Marie-Louise Langlais, Peter Katin and Tim Hugh. The London Pro Arte Orchestra has appeared in three South Bank Festivals, Beethoven Plus, the French Bicentenary Festival, and the Szymanowski Festival. It also gave the UK Premiere of Aulis Sallinen’s Iron Age Suite in the presence of the composer.

                                                            London Pro Arte Orchestra

                                                            Having made its Royal Festival Hall debut in 1991, the London Pro Arte Orchestra took part in the Herbert Howells Centenary Concert the following year, when it gave the London Premiere of Howell’s Sine Nomine. The Orchestra has since returned to the Festival Hall to give a performance of Britten’s Noye’s Fludde with Finchley Children’s Music Group.

                                                            The London Pro Arte Orchestra has a commitment to premiering contemporary works. It has given London Premieres of works by Paul Patterson and Piers Hellawell, as well as premiering several works by Jean Langlais at the South Bank. The Orchestra gave the UK Premiere of Naji Hakim’s Organ Concerto, and the World Premiere of Robert Walker’s Mele Livida. Two more Premieres will be given this Season, the Oboe Concerto by Kenneth Leighton, and Naji Hakim’s Violin Concerto. The Orchestra’s first CD, of works by Jean Langlais, was released in 1998 by Koch International. The London Pro Arte Orchestra also made the premiere recording of Richard Maunder’s edition of the Mozart Requiem, in its entirety, and on modern instruments.

                                                            In 1997 the Orchestra began a Residency at the People’s Palace Concert Hall, Queen Mary and Westfield College, London. Last Season the Orchestra appeared as part of the International Orchestral Concert Series at the Fairfield Hall, Croydon. It has also appeared at the Henley Festival and in open air Concerts at Portchester Castle and Tredegar House, as well as the 650th Anniversary celebrations at Trinity Hall, Cambridge. The Orchestra has twice appeared at ‘Music in the Air’ in Hampshire, playing before its largest audience ever of ten thousand people on both occasions. Future concerts this Season include St John’s, Smith Square, St Martin in the Fields and St Giles’, Cripplegate in London. A return visit to ‘Music in the Air’ will be made in 2003.

                                                            London Pro Arte Baroque Orchestra

                                                            An associated ensemble of the London Pro Arte Orchestra (founded in 1989), the London Pro Arte Baroque Orchestra, formed in 1995, brings together some of the finest young musicians specialising in playing period instruments.

                                                            The Orchestra made its London debut at St John’s, Smith Square in November 1995, and has since concentrated its activities around the major choral works of J S Bach. This has included acclaimed performances of Bach’s Mass in B minor in France.

                                                            Members of the orchestra play in some of the most prestigious Orchestras and Ensembles, including the Academy of Ancient Music, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, the English Concert, the London Classical Players and Floregium, under the direction of such distinguished conductors as Sir Charles Mackerras, Sir Roger Norrington and Christopher Hogwood. Between them, members of the Orchestra have taken part in many recent and highly praised recordings of renaissance, baroque and classical music.

                                                            The Orchestra appears regularly at the London venues of St John’s, Smith Square and at St Martin in the Fields. Last Season’s highlights included performances of Bach’s Easter Oratorio and Handel’s Messiah at St John’s, Smith Square, as well as a Bach programme at the Henley Festival. This Season the Orchestra performs Handel’s Judas Maccabeus with the East London Chorus at St John’s, and later gives a performance of Bach’s Mass in B minor. Tours to both France and Denmark are planned for the end of the Season in the summer of 2003.

                                                            Further details can be found on the orchestra’s website.

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