Paul Esswood

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Paul Esswood
Years active 1971–present

Paul Esswood (born 6 June 1942) is an English countertenor and conductor. He is best known for his performance of Bach cantatas and the operas of Handel and Monteverdi. Along with his countrymen Alfred Deller and James Bowman, he led the revival of countertenor singing in modern times.

Life and career[edit]

Paul Esswood was born in West Bridgford, England. He studied at the Royal College of Music in London from 1961 to 1964. His professional debut was in a performance of Handel's Messiah for the BBC (1971).[1]

Esswood has participated in over 150 recordings, including the alto parts in many Bach cantatas with the Teldec series by conductors Nikolaus Harnoncourt and Gustav Leonhardt. He has recorded Messiah four times, as well as extended works by Henry Purcell, Claudio Monteverdi, Francesco Cavalli, Marc-Antoine Charpentier and others. Among the roles in contemporary works written for Esswood are the title role in Philip Glass's Akhnaten and Death in Penderecki's Paradise Lost. He also sang in the première of Schnittke's Second Symphony.

Paul Esswood is the founder of Pro Cantione Antiqua, an all-male a cappella group specializing in early music. He is also establishing a reputation as a conductor of Baroque opera.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Woodstra, Chris; Brennan, Gerald; Schrott, Allen (2005). All music guide to classical music: the definitive guide to classical music. p. 423. 
  2. ^ "Paul Esswood (Counter-tenor)". Retrieved 21 December 2011. 

External links[edit]