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Grace Davidson (Soprano)

Born: London, England

The English soprano, Grace Davidson, made her singing debut at three years. She had to be stifled by her mother when she tried to sing along all the way through “Cats” at the New London Theatre. She began her musical life as a violinist studying violin and piano at the Junior Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London. But it was singing with the Finchley Children’s Music Group which took her to the Queen Elizabeth Hall, the Albert Hall, St Paul’s Cathedral; just about every large hall in London. “Except Wembley” she said, glumly. Which perhaps sowed the seeds of ambition. Whilst training to be a chef at Pru Leith’s School of Food and Wine, she won a scholarship to study at the Royal Academy of Music. She gained there her Bachelor of Music and postgraduate degrees and was winner of the Early music prize as well as being a finalist in both The English song competition and The London Handel Competition. Like most music students, she was working professionally before she graduated; her bread and butter coming from singing in the choir at the Guards' Chapel.

Whilst much in demand as a soloist specialising in Baroque and Renaissance music, Grace Davidson also enjoys a hugely versatile career singing for many modern composers in the classical, crossover, film and the pop industry. She is a member of The Sixteen, Tenebrae, The English Concert, Gabrieli Consort, Ensemble Plus Ultra and Ex Cathedra and she tours regularly with them both as soloist and consort member. She was also a member of the Monteverdi Choir and has sung regularly with Polyphony. Like all singers, she has occasionally found herself singing strange things, sometimes in strange places. In her case, these have included the soundtrack of Pirates of the Caribbean, Jeffery Archer's Christmas party and the national anthems in the middle of the Madjeski Stadium for the England “B” versus Byelorussia match. Grace works with the saxophonist Christian Forshaw and is the voice of all three of his albums on the Integra label (including “Renouncement”). She is a featured soloist as the voice of an evil mermaid in the latest Pirates Of the Caribbean 4 film with music by Hanz Zimmer and can also be heard in the recent Prometheus film. She is also Eric Whitacre’s soloist of choice, featuring on his grammy award winning “Light and gold” album 2011 and “Waternight”, both on the Decca label.

Grace Davidson has performed as a soloist with some of the world’s leading conductor’s, among them Philippe Herreweghe, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Iván Fischer, Sir Roger Norrington and Paul McCreesh. Solo engagements have included singing for David Hill at the Royal Albert Hall, Purcell Come Ye Sons Of Art with the Monteverdi Choir and John Eliot Gardiner and George Frideric Handel Cantatas at The Handel In Oxford Festival with The Sixteen; as well as G.F. Handel’s Gloria for the 'Proms at St Jude’s’ Festival in Hampstead, J.S. Bach’s St. John Passion (BWV 245) with Highgate Choral Society, J.S. Bach's St Matthew Passion (BWV 244), G.F. Handel’s Dixit Dominus with The English Concert/Tenebrae for the Bath Festival, Carmina Burana with Ex Cathedra and the role of Belinda in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas at the 2006 Halle Festival with Trevor Pinnock. Recent concert performances include J.S. Bach’s Matthew Passion (BWV 244) for Philippe Herreweghe and Collegium Vocale Gent which toured Europe and America, The role of Belinda for Theatre of Early Music, touring Canada and USA, Bach Cantatas BWV 177 Ich ruf zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ, BWV 149 Man singet mit Freuden vom Sieg, BWV 47 Wer sich selbst erhohet, der soll erniedriget werden, and BWV 120 Gott, man lobet dich in der stille all at The Festival de Saintes, J.S. Bach’s Matthew Passion (BWV 244) arias, St Johns Smith Square Steinitz ensemble and Symphony Hall with Ex Cathedra on Good Friday, Gabriel Fauré’s Requiem, Birmingham Town hall, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. Monteverdi Vespers with Emmanuelle Haïm and Le Concert d'Astrée.

Her future engagements include J.S. Bach’s Cantata BWV 198 Trauer-Ode and G.F. Handel’s The Ways Of Zion Do Mourn at the Rheingau Festival, then Bachwoche Ansbach with The English Concert conducted by Andrew Manze, and the part of the Angel in G.F. Handel’s Jeptha.

As a soloist Grace Davidson has recorded the ‘Pie Jesu’ from Gabriel Fauré’s Requiem with The London Symphony Orchestra, Tenebrae and conductor Nigel Short on the LSO live label, Stabat Mater by Paul Mealor with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Tenebrae and Nigel Short for Decca Records, J.S. Bach’s St Matthew Passion (BWV 244) for Ex Cathedra/Jeffrey Skidmore on the Orchid label, Monteverdi’s Vespers for Signum with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Dixit Dominus on Coro for Harry Christophers, as well as her debut solo "A Portrait" with Fiori Musicali, released in October 2007. She has also recorded Allegri’s Miserere for The Sixteen and for Tenebrae on the Signum Records label. The Miserere was performed by The Sixteen when they won their Classic Brits award at the Albert Hall in 2006..New releases include Monteverdi’s Pianto Della Madonna as part of a disc of Monteverdi on the Coro label for Harry Christophers. She also features on all 3 of the Sacred music series featured on BBC2 most visibly singing the Pie Jesu from Gabriel Fauré’s Requiem.

Grace Davidson is married to the counter-tenor and choral conductor Nigel Short, and makes her home in London.


Source: Grace Davidson Website; Cloucestr Choral Website; Laszlo Harkanyi, Edition Peters Artist M, Peters Edition Limited, London, UK (February 2013)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (May 2008, December 2012); Laszlo Harkanyi (February 2013)

Recordings of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works

Conductor

As

Works

Harry Christophers

Soprano

BWV 102, BWV 233, BWV 235

Penelope Rapson

Soprano

Aria from BWV 249 [w/ Fiori Musicali]

Jeffrey Skidmore

Soprano

BWV 244 [sung in English]

Links to other Sites

Grace Davidson - Soprano (Official Website)

Grace Davidson - Soprano (Gloucester Choral)

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Last update: ýDecember 8, 2013 ý15:13:25