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Brian Parsons (Tenor)

Born: Luton, England

The English tenor and music pedagogue,.Brian Parsons, began his full-time musical training (piano/voice/cello) at the Holland County Music School, Boston, Lincolnshire (1967-1970). He continued his studies (voice/piano) at the Royal College of Music and the RCM Opera School, London (1970-1975), where he won the coveted English Song Prize and also scholarships and bursaries from the Ralph Vaughan Williams Trust and the RCM Patrons Fund for post-graduate studies. Two years on the RCM Opera Course followed, where he gained critical aclaim for his performance of Albert in Benjamin Britten's Albert Herring, a role he subsequently worked on with it's creator Peter Pears, performing it at The Maltings, Snape, Aldeburgh. He studied at these institites with Bernard Roberts and Maria Donska (piano) and Frederick Sharp and Lyndon van der Pump (singing). He has also studied privately and in master-classes with Eric Vietheer, Eugenie Triguez, Geoffrey Parsons, Gerhard Hüsch, Nadia Boulanger, Pierre Bernac, David Pollard and Sir Peter Pears. He was a Finalist in the Richard Tauber Competition, the Royal Overseas League Competition, and the National Federation of Music Societies Award for Male Singers.

In a career that has spanned almost thirty years Brian Parsons has appeared as soloist in all the major London concert halls. Brian has sung in recital and concerts in many music festivals both at home and abroad, including the Spitalfields, Norwich, Camden, Cuenca, Aix en Provence, Saintes, Wexford, Maggio Musicale (Florence) and Athens Festivals, working with such conductors as Jean-Claude Malgoire, William Christie, Christophe Rousset and Philippe Herreweghe, David Roblou and Frantisek Vajnar. Contemporary music has always played an important part in his career. He has broadcast for the BBC and French Radio and Television and featured as soloist in many recordings including the cantatas of Bernier and Martinu as well as contemporary works by Luciano Berio, Heinz Holliger and Holliger.

A special affinity for the works of J.S. Bach have resulted in many appearances in the major choral works; notably the traditional Good Friday performance of the St. Mathew Passion (BWV 244) by The Bach Choir in the Royal Festival Hall, the St. John Passion (BWV 245) in St. Paulís Cathedral and the Evangelist in the St.John Passion (BWV 245) recorded for French television and conducted by Bertrand de Billy. In addition, he was a member of London Voices (Director: Terry Edwards) and Monteverdi Choir (Director: John Eliot Gardiner). He is currently a member of Les Solistes de Lyon (Director: Bernard Têtu).

Equally at home on the operatic stage, Brian has sung for the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, English National Opera, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Wexford Festival Opera, Aix en Provence Festival Opera and Opera 80 (now English Touring Opera). Opera credits include over 100 performances of Count Almaviva in The Barber of Seville with many companies including Opera 80 (now English Touring Opera); Lindoro in Italian Girl in Algiers, Opera 80; Lindoro in La Scala di Seta, Un Theatre pour La Musique (Paris); Un Athlete in Castor et Pollux, English Bach Festival at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden and Les Arts Florrisants at the Aix en Provence International Opera Festival; Astérion in Naïs, Theatre Royale, Versailles and Dijon Opera; Ferrando in W.A. Mozart's Cosi fan Tutte, English Chamber Opera and the Gattières Festival (Nice); Ernesto in Don Pasquale with I Commediante.

Brian Parsons has an international reputation as a singing teacher. He has taught at the Blackheath Conservatoire of Music, The London City Literary Institute, City University London, and also on the Berkshire Choral Union, Summer Music, and Seminaire Estival de Musique en Wallonie Summer Schools. After several years working in France, Brian Parsons was invited to become Professeur de Chant at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et Danse in Lyon (since 1998). This post he has held in conjunction with his appointment as Professor of Singing at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama: Vocal Studies Department (since September 2000). He has been a tutor for the AIMS International Music School since it was founded in 2007 by Neil Jenkins and Penny Jenkins. Among his mamy pupils: Malcolm Bennett (tenor), Violaine Le Chenadec (soprano), Davy Cornillot (tenor), Yusuke Fujii (tenor). He currently lives in London, England.

Source: Brian Parsons Website & Facebook/LinkedIn profiles; Guildhall School of Music Website; AIMS International Music School Website
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (November 2015)

Recordings of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works




John Eliot Gardiner


Member of Monteverdi Choir:
BWV 244 [1st, 1988], BWV 248/1-6 [1st, 1987]

Links to other Sites

Brian Parsons (Official Website)
Brian Parsons on LinkedIn
Brian Parsons on Facebook

Brian Parsons GRSM ARCM (Guildhall School)
AIMS International Music School: Brian Parsons

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