The English bass, Richard Wistreich, was educated at King's College, Cambridge (BA), University of Birmingham (MA Music) and Royal Holloway College (PhD, in progress).
Since then he has become one of the leading bass singers in the field of pre-Romantic music. Richard Wistreich has been performing as a soloist and as an ensemble singer in concerts, recordings, opera and recitals, with a special emphasis on the music of the 16th and 17th centuries for more than two decades.
In the course of his career Richard Wistreich has toured throughout Europe, the USA, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and many other countries, singing, teaching and passing on his driving enthusiasm for vocal performance in all its forms. He has at various times been closely associated with early music ensembles and musicians such as The Consort of Musicke (with Emma Kirkby), the Taverner Consort (Andrew Parrott), Schütz Choir (Roger Norrington), The Academy of Ancient Music (Christopher Hogwood) and, since 1989 with the ensemble Red Byrd, which he founded together with the singer John Potter (Hilliard Ensemble). Red Byrd is dedicated to performing vocal music both ancient and modern, often together in the same concert. They have produced more than a dozen innovative CDs of repertoire ranging from 12th century Parisian Organum (the earliest Western notated polyphonic music) which won the French Diapaison d'Or d'Année in 1999, through major discs of Renaissance and Baroque music to works especially written for them by contemporary composers.
As a soloist, Richard Wistreich has specialised in the virtuoso solo repertoire for bass singer from the 16th and 17th centuries, which he performs together with musicians such as the lutenists Nigel North and Elizabeth Kenny. He has recorded more than 70 CD’s for companies including EMI, Hyperion, Sony Classical, Chandos, Naxos, CRD, and Saydisc. Recent performances include solo recitals and chamber music concerts in Berlin, Florence, Wellington (New Zealand), Zurich, London, Cambridge,York, Austin, Texas and St Paul, Minnesota and in Monteverdi opera productions in Japan (Seneca in l'Incoronazione di Poppea and Caronte in Orfeo).
Richard Wistreich is also very active as a teacher. Since 1991 he has been professor of singing at the Institut für Alte Musik at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik in Trossingen, Germany and he was Director of the Institut from 1999-2001. He is invited to give courses for performers of early music throughout the world and has been a regular teacher at, amongst others, the Hilliard Ensemble Summer School, the Sommerakademie für Alte Musik, Innsbruck, the Israel Baroque Workshop, the International Händel Akademie in Karlsruhe and at many universities, conservatories and colleges. He is also an active scholar and is currently completing his doctoral dissertation on solo bass singing in 16th century Italy at Royal Holloway College, University of London. Papers have been read at meetings of the Institute for Historcal Research (London) American Musicological Society, the Renaissance Society of America, the International Musicological Society and at the British Academy. He has recently published a study of Renaissance, Baroque and Classical vocal technique in The Cambridge Companion to Singing (Cambridge University Press 2000).