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©Patrick Allen

James Gilchrist

Tenor

Recognised as ‘the finest Evangelist of his generation’, James Gilchrist is one of the UK’s leading tenors, whose extensive repertoire embraces works spanning many centuries. He is an enthusiastic and prolific exponent of lieder and enjoys nothing better than putting together interesting and challenging recital programmes. His impressive discography includes the Vaughan Williams Songs of Travel, Schubert and Schumann song cycles, Finzi, Bach and Britten.

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Camilla Wehmeyer

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Mary Donald

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©Patrick Allen

News

James Gilchrist in recital across the UK

James Gilchrist--17.jpg

Posted 28/05/2024

Tenor James Gilchrist will be making several UK recital and concert appearances over the coming months. For further information on each performance, please click the links below.

 

On 29 May, he appears with guitarist Mark Eden at St Mary's Church, Arkengarthdale as part of the Swaledale Festival in a programme of works by Franz Schubert, John Dowland, Alec Roth and Stephen Dodgson. Then on 31 May, James and Mark appear at St Paul's Church Winchester as part of Winchester Guitar Festival performing a programme entitled Songs of Mourning, Songs of Faith & Joy.

 

On 7 June, James appears at St Paul's Church, Clifton as part of the Clifton International Festival performing Schubert's Winterreise accompanied by pianist, Anna Tilbrook and then on 16 June he performs Gerald Finzi's Intimations of Immortality at the Bristol Beacon with the City of Bristol Choir and the Brisol Metropolitan Orchestra conducted by David Ogden. On 22 June, he performs Mendelssohn's St Paul alongside Carolyn Sampson, Sarah Connolly and William Dazeley at Holy Trinity Sloane Square with Battersea Choral Society, Battersea Ensemble conducted by Sam Evans. And he rounds off the month with a series of concerts at the Penarth Chamber Music Festival on 27, 28 and 29 June.

 

Media

Media

Repertoire

Repertoire Includes

Concert

ALWYN

Invocations: A Leave-Taking

BACH

B Minor Mass

Various Cantatas

Christmas Oratorio

Easter Oratorio

Magnificat

Mass in G Minor, BWV 235

Mass in G Major

Missa Brevis

St John Passion

St Matthew Passion

BEAMISH

Ode to The West Wind

BEETHOVEN

An Die Ferne Geliebte

Christus Am Ölberge

Mass in C OP. 86

Missa Solemnis

BERLIOZ

L’enfance Du Christ

BRITTEN

Albert Herring

Church Parables

Curlew River, The Burning Fiery Furnace, The Prodigal Son

Les Illuminations De Rimbault

Nocturne

Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings

St Nicholas

War Requiem

Spring Symphony

The Company of Heaven

The Holy Sonnets of John Donne (op.45)

Winter Words (op. 52)

On This Island (Auden)

Owen Wingrave

Turn of the Screw

BUXTEHUDE

Membra Jesu Mostri

CARISSIMI

Jephtha

CHARPENTIER

Te Deum

DELIUS

Brigg Fair

DVOŘÁK

St Ludmilla

Stabat Mater

FAURÉ

La Bonne Chanson

FINZI

Dies Natalis

For St Cecilia

Intimations of Immortality

Oh Fair to See

Till Earth Outwears (Hardy)

A Young Man’s Exhortation (Hardy – Op 14)

GLUCK

Alceste

GRIEG

Six Songs (Op. 48)

HANDEL

Acis And Galatea

Alexander’s Feast

Athalia

Belshazzar

Esther

Flavio (Ugone)

Hercules (Hyllus)

Israel In Egypt

Jephtha

Judas Maccabaeus

L’allegro, Il Penseroso ed Il Moderato

Lotario

Messiah

Ode for St Cecilia’s Day

Samson

Solomon

Theodora

HAYDN, MICHAEL

Missa in Honorem Sanctae Ursulae

Requiem for Archbishop Sigismondius

HAYDN

Creation

Nelson Mass

Stabat Mater

The Seasons

HOLD,, TREVOR

Glasgerion (2003)

HUMMEL

Mass No.2 in E Flat Op. 80

KORTH

Ode to A Nightingale

MARSHALL

Dark Disputes and Artful Teasing

MATHIAS

This Worlde’s Joie

MATTHEWS

One Foot in Eden

MONTEVERDI

Elijah

Hymn of Praise (Lobgesang)

St Paul (Paulus)

MONTEVERDI

Vespers

Combattimento

MOZART

Coronation Mass

Mass in C Minor

Regina Coeli K276

Regina Coeli, Kv108

Requiem

Vesperae Solennes De Dominica, K321

Zaide (Gomatz)

NYSTEDT

Apocalypsis Joannis

ORFF

Carmina Burana

FRANCIS POTT

The Cloud of Unknowing (2006 Premiere)

POULENC

Metamorphoses

PURCELL

King Arthur

St Cecilia’s Day Ode – Hail Bright Cecilia

Various Other Odes

QUILTER

To Julia

RACHMANINOV

Vespers

RAMEAU

Cantatas

ROSENMULLER

Laudate Pueri

Nisi Dominus

ROSSINI

Petite Messe Solennelle

ROTH

Romantic Residues (Text By Vikram Seth)

SCARLATTI

St Cecilia Mass

SCHUBERT

Masses

Die Schöne Müllerin

Schwanengesang

Winterreise

SCHUMANN

Liederkreis (Op 24 & Op 39)

Dichterliebe (Op 48)

Das Paradies Und Die Peri

SCHUTZ

Musikalisches Exequien

Christams Story

SELF

The Goddess in the Wood

STAINER

Crucifixion

STANFORD

Te Deum

STRAUSS

Ariadne Aux Naxos (Scaramuccio)

STRAVINSKY

Pulcinella

Cantata

Renard

Oedipus Rex

The Owl & The Pussycat (Lear)

TIPPETT

A Child of Our Time

Boyhood’s End (Hudson)

The Knot Garden

Songs for Achilles

The Blue Guitar

TAVENER

Total Eclipse

VAUGHAN WILLIAMS

On Wenlock Edge

Sir John in Love

A Poisoned Kiss

The Pilgrim’s Progress

Serenade to Music

Songs of Travel

WARLOCK

The Curlew

WEIR

Scotch Mintrelsy

WOLF

Italienisches Liederbuch

Discography
Press

Press

RECORDING The Songs of Thomas Pitfield / Divine Art

"Thomas Pitfield could not have wished for more dedicated or shapely advocacy than he enjoys here from tenor James Gilchrist and pianist Nathan Williamson"
Andrew Achenbach, Gramophone (July 2024)

Schubert & Vaughan Williams Recitals / Winchester Chamber Music Festival 

"Gilchrist’s performance was so utterly compelling that there was no question of relaxing. With Huw Watkins an attentive accompanist, Gilchrist inhabited each song, expressing its essence not only with his voice but with his whole body. There was no hint of self-conscious theatre about this; it sprang from his own response to Schubert and Muller, fused with a natural impulse to communicate each song, to get it across to us, as totally as possible. [...] Gilchrist’s singing was always beautiful, with a richly baritonal lower register deepening its expressive reach. [...]
 

One of the most engaging things about James Gilchrist is the connection he forges with his audience, not least in his care to introduce the music he is about to sing and to help us to understand its meaning. This was equally clear the following afternoon when he performed more Schubert – his extended song 'Auf dem Strom', with Huw Watkins (piano) and Tim Posner (cello). They made this wonderful song a moving experience, a meditation on loss and time, borne along on rippling piano figurations as familiar places, with their memories of life and love, slip inexorably behind.
 

[...] Gilchrist held this balance with consummate sensitivity and art, the scales tipping ever so slightly, and rightly, towards the warmth of human feeling. There was powerful drama in 'Is My Team Ploughing?'; 'In Summertime on Bredon' was heartbreakingly done, from those glassy string chords – so clearly Ravel-inspired, and yet so clearly the sound of an English summer – to its dark conclusion."

Chris Kettle, Seen and Heard International (May 2023)

 

 

Recital (with Joseph Middleton) / Leeds Lieder 


”James Gilchrist is the ideal singer for this music, given his forthright, passionate style and his instinctive feeling for the language; in the first song, ‘Auf dem Hügel sitz ich spähend’ the word ‘Seufzer’ (sighs) was given the perfect onomatopoeic emphasis, and the fifth, ‘Es kehret der Maien’ conveyed all the heady excitement of Springtime [...] This was a performance of true partnership, with the dramatic moments startlingly powerful and the tender ones beautifully phrased"

Melanie Eskenazi, MusicOMH (Oct 2022)



Bach MASS IN B MINOR  / Philharmonia Baroque


”In Philharmonia Baroque’s performance of the B-minor Mass, several sections stood out as particularly stunning. The Domine Deus section in the Gloria was beautifully sung by soprano Mary Bevan and tenor James Gilchrist, who were gorgeously accompanied by flutists Stephen Schultz and Lars Johanesson."

James Roy MacBean, The Berkeley Daily Planet (Feb 2022)



Recital: Divine Love and Earthly Passions / National Centre for Early Music, York


”James Gilchrist gave both songs the kind of committed performance we’ve come to expect from him, with ‘Ständchen’ in particular sounding very appropriate when sung to the background of the guitar, creating a real sense of a hopeless serenade."

Melanie Eskenazi, Music OMH (Dec 2021)



SOLITUDE [Chandos Records]

”Gilchrist is, as ever, a hugely clear and communicative singer, in perfect balance with Tilbrook’s sense of focus and poise"

Erica Jeal, The Guardian (July 2020)
 

“James Gilchrist and Anna Tilbrook offer an interpretation that combines refinement and simplicity.”
 

“James Gilchrist details the text with finesse and refinement.”
Pierre Degott, ResMusica (July 2020)

 

"Equally compelling is Solitude (Chandos) by James Gilchrist and Anna Tilbrook, a well-established and ever brilliant tenor-piano duo: in addition to Schubert, Barber and Purcell (arr. Britten), Jonathan Dove’s cycle Under Alter’d Skies, a restless and beguiling setting of Tennyson, is the rewarding centrepiece."
Fiona Maddocks, The Guardian (July 2020)

 

Bach ST JOHN PASSION / Bach Collegium Japan

 

“At the centre of it all, figuratively and literally, was tenor James Gilchrist as the narrating Evangelist, sweet-sounding yet compellingly direct as both storyteller and preacher – one with his feet on the ground, not in the pulpit.

Erica Jeal, The Guardian (March 2020)

"James Gilchrist's Evangelist is admirable, spontaneous and recited in a rich voice and at ease throughout the range. He tells us about these tragic events with a well-balanced mixture of compassion and distance: involved and convincing but without resorting to harshness or excess of “pathos”."
Xavier Rivera, Crescendo Magazine - review of CD recording (Dec 2020)

Leeds Lieder Charity Concert / Wigmore Hall

 

“James Gilchrist showed once again that he has few equals amongst tenors with a beautifully expressive performance of Quilter’s ‘Fear no more the heat of the sun.’’

Melanie Eskenazi, MusicOHM (June 2019)

Bach ST MATTHEW PASSION / Tafelmusik & Masaaki Suzuki

“I was especially entranced watching James Gilchrist, our Evangelist. The role of the Evangelist is enormous, and includes several distinct sorts of singing. At times Gilchrist is telling the story quickly in a very light declamatory recitative, soaring at times to the top of his range. I just pulled out my score, there’s at least one high B, perhaps it even goes higher? Now add in the fact that he’s not just singing but telling the story. Yet that’s the least of it. He’s involved in this story, the way a prophet would be involved in such a report, virtually preaching.  No that’s not the way some people sing it, but Gilchrist isn’t most people.  There are also arias, sometimes sung very sweetly, sometimes in a fiercely dramatic style. Gilchrist was perfectly in tune all night, clearly articulating his text, but most importantly offering genuine ministry in telling Jesus’s story in this musical form. And (as I mentioned) when he wasn’t singing he was absorbed in the music-making all around him.”

Leslie Barcza, barczablog (March 2019)

Purcell KING ARTHUR / Gabrieli Consort & Players

 

“Tenor James Gilchrist made a sturdy yet smooth-edged delight out of How blest are shepherds”

Clive O’Connell, The Syndey Morning Herald (February 2019)

 

“A beaming James Gilchrist, whose tenor has a delightfully pure tone, even got horizontal on the stage as a snoozing shepherd”

Patricia Maunder, Limelight Magazine (February 2019)

Photos