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.
Joanne Lunn & James Gilchrist on tour
© K. Miura
Joanne Lunn and James Gilchrist will undertake a European tour together with Bach Collegium Japan under Music Director, Masaaki Suzuki, performing Bach's great Mass in B Minor and a programme of Bach Cantatas including "Was frag ich nach der Welt" BWV 94; "Herr, deine Augen sehen nach dem Glauben" BWV 102 and "Unser Mund sei voll Lachens" BWV 110. Performing alongside Joanne and James are soprano, Aki Matsui, counter-tenor, Alex Chance and bass, Christian Immler.
The tour begins on 30 October with the Mass in B Minor in Wroclaw's Narodowe Forum Muzyki, followed by the Cantata programme on 1 November at the Kölner Philharmonie and 2 November at the Wiener Konzerthaus. They then travel to the Tonhalle Düsseldorf on 4 November (Mass in B Minor), Eglise St. François Lausanne on 6 November (Cantatas), Philharmonie de Paris on 7 November (Mass in B Minor), Antwerp's International Kunstcentrum de Singel on 8 November (Cantatas), ending the tour with performances of the Mass in B Minor at Madrid's Auditorio Nacional de Música on 10 November and at the Hague's Zuiderstrandtheater on 12 November.
Other highlights for Joanne this season include Handel’s Messiah with Concerto Copenhagen in Denmark, Angel in Schutz’s Christmas Story with the Dunedin Consort at London’s Wigmore Hall, Steffanis’ La Libera with Musica Alta Ripa in Hannover and a Netherlands tour of Bach’s St Matthew Passion with De Nederlandse Bachvereniging.
Later this season, James returns to the role of Reverend Horace Adams in Deborah Warner’s production of Peter Grimes, making his company debut at the Opéra national de Paris. Elsewhere in Europe, he will will sing St John Passion a number of times across the season – with the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra in Toronto, at Westminster Cathedral, and with the RTÉ Symphony Orchestra in Dublin.
For more information on their European tour, visit the Bach Collegium Japan website.
Invocations: A Leave-Taking
B Minor Mass
Mass in G Minor, BWV 235
Mass in G Major
St John Passion
St Matthew Passion
Ode to The West Wind
An Die Ferne Geliebte
Christus Am Ölberge
Mass in C OP. 86
L’enfance Du Christ
Curlew River, The Burning Fiery Furnace, The Prodigal Son
Les Illuminations De Rimbault
Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings
The Company of Heaven
The Holy Sonnets of John Donne (op.45)
Winter Words (op. 52)
On This Island (Auden)
Turn of the Screw
Membra Jesu Mostri
La Bonne Chanson
For St Cecilia
Intimations of Immortality
Oh Fair to See
Till Earth Outwears (Hardy)
A Young Man’s Exhortation (Hardy – Op 14)
Six Songs (Op. 48)
Acis And Galatea
Israel In Egypt
L’allegro, Il Penseroso ed Il Moderato
Ode for St Cecilia’s Day
Missa in Honorem Sanctae Ursulae
Requiem for Archbishop Sigismondius
Mass No.2 in E Flat Op. 80
Ode to A Nightingale
Dark Disputes and Artful Teasing
This Worlde’s Joie
One Foot in Eden
Hymn of Praise (Lobgesang)
St Paul (Paulus)
Mass in C Minor
Regina Coeli K276
Regina Coeli, Kv108
Vesperae Solennes De Dominica, K321
The Cloud of Unknowing (2006 Premiere)
St Cecilia’s Day Ode – Hail Bright Cecilia
Various Other Odes
Petite Messe Solennelle
Romantic Residues (Text By Vikram Seth)
St Cecilia Mass
Die Schöne Müllerin
Liederkreis (Op 24 & Op 39)
Dichterliebe (Op 48)
Das Paradies Und Die Peri
The Goddess in the Wood
Ariadne Aux Naxos (Scaramuccio)
The Owl & The Pussycat (Lear)
A Child of Our Time
Boyhood’s End (Hudson)
The Knot Garden
Songs for Achilles
The Blue Guitar
On Wenlock Edge
Sir John in Love
A Poisoned Kiss
The Pilgrim’s Progress
Serenade to Music
Songs of Travel
Man and Bat, Piano Concerto, The Moon is Flashing and Eternity’s Sunrise. Roderick Williams (baritone), James Gilchrist (tenor), Tim Horton (piano) and Ensemble 360 [FIRST HAND RECORDS 2019]
A programme of Vaughan Williams, Bliss, Gurney & Warlock with the Fitzwilliam String Quartet, Anna Tibrook (piano) and James Gilchrist (tenor) [LINN 2019]
A selection of Vaughan Williams best songs and rarely heard chamber works with James Gilchrist (tenor), Anna Tilbrook (piano) and Philip Dukes (viola) [CHANDOS 2018]
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