JUDY BROWN

MEZZO-SOPRANO

Born and raised in Edinburgh, Judy Brown received her early musical training as a chorister at St Mary's Music School, where she had lessons with Margaret Aronson. She read music at the University of Edinburgh, where she was a finalist in the Donald Tovey Memorial Prize and became the first female alto lay clerk to be appointed to the choir of St Mary's Episcopal Cathedral.

While in Scotland Judy studied with Patricia MacMahon and sang in concert with the Tallis Scholars in the East Neuk Festival, with the Dunedin Consort in the Festival Internacional de Músiques de Torroella de Montgrí, and participated in the Taipei International Choral Festival, Taiwan. As a soloist she sang Handel's Messiah for Sospiro Baroque, Rossini's Petite Messe Solenelle for the Scottish Chamber Choir and Bach's Christmas Oratorio for the St Magnus Festival Chorus under Martyn Brabbins.

In 2012 Judy participated in the Crear Mastercourse and is one of Malcolm Martineau’s Crear Scholars. She was awarded the Bucher Fraser Scholarship for postgraduate study by the University of Edinburgh, was generously supported by the Trufflehunter fund and the Sir Richard Stapley Trust, and was the inaugural recipient of the Von Ibler - Innes Schola Cantorum of Edinburgh award to help her pursue postgraduate study in London. She has recently graduated with a Masters in vocal performance from The Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where she studied with Susan Waters.

Her repertoire ranges from the contemporary - Spirit Harbour, Lliam Paterson, Tête-à-Tête opera festival; 5 Acts of Harry Patch, Peter Maxwell-Davies, Grosvenor Chapel; Six Celan Songs, Michael Nyman, Barbican, James MacMillan's Seven Last Words from the Cross - to early music - Charpentier’s Les Plaisirs de Versailles, London Handel Festival; Buxtehude's Jesu Membra Nostri, Ross-on-Wye Festival, the SSAA version of Vivaldi's Gloria in St John's Smith Square for International Women's Day – and she works with a variety of ensembles in London, Scotland and further afield.

Solo recital projects have included Wagner, Strauss and Mahler in the Edinburgh International Festival as part of Songlines, music by composers and poets of WW1 in St Martin-in-the-Fields, contemporary settings of Shakespeare sonnets for Song in the City and a selection of lieder by Hans Gál at the request of the Hans Gál Society. Work with larger ensembles includes Britten’s Phaedra with William Conway and Edinburgh University String Orchestra, new organ-transcription performances of Mahler's 3rd Symphony and Elgar’s Sea Pictures with David Briggs and Simon Nieminski, and Michael Nyman’s Six Celan Songs with the Masque Collective as part of Barbican’s Contemporary Music season.

On stage she has sung the role of Juno in both Handel’s Semele and Charpentier’s Actéon changé en biche, performed in a new music and theatre piece Why does the Queen die? by Iain Burnside (revived after a successful premiere at the Oxford Lieder Festival) and played a fox and a Japanese warrior in the 2014  Tête-à-Tête opera festival. She has sung in masterclasses with Sarah Walker, Eugene Asti, Amanda Roocroft and most recently with Estonian voice improvisation expert Anne-Liis Poll, and receives coaching from contralto Hilary Summers.

Recent performances include Songlines in the Edinburgh International Festival, solo Bach Cantatas with the Kellie Consort in St Andrews, Proms with both the Academy of Ancient Music and the Dunedin Consort, Mozart requiem in Oslo with Dunedin Consort, Monteverdi Vespers in Barbican and Gloucester Cathedral with the Academy of Ancient Music, and the roles of Äbtissin in Hans Gál's opera Das Lied der Nacht in the Queens Hall, Edinburgh and Mrs Noye in Noye's Fludde.

Forthcoming engagements include Bach Cantata O Ewigkeit, du Donnerwort with the City Bach Collective, St Mary-at-Hill (Sunday 26th November, 6.30pm), Dvorak Mass in D with Streatham Choral Society (Saturday 2nd December, 7.30pm), a return to St Giles Cathedral Edinburgh for Handel & Bach in their Candlelit Hogamanay concert (Sunday 31st December, 7.30pm) and Handel's Messiah for Edinburgh Royal Choral Union under the baton of Benjamin Bayl in the Usher Hall (Tuesday 2nd January, 12noon)

 

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