7.30pm, Saturday 6 May 2017
Pre-concert talk at 7pm
St Marylebone Parish Church, NW1 5LT


Marcus Farnsworth Baritone
Matthew Martin Organ and Piano


London premiere

2017’s Festival opens with this beautiful programme exploring the rare pairing of solo baritone and organ. Some of the works are written specifically for this combination, such as Stanford’s Bible Songs and Vierne’s beautiful triptych Les Angélus. The recital includes the London premieres of two works written for Marcus Farnsworth: This Same Jesus, an Ascension cantata by Martin Bussey, and Matthew Martin’s Three Sonnets of Petrarch.

Marcus Farnsworth

Marcus Farnsworth Marcus Farnsworth was awarded first prize in the 2009 Wigmore Hall International Song Competition and the Song Prize at the 2011 Kathleen Ferrier Competition. He was a chorister at Southwell Minster and studied Singing, Trumpet and Jazz Piano at Chetham’s School of Music. Marcus read music at the University of Manchester and is an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music where he completed his postgraduate studies in 2011. He is Founder and Artistic Director of the Southwell Music Festival and President of the St George’s Singers, Manchester.

Highlights of the 2016/17 season and beyond include Demetrius in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream on tour with the Aix en Provence Festival; Eddy in Turnage’s Greek for Boston Lyric Opera; The Traveller in Britten’s Curlew River in Hamburg with Ian Bostridge; Birtwistle’s The Last Supper with BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and Martyn Brabbins, with whom he will also sing Vaughan Williams’ Sea Symphony with the BBC Symphony Orchestra; Ned Keene’s Peter Grimes at the Bergen Festival with Edward Gardner, as well as return invitations for recitals at the Wigmore Hall with James Baillieu and the Amsterdam Concertgebouw with Joseph Middleton.

Operatic roles include Guglielmo in Cosí fan tutte, English Clerk in Britten’s Death in Venice and Novice’s Friend in Billy Budd for ENO; Lance Corporal Lewis in the world premiere of In Parenthesis by Ian Bell for Welsh National Opera and, in concert, Sid in Britten’s Albert Herring with the BBC SO and Aeneas in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas with the Early Opera Company. Further afield Marcus has sung Demetrius in A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Bergen National Opera and Kelvin in Fujikura’s Solaris in Paris, Lille and Lausanne.

In concert he has appeared with the Adelaide Symphony, Royal Scottish National, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestras; RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, Dublin; BBC Symphony, Philharmonic and Scottish Symphony Orchestras in repertoire including Britten’s War Requiem, Elgar’s The Apostles, Carmina Burana, Berlioz’s L’enfance du Christ, in the Brahms and Faure Requiem settings conducted by François-Xavier Roth, and in performances with Paul McCreesh, Claus Peter Flor, Bernard Labadie, and Edward Gardner.

A strong supporter of contemporary composers, Marcus has sung many works by John Tavener, Sally Beamish, Thomas Larcher, Peter Maxwell Davies, and David Sawer with orchestras including the London Symphony Orchestra, BBC SO and Aurora Ensemble and conductors Gianandrea Noseda and Nicolas Collon. He has also sung Bach’s St John Passion with the Ulster Orchestra; Bach’s St Matthew Passion and St John Passion with the Gabrieli Consort and Paul McCreesh, and Monteverdi’s Vespers on tour with Emmanuelle Haïm.

Marcus lives in East London with wife Alison. He enjoys cycling and long walks exploring the British and Irish countryside, and is a keen cook and a wine enthusiast.

Matthew Martin

Matthew Martin Matthew Martin read music at Magdalen College, Oxford and later studied at the Royal Academy of Music, London where he won all the major organ prizes and the DipRAM - the Academy’s Premiere Prix in performance. An award-winning composer, he is the Director of Music and a Fellow at Keble College, Oxford where he conducts the choir and teaches academic music within the College and University.

Matthew’s music is rapidly gaining him an international reputation. His “spikily dynamic style of composition” (BBC Music Magazine) has led him to be commissioned to write for many prominent ensembles, most recently The Tallis Scholars, the choirs of Westminster Abbey, St Paul’s Cathedral, St John’s College and Clare College, Cambridge. In 2014, he was commissioned by The Genesis Foundation to write a new setting of the Stabat Mater for The Sixteen. He won the Liturgical category in the 2013 British Composer Awards and, in 2014, a disc of his choral music was released by the choir of Magdalen College, Oxford on the Opus Arte label. He recently had a new Trumpet Sonata commissioned by the 2015 Cheltenham Music Festival as well as a set of Lamentations premiered The Tallis Scholars and a cycle of Sonnets of Petrarch for Marcus Farnsworth performed during the 2016 Three Choirs Festival in Gloucester. Composition plans for 2017 include a large-scale work for The Gabrieli Consort, a re-imagining of Guerrero’s Ave Virgo sanctissima for Ora Singers and a festive anthem to mark opening of the new organ in Manchester Cathedral. Matthew’s works are published by Faber Music.

From 2001 to 2004 he was a pupil of the late Marie-Claire Alain in Paris; in 2005 he was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music. Matthew has held positions at New College, Oxford, Canterbury Cathedral and Westminster Cathedral where he was the Assistant Master of Music from 2004 until 2010. Since 2001 he has been involved with the annual Edington Festival of Music within the Liturgy where he is director of the Nave Choir. From 2000 until 2002 he was Director of Music at the University Church, Oxford. From 2011 until 2015 he was Organist at The London Oratory.

Matthew is well known as a soloist and has performed at the Cheltenham, Spitalfields and South Bank festivals, as well as more recently further afield in Miami and Uppsala, Sweden. A regular organist for The Sixteen, his first solo recording on the historic Ralph Downes-designed organ of The London Oratory has been received with critical acclaim.