Photograph of Mark Padmore by Marco Borggreve
Mark Padmore was born in London and grew up in Canterbury. After beginning his musical studies on the clarinet he gained a choral scholarship to King’s College, Cambridge and graduated with an honours degree in music.
He has established a flourishing career in opera, concert and recital. His performances in Bach’s Passions have gained particular notice throughout the world.
In the opera house he has worked with directors Peter Brook, Katie Mitchell, Mark Morris and Deborah Warner. Recent work includes the leading role in Harrison Birtwistle’s new opera The Corridor with performances at the 2009 Aldeburgh and Bregenz Festivals, as well as the Southbank Centre in London; Tom Rakewell in Stravinsky The Rake’s Progress at La Monnaie, Brussels; Handel Jephtha at WNO and ENO and the Evangelist in a staging of St Matthew Passion at Glyndebourne.
He also played Peter Quint in an acclaimed BBC TV production of Britten Turn of the Screw and recorded the title role in La Clemenza di Tito with René Jacobs for Harmonia Mundi. Future plans include Captain Vere in Britten Billy Budd for Glyndebourne Festival Opera.
In concert he has performed with many of the world’s leading orchestras including the Munich Radio, Berlin, Vienna, New York and London Philharmonic Orchestras, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Boston and London Symphony Orchestras and the Philharmonia. He makes regular appearances with the OAE with whom he has conceived projects exploring both Bach St John and St Matthew Passions.
Mark has given recitals in Amsterdam, Barcelona, Brussels, Madrid, Milan, Moscow, New York Paris and Vienna. He appears frequently at Wigmore Hall in London where he first sang all three Schubert song cycles in May 2008, was their Artist in Residence in the 2009/10 Season and in 2011-2012 he repeated the cycles there with Paul Lewis. He also recently sang the cycles at the Theatre an der Wien and at Salle Gaveau in Paris with Till Fellner. Composers who have written for him have included Mark-Anthony Turnage, Alec Roth, Sally Beamish, Thomas Larcher and Huw Watkins. As well as his regular collaborators Paul Lewis, Till Fellner, Kristian Bezuidenhout, Julius Drake, Roger Vignoles, Simon Lepper and Andrew West, he works with many internationally renowned chamber musicians including Imogen Cooper and Steven Isserlis. He has made many recordings including the Bach passions with Herreweghe and McCreesh, Bach cantatas with Eliot Gardiner and Herreweghe, Haydn masses with Richard Hickox, Don Giovanni with Daniel Harding and operas by Rameau and Charpentier with William Christie. A disc of Handel arias As Steals the Morn with The English Concert and Andrew Manze, released by Harmonia Mundi, won the BBC Music magazine Vocal Award in April 2008. Other recent releases include Haydn Creation for Deutsche Grammophon; Messiah with Sir Colin Davis and the LSO; Britten Winter Words with Roger Vignoles; Schubert Schwanengesang, Die Schöne Müllerin and Winterreise with Paul Lewis for Harmonia Mundi, which won the Gramophone magazine Vocal Solo Award for 2010 and Schumann Dichterliebe with Kristian Bezuidenhout which won the Vocal Solo category of the 2011 Edison Klassiek Award. Mark is Artistic Director of the St. Endellion Summer Music Festival in Cornwall.
Simon Lepper read music at King’s College Cambridge. He is a professor of collaborative piano at the Royal College of Music, London where he also co-ordinates the collaborative piano course. Since 2003 he has been an official accompanist for the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition.
Recent performance highlights include an invitation from the Wigmore Hall, London to present a three concert project on the songs of Joseph Marx; a recital tour with baritone Stéphane Degout which included the Ravinia and Edinburgh Festivals; his debut at Carnegie Hall, New York with mezzo Karen Cargill; a recital with Christopher Purves at the Frick Collection, New York; a performance with Mark Padmore of Schubert Winterreise at the Schubertiade, Hohenhems, Austria; recitals with Angelika Kirchschlager at La Monnaie, Brussels and at the Wigmore Hall where appearances also have included recitals with Christopher Maltman, Elizabeth Watts, Stephan Loges, Sophie Bevan, Christopher Purves and Lawrence Zazzo,
Simon has also appeared at the Wigmore Hall with violinist Carolin Widmann, with whom he has given recitals in Amsterdam, Paris, Salzburg, Cologne and Madrid and recorded for ECM – Phantasy of Spring, contemporary works, including Feldman, Zimmerman and Xenakis – which received a Diapason d’Or and the German Critics Award. More recently he recorded a disc of Brahms, Schubert and Beethoven with violinist Ji-Hae Park (Universal records).
He has recently given a European tour with Stéphane Degout including performances at the opera houses of Dijon, La Monnaie, Lausanne and Lyon as well as the Wigmore Hall. He presented an all Schubert programme with Ilker Arcayürek in Barcelona, Zürich and at the Wigmore hall where further appearances include recitals with Karen Cargill and Morgan Pearse. With Benjamin Appl he toured to India including recitals in Mumbai and Chennai. Highlights of future seasons include a return to Carnegie Hall with Sally Matthews as well as Schubert recitals with Ilker Arcayurek in New York and San Francisco.
Vocal recordings include Warlock songs with Andrew Kennedy (Landor),
2 volumes of Debussy songs and Strauss songs with Gillian Keith (Deux-Elles), the complete CW Orr songs with Mark Stone (Stone Records), a disc of Gustav and Alma Mahler songs with Karen Cargill (Linn records) and Jonathan Dove Songs with Kitty Whately (Champs Hill), More recent releases include a song recital disc with Dame Felicity Palmer (Resonus Classics), and the debut disc of Ilker Arcayürek in a programme of Schubert songs (Champs Hill). The disc “Poémes d’un jour” (B-Records) with Stéphane Degout was chosen as best new classical album of the month for “Gramophone” magazine.