Nicholas Clapton (countertenor)

with David J. Smith (harpsichord and piano)

Tuesday 12 May 2009 • 7.30pm
Huntly Cairnie Glass Church, Huntly (map)

Tickets £8.00, £5.00 (concession), free (schoolchildren)
available from Brander Library, Rizza's shop, or at the door

Nicholas Clapton

An opportunity to hear the amazing countertenor Nicholas Clapton in Huntly. Nicholas Clapton has made his name in the world of opera, and is equally at home in contemporary repertoire as he is in earlier music. This concert will be a celebration of composers who have anniversaries in 2009: Purcell, Handel, Haydn and Mendelssohn. He will be accompanied by David Smith on harpsichord and piano.


Nicholas Clapton was born in Worcester and read Music at Magdalen College, Oxford.

He made his professional debut at the Wigmore Hall in 1984, since when he has pursued a wide-ranging career in opera, oratorio and recital throughout Britain and Europe, in the Far East and in the USA. While particularly well-known for his performance of contemporary music (he has given twenty-two world premieres), he is also equally at home in the heroic castrato repertoire of the eighteenth century, having played the great Farinelli on stage on several occasions. In recital he has been privileged to work with Jennifer Partridge for some twenty years.

Increasingly in demand as a teacher, Nicholas Clapton is a Professor of Singing at the Royal Academy of Music and gives regular master-classes at the Dartington International Summer School. He is also a Visiting Professor at the Zeneakadémia in Budapest, and has taught in Belgrade, Prague and the Netherlands. His biography of Alessandro Moreschi, and the Voice of the Castrato was recently republished, and his research on the castrati, having led to him curating the highly successful exhibition, Handel and the Castrati, at the Handel House Museum, London, will bear further fruit in the first English-language biography of Farinelli, scheduled for puiblication in 2011. He recently sang at Tate Modern's Rothko Exhibition, premiering Jim Aitchison's Shadows of Light, and his second book, Budapest, City of Music, appeared in March. Later in 2009 two CDs of contemporary music for counter-tenor, including several new commissions, will be issued, and he will return to Hungary to perform at the 2nd Esztergom Liszt Festival.

David Smith was organ scholar at St Peter's College Oxford before becoming the first ever John Brookman graduate organ scholar at Wadham College, where he completed a doctoral thesis on the instrumental music of Peter Philips (1560/61-1628). In 1994 he moved to the University of Aberdeen, where he is currently acting head of the music department. His edition of the complete keyboard works of Peter Philips was published in the scholarly series Musica Britannica and he is currently working on another volume containing the complete consort music of Philips and Richard Dering. He is active as a performer on organ, harpsichord, piano and recorder. As a performer, David specialises in early keyboard music from England and the Netherlands, and in improvisation.

David lives in Forgue with his wife Elspeth (another musician) and their son William.

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