Internationally renowned baritone Benedict Nelson is joined by acclaimed pianist Simon Over to explore two of the most celebrated products of Schumann’s remarkable burst of inspiration following marriage to Clara Wieck in 1840, his so-called Liederjahr or year of song.
Schumann and Heine
Schumann - Dichterliebe Op. 48
Schumann - Liederkreis Op. 24
Benedict Nelson, baritone
Simon Over, piano
Tickets: £12 / £10
About the artists
British baritone Benedict Nelson has established an international reputation through his intelligent musicality and elegant interpretations. Praised for his sensitivity and ease on stage, Nelson is equally at home on the recital and concert platform as he is on the operatic stage. During his time as one of the inaugural Harewood Artists at English National Opera, Nelson sang a number of leading roles including title role Billy Budd in a new production by David Alden, Figaro The Barber of Seville, Valentin Faust, Demetrius A Midsummer Night’s Dream in a new production by Christopher Alden and Belcore The Elixir of Love.
Highlights of the 2017/18 season include Donnacha Dennehy’s acclaimed The Second Violinist for Wide Open Opera, title role in Monteverdi Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria on tour in the United States with Circa Contemporary Circus, and Henry Cuffe in Britten Gloriana for Teatro Real. In concert he will sing Orff Carmina Burana with the Gulbenkian Orchestra, Peter Maxwell Davies’ Eight Songs for a Mad King with the Aurora Orchestra, and recitals at the Oxford Lieder Festival.
Recent operatic highlights include the title role in Monteverdi Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria for English Touring Opera, a successful role debut as The Count in The Marriage of Figaro at ENO, Aeneas Dido and Aeneas at the Teatro Regio di Torino, as well as with the Balthasar Neumann Ensemble at the Salzburg Festival and for the Verbier Festival alongside Angelika Kirchschlager as Dido, Ned Keene Peter Grimes for Opéra de Lyon and Opera North, Algernon Moncrieff in Barry’s The Importance of Being Earnest at the Royal Opera House and at Lincoln Center, Stranger The Lady from the Sea for the Edinburgh International Festival and Scottish Opera, title role Don Giovanni, Marcello La bohème, Sid Albert Herring, Christian Un ballo in maschera, Tarquinius Rape of Lucretia for Opéra Angers-Nantes, and The Tender Land for Opéra de Lyon.
Concert highlights include Vaughan Williams’ Sea Symphony with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Walton Belshazzar’s Feast with the Halle under Rory MacDonald, the Southbank Sinfonia, and the Oxford Bach Choir; Britten Noye’s Fludde with La Maîtrise de Radio France, Orff Carmina Burana with the Gulbenkian Orchestra and the Royal Philharmonic, Handel Messiah with Orchestra de Cadaqués, Brahms Ein deutsches Requiem with the Hallé, Weill Das Berliner Requiem with L’Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Bach B Minor Mass with the Aurora Orchestra, Brander Damnation de Faust with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra under Dutoit, Helmsman Tristan und Isolde with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra conducted by Donald Runnicles, Melot and Steuermann Tristan und Isolde with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Britten Canticles at Aldeburgh and the ROH and the world premiere of a new piece by Mark Anthony Turnage in Derry as part of the City of London Festival.
He has performed at many prestigious concert venues including Wigmore Hall, Cadogan Hall, Royal Albert Hall, King’s Place, Snape Maltings, St John’s Smith Square and St Martin-in-the-Fields under conductors including Sir Neville Marriner, Sir Roger Norrington, David Parry, Thomas Zehetmair, Andris Nelsons and Paul McCreesh. He has previously appeared with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, Utah Symphony Orchestra for his US concert debut, Basel Chamber Orchestra, RTÉ Orchestra and the Orchestre de l’Opéra de Rouen.
Nelson’s recital highlights include his debut recital at the Wigmore Hall in 2013 and Britten Songs and Proverbs of William Blake at Snape Maltings with Malcolm Martineau (recorded in 2010 and released by Onyx to critical acclaim), a recital with Roger Vignoles in Madrid, performances at the Norwich chamber music festival, the Oxford Lieder festival, and the closing recital of the Leeds Lieder Festival with Graham Johnson.
Born in London, Nelson studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the National Opera Studio, and at the age of 23, won second prize in the Kathleen Ferrier Awards.
Photo credit: Paul Wilkinson
Simon Over studied at the Amsterdam Conservatoire, the Royal Academy of Music and Oxford University. From 1992 to 2002 Simon was a member of the music staff of Westminster Abbey, and Director of Music at both St Margaret’s Church and in the Chapel of St Mary Undercroft in the Palace of Westminster. He is the Founder-Conductor of the UK Parliament Choir and has conducted all the choir’s performances in conjunction with the City of London Sinfonia, La Serenissima, The London Festival Orchestra and Southbank Sinfonia.
Simon founded Southbank Sinfonia in 2002 and has conducted many of its concerts throughout the UK and Europe including St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle; St James’s Palace; The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Westminster Abbey; The Queen Elizabeth Hall and the Royal Albert Hall. He has conducted Southbank Sinfonia in recordings with cellist Raphael Wallfisch, tenor Andrew Kennedy and pianist Alessio Bax. In 2009 and 2010 he conducted the orchestra in 71 performances of Every Good Boy Deserves Favour (Tom Stoppard/André Previn) at the National Theatre, while in 2011 Simon received, on behalf of Southbank Sinfonia, the Japan Art Association Praemium Imperiale Grant for Young Artists in the presence of Prince and Princess Hitachi and HM the Queen.
In 2006, Simon was appointed Conductor of the Malcolm Sargent Festival Choir and has been associated with its work with young professional singers since its inception. He is also Artistic Director of the Music Festival in Anghiari (Tuscancy) and, since 2010, Music Director of Bury Court Opera for whom he has conducted Dido and Aeneas, Rigoletto, La Cenerentola and Eugene Onegin. Further credits include Guest Conductor of the City Chamber Orchestra (Hong Kong), the Goyang Philharmonic Orchestra (Korea) and Southern Sinfonia (New Zealand), and directing Mozart’s Bastien und Bastienne for the 2011 Vestfold International Festival in Norway. In October 2013, conducting both the Southern Sinfonia of New Zealand and the Yamagata Symphony Orchestra, he represented Australia and New Zealand in Asia Music Week, Tokyo.
Simon has worked both as conductor and accompanist with many internationally-acclaimed artists, including Sir Thomas Allen, Sir James and Lady Galway, Dame Emma Kirkby, Dame Felicity Lott, Sir Willard White, Dame Edna Everage, Alessio Bax, Emma Johnson, Simon Keenlyside, Malcolm Martineau, and Amanda Roocroft.
As a pianist, his performances with American violinist Miriam Kramer at the Wigmore Hall and Lincoln Center, New York – as well as on several recordings – have received high critical acclaim.