"At times you felt like there were a hundred voices; at others, only one"
Representation: General Management
Photo: Ash Mills
The Gesualdo Six is a vocal consort comprised of some of the UK’s finest young consort singers, directed by Owain Park. Formed in March 2014 for a performance of Gesualdo’s Tenebrae Responsories for Maundy Thursday in the chapel of Trinity College, Cambridge, the group went on to give over sixty performances around the United Kingdom and abroad in its first three years. Over this time, The Gesualdo Six further developed a passion for ensemble singing that for many of them stemmed from formative years as choristers in churches and cathedrals around the country.
The Gesualdo Six has performed in many festivals in the UK (Temple Winter Festival, Brighton Early Music Festival, St John’s Smith Square Holy Week and Christmas Festivals), Germany, The Netherlands, France, Poland, Jersey and Monaco. The ensemble recognises the importance of teaching, and regularly incorporates outreach work into its activities, holding workshops for choirs and composers and giving concerts alongside local performers.
Whilst initially focusing on early music, concert programmes began to reflect a desire to include more modern repertoire and now renaissance polyphony is often juxtaposed with works by composers including György Ligeti and Joanna Marsh amongst others. In 2016, The Gesualdo Six successfully curated its first Composition Competition, supported by St John’s Smith Square and the Music Sales group of companies, attracting 174 entries from around the world. The second Composition Competition is taking place in 2018/19, with the winning works to be premiered by the ensemble at Cadogan Hall and considered for publication by Novello & Co Ltd.
The ensemble released their debut recording on Hyperion Records in early 2018, an album of English renaissance polyphony titled English Motets.
Owain Park Director
Owain Park is a composer, conductor, singer and organist. As well as directing The Gesualdo Six, he regularly works with ensembles including the BBC Singers and Cappella Cracoviensis. Owain is also the Musical Director of Cambridge Chorale.
Owain’s compositions are published by Novello and have been performed internationally by ensembles including the Tallis Scholars and the Aurora Orchestra. While at Cambridge University he studied orchestration with John Rutter, before undertaking a Masters degree in composition.
Recent works include Antiphon for the Angels for VOCES8 and Rachel Podger, and Footsteps for Tenebrae and Nigel Short, a piece conceived to be performed by young and amateur singers alongside the professional forces of Tenebrae. His chamber opera The Snow Child was performed over five nights at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and his compositions have won awards from organisations including the National Centre for Early Music, with his music regularly broadcasted on the BBC, Classic FM, and internationally. The Choir of Trinity College Cambridge included The Wings of the Wind in their tour programmes to the United States, Australia and Hong Kong, and released an album of his music on Hyperion Records in September 2018.
Owain is a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists (FRCO), and was awarded the Dixon Prize for improvisation, having been Senior Organ Scholar at Wells Cathedral and Trinity College Cambridge. He is a Tenebrae Associate Artist, and has worked with ensembles including Polyphony, Gabrieli Consort and Alamire.
Owain holds the FRCO diploma having been Senior Organ Scholar at Wells Cathedral and Trinity College Cambridge. www.owainpark.co.uk
Guy James Countertenor
Guy James is a London-based countertenor who graduated from St. John’s College Cambridge in 2013 with an MSci in Natural Sciences (Physical). Taught by Ashley Stafford, he is currently pursuing a career as a freelance musician and has now appeared on over twenty commercial CDs of choral music. Continuing his interest in Science and Science Policy, Guy has written for The Observer, in the Cambridge Globalist as a Science Policy writer, and also ‘The Tab’ student newspaper as a music reviewer. In his spare time he enjoys playing Cricket, Table Tennis and Badminton.
Alexander recently graduated from New College, Oxford, where he read Classics and was a choral scholar. Born in London, he took up the recorder at the age of 7, and though he continued with this instrument right up until his last year as a Music Scholar at Eton College, it was his singing which eventually took over. Recent (singing) appearances have included a joint recital with his father, Michael Chance, in the 2015 Stour Festival. He is also a keen sportsman, and represented New College in both football and cricket, despite, in the case of the latter, often having to leave after the first innings to go and sing.
Joseph is Assistant Organist of St John’s College, Cambridge, having previously been the Herbert Howells Organ Scholar. Joseph graduated with a BA degree in Music from Cambridge University in June 2016. He began his musical education as a Chorister, later Bishop’s (Head) Chorister, of Salisbury Cathedral. Joseph is a prize-winning Fellow of the Royal College of Organists (FRCO), winning the Limpus, Shinn and Durrant prize. A graduate of Genesis Sixteen, Joseph has been Musical Director of the Gentlemen of St John’s for the past two years, with whom he recorded a CD of Christmas music due for release in time for the festive season.
Josh began his musical studies as a chorister at Chichester Cathedral before accepting a music scholarship to Eton College. Having finished his degree at King’s College London, where he sang in the chapel choir under the late David Trendell, he began work as a freelance singer and now pursues a busy ensemble career, enjoying singing for some of the UK’s most prestigious consorts. Not just content with singing, Josh also teaches the trombone and aims to teach himself the harmonica in order to ultimately become the one man band he’s always dreamed of.
Michael is a London-based freelance singer, who started his musical education with the choir of Trinity College Cambridge. While studying Mathematics, he found himself in many university productions, and was invited back in 2014 to sing the title role in Don Giovanni. Michael is a regular with the choir of the London Oratory, and in between his vocal engagements he works for a very accommodating barristers chambers as an accountant. In his spare time he enjoys moving pictures, hopped beverages and cricket, a venn diagram of interests which intersects perfectly with his colleagues in The Gesualdo Six.
Sam’s began his musical career as chorister at Lincoln Cathedral, before going on to study at Oundle School, where he combined his academic duties with piano and vocal studies. Upon leaving school, Sam took a gap year working in Truro as a choral scholar, before moving to the University of Manchester to read Music. Upon leaving university, Sam decided to embark upon a singing career and has since performed as a soloist and with many leading ensembles across the country. In his spare time, Sam likes to keep his piano skills to a reasonable standard, collecting vinyls and cooking.
Promoters please note: if you wish to include this biography in a concert programme etc, please contact Hazard Chase to make sure you receive the most up to date version. Email: Sarah Mansfield
“Although the ensemble has only been performing together for four years, they have managed to gain much public recognition in Europe.
“The ensemble is made up of gifted English singers whose reputation brought many willing audience members on Friday evening to St Joseph’s Church – which was completely full. Music lovers were enthralled by the beautiful performance of renaissance polyphony.” (Trans.)