"At times you felt like there were a hundred voices; at others, only one"
Representation: General Management
Photo: Ash Mills
The Gesualdo Six are a vocal consort specialising in the performance of renaissance polyphony, directed by Owain Park. Formed in March 2014 for a performance of Gesualdo’s Tenebrae Responsories for Maundy Thursday, the ensemble has since gone on to perform over 50 concerts around the UK, including two summer tours.
Whilst focusing on early music, the group often programmes modern works, including pieces by Joanna Marsh, Sarah Rimkus and Paweł Łukaszewski in their recent concerts. Other programmes have included sacred and secular renaissance works by the English and Italian masters, combined with modern works by György Ligeti, Francis Poulenc and Gabriel Jackson.
The group were St John’s Smith Square Young Artists 2015-2016, following a highly competitive audition process. The scheme invests in promising artists who show “enormous talent and energy”, endeavouring to help shape their futures. The ensemble has appeared at the 2016 Christmas Festival and the inaugural Holy Week Festival 2017.
In 2016, the group successfully curated their first Composition Competition, supported by St John’s Smith Square and the Music Sales group of companies. The judges (John Rutter, Stephen Layton, Kate Johnson and Owain Park) were amazed by the number of entries and the extremely high standard of work; in the end there were over 170 entries spanning six continents.
The group’s first recording will be an album of English renaissance polyphony, due for release in late 2017.
Owain Park Director
Owain Park is a conductor, composer, singer and organist. As well as directing The Gesualdo Six, he maintains a busy schedule of conducting projects, which has recently included four series of Bach Cantatas, Buxtehude’s Membra Jesu nostri, Purcell’s opera Dido and Aeneas and Bach’s St John Passion. Owain was a Senior Scholar on the Conducting Programme of Queens’, working with internationally-renowned conductors including Natalia Luis-Bassa and Paul Brough. Owain is also the Musical Director of Cambridge Chorale. Owain is a prize-winning composer, published by Novello. His music has been performed across the world, by ensembles including the Tallis Scholars, the Aurora Orchestra and the Norwegian Soloists’ Choir. Recent works include Footsteps for Tenebrae and Nigel Short, and Beati quorum via, commissioned by the Wells Cathedral Chorister Trust for The Countess of Wessex. The Choir of Trinity College Cambridge recently included The Wings of the Wind in their tour programme to Australia and Hong Kong, and his chamber opera, The Snow Child, was performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. His compositions have won awards from organisations including the National Centre for Early Music and his music has been broadcast on BBC Radios 3 and 4, and Classic FM.
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
“For a first recording, this is a superb success. The young English sextet succeeds, from the very first moments, to capture the attention by imposing a new and very particular voice. An original way of singing these polyphonies, which combines an absolute technical perfection – intonation, diction – with an intimate, enveloping and soft sound. So at the antipodes of the clamour chosen by The Cardinall’s Musick with the same number of singers.
“If the individual voices are always recognizable, the overall sound blends in with a superb homogeneity. We appreciate the magnitude of the expressive spectrum covered by this anthology, and the impressive capacity of The Gesualdo Six to create contrasted climates, from the deepest recollection (Ne Irascaris) to the jubilant vigor (Vigilate).”