"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 is a male a cappella vocal ensemble comprised of some of the UK’s finest consort singers. Their director, Owain Park, formed the group in March 2014 for a performance of Gesualdo’s ‘Tenebrae Responsories for Maundy Thursday’ in the chapel of Trinity College, Cambridge. In the same year they were named as St. John’s Smith Square’s Young Artists, and merely three years later, were welcomed onto The Brighton Early Music Festival Young Artist Scheme. Season highlights this year have included a highly acclaimed performance in the distinguished Deutschland Radio Debut Series and a collaborative performance with the Brodsky Quartet at Kings Place in London.
Praised for their impeccable blend and tuning, The Gesualdo Six have performed in numerous major festivals in the UK, Europe and Canada. In 2020, they will embark on inaugural tours to Australia and USA.
Whilst initially focussing on early music, concert programmes began to reflect a desire to include more modern repertoire – now concerts often seamlessly juxtapose Renaissance masterpieces with works by contemporary composers such as György Ligeti, Joanna Marsh and Owain Park.
In 2016, The Gesualdo Six successfully curated its first Composition Competition attracting hundreds of entries from around the world. In 2019, over three hundred composers entered this second edition of the event, with the winning works by Alison Willis and Jacob Beranek receiving their world premieres at Cadogan Hall in London. Furthermore, education is an integral part of the group’s mantra – regularly incorporating masterclasses and workshops into its activities worldwide, in order to cultivate the next generation of ensemble singers.
The Gesualdo Six released their debut recording on Hyperion Records in early 2018 – an album of English renaissance polyphony, entitled ‘English Motets’. Upcoming releases include a disc of Advent music (‘Christmas’, November 2019) and an exploration of contemporary music, ‘Fading’, due for release in April 2020.
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
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“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.)