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Ben Johnson


Acclaimed tenor Ben Johnson represented England in BBC Cardiff Singer of the World 2013 and won the Audience Prize. Johnson is a former BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist, 2008 winner of the Kathleen Ferrier Award, 2011 Wigmore Hall Emerging Talent, and a 2013-2015 English National Opera Harewood Artist. He is the Founder and Chief Conductor of the Southrepps Sinfonia as well as joint Artistic Director of the Southrepps Classical Music Festival. He is professor of singing at the Royal Academy of Music in London.

Highlights of the 2017/18 season include a return to English National Opera as Earl Tolloller in Gilbert and Sullivan’s Iolanthe. On the concert platform Johnson will sing Kodaly Te Deum at the Last Night of the BBC Proms, Britten War Requiem at De Doelen and the Concertgebouw Brugge; and Beethoven Symphony No. 9 with Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne. In a busy season of recitals, Johnson will perform at the Wigmore Hall, London Song Festival, Fundacio Juan March, and Oxford Lieder Festival with pianists James Baillieu, Graham Johnson, and Roger Vignoles.

Current and forthcoming releases include Szymanowski's Love Songs of Hafiz and Symphony No.3 with Edward Gardner and the BBC Symphony Orchestra for Chandos, a recording of sonnet settings with Graham Johnson for Champs Hill and a collection of Victorian English songs with James Baillieu for Rosenblatt Recitals, recently released by Opus Arte.

Recent operatic highlights include Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus and Don Ottavio Don Giovanni, both for Opera Holland Park, a celebrated run as Alfredo La traviata in a new production, and subsequent revival, by Peter Konwitschny, Tamino in a new production of The Magic Flute by Simon McBurney, and Nemorino The Elixir of Love, all for ENO; Don Ottavio for Glyndebourne Festival Opera, ENO and Opéra National de Bordeaux, Lysander in Britten a A Midsummer Night's Dream for Bergen National Opera, Oronte Alcina in a concert tour with The English Concert, Bénédict Béatrice et Bénédict for Chelsea Opera Group, Carlo Giovanna d'Arco for Buxton Festival Opera, Novice in Michael Grandage's production of Billy Budd at Glyndebourne, Copland's The Tender Land at Opéra de Lyon and productions for Scottish Opera and the Classical Opera Company.

Much in demand on the concert platform, Johnson recently performed Jaquino in Beethoven Fidelio with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Vladimir Jurowski, Mozart Requiem with the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin and with Andris Nelsons and the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Britten Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings with the Orchestra of Scottish Opera, and Bliss The Beatitudes with the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Previous highlights include Nielsen Springtime in Funen at the BBC Proms, Britten War Requiem on Remembrance Sunday under Marin Alsop at the Royal Festival Hall, Tippett A Child of Our Time with Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Schumann Das Paradies und die Peri for Festival de Saint-Denis, Beethoven Symphony No.9 with the CBSO, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, and Royal Northern Sinfonia, Berlioz Romeo et Juliette with Bergen Philharmonic, Bach Christmas Oratorio with BBC Scottish Symphony, Evangelist in St John Passion with the RTÉ National Symphony; Britten St Nicolas, Bach St John Passion as well as Arvo Pärt Passio with the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge; St Matthew Passion with The Bach Choir and Residentie Orkest, Bach Magnificat with Britten Sinfonia, and Messiah with the Academy of Ancient Music and Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. He has also performed Mendelssohn Lobegesang with Gulbenkian Orchestra, Britten Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings with the Residentie Orkest and at the BBC Proms.

Johnson is a dedicated recitalist, performing regularly with Graham Johnson, James Baillieu, Roger Vignoles, and Tom Primrose. With Johnson he has performed at the Wigmore Hall, the Ruhr Klavier Festival in Germany, Aldeburgh Music, and the duo have recorded songs by Poulenc for Hyperion records. Baillieu accompanied his acclaimed debut album Britten Canticles with Signum Records, and has performed with Johnson at the Wigmore Hall, the City of London Festival, Rosenblatt Recitals and Kings Place.