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Past Events > 2020

28. Winners of the Kathleen Ferrier Awards: Benson Wilson & Lucy Colquhoun

15 October 2020, 13:00 - 14:00

New Zealand-born Samoan baritone Benson Wilson is the winner of the prestigious Kathleen Ferrier Awards 2019, as well as numerous other awards. He has recently joined ENO as a Harewood Artist. Lucy Colquhoun is a prize-winning alumnus of the Royal College of Music, where she studied with Roger Vignoles, and a Britten-Pears Young Artist.

Benson and Lucy begin their programme with a selection of Schubert songs that includes the thrilling ‘Gruppe aus dem Tartarus’ and ‘Auflösung’, as well as the hauntingly evocative ‘Nacht und Träume’ (‘Night and dreams’). They then perform Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen (‘Songs of a Wayfarer’), a cycle that finds the composer setting his own texts that are written very much in the spirit of the famous folk collection Des Knaben Wunderhorn (‘The Boy’s Magic Horn’). Although they are commonly thought of as orchestral songs, like so many of Mahler’s songs the piano versions are the originals. A sense of sadness and outrage combined with happy memories permeates the cycle, probably a reflection of Mahler’s passionate but unhappy relationship with the soprano Johanna Richter. The songs were written in 1884-85, and just a few years later some of the principal themes would re-emerge in Mahler’s mighty First Symphony.

Following three of Benjamin Britten’s arrangements of old English and Irish folksongs, their programme ends with a performance of ‘Deep River’, in a famous arrangement by Harry T. Burleigh. This anonymous song is one of the best known African-American spirituals, and Burleigh’s 1917 arrangement secured its place in recitals thereafter.

This concert will be streamed completely live from the Holywell Music Room. Shortly afterwards, it will also be available to watch again (using the same ticket and link) until 1 November 2020. Click here for further information on how tickets will work this year.

Artist Portrait

Benson Wilson

Benson Wilson


New Zealand-born Sāmoan baritone Benson Wilson is the winner of the prestigious 64th Kathleen Ferrier Award. That same year he was awarded the Most Outstanding Overseas Performer of the Royal Overseas League Competition, the Worshipful Company of Musicians Award, and was the 2018 winner of the Joan Sutherland & Richard Bonynge Foundation Award and the People’s Choice Award. In 20/21 Benson joins English National Opera as a Harewood Artist, opening the season as Schaunard La bohème for their Drive & Live production at... Read Full Biography
Artist Portrait

Lucy Colquhoun

Lucy Colquhoun


Lucy Colquhoun graduated from the Royal College of Music, studying with Roger Vignoles. During her time at the College she won all the major prizes for piano accompaniment, including the Alisdair Graham Prize for Piano Accompaniment (English Song), the Joan Chissel Schumann Prize and the Titanic Memoriam Prize in the Lies Askonas Singing Competition. Lucy was also recipient of the Douglas and Hilda Simmonds Award, the Kendall Taylor Award, and a scholarship from the Honourable Society of the Knights of the Round Table. This year she was wi... Read Full Biography

Festival Passes

This event is part of a series:

Connections Across Time - A Brief History of Song

Over a packed eight days, world-class artists including Benjamin Appl, Ian Bostridge, Sarah Connolly and Roderick Williams will present some 40 concerts and events, from venues across Oxford and completely live. From the comfort of your own home, you will be able to enjoy these concerts live-streamed in the highest quality. We’ll be exploring every possible advantage of this temporary ...

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