was born in Lancashire. He gained a B.Sc. in Civil Engineering at Manchester University before winning a scholarship to the Royal Manchester College of Music. He was awarded a C.B.E. in 1997 and knighted in the Queen’s Birthday Honours of 2005.
John Tomlinson’s engagements include performances at La Scala, Milan, Rome, Barcelona, Geneva, Lisbon, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, San Diego, Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin (Deutsche Oper and Deutsche Staatsoper), Dresden, Hamburg, Frankfurt, Munich, Vienna and Bilbao and the Festivals of Bayreuth (where he sang for eighteen consecutive seasons), Orange, Aix-en-Provence, Salzburg, Edinburgh and the Maggio Musicale, Florence. He has sung regularly with English National Opera since 1974 and with the Royal Opera, Covent Garden, since 1977 and has also appeared with all the other leading British opera companies. His repertoire includes Wotan DAS RHEINGOLD and DIE WALKÜRE, Wanderer SIEGFRIED, Hagen GÖTTERDÄMMERUNG, Titurel and Gurnemanz PARSIFAL, King Marke TRISTAN UND ISOLDE, Heinrich LOHENGRIN, Hans Sachs DIE MEISTERSINGER VON NÜRNBERG, Landgraf TANNHÄUSER, Baron Ochs DER ROSENKAVALIER, Boromeo PALESTRINA, Orestes ELEKTRA, Moses MOSES UND ARON, Green Knight in the world premiere of Harrison Birtwistle’s GAWAIN AND THE GREEN KNIGHT, Claggart BILLY BUDD, Rocco FIDELIO, King Philip and Grand Inquisitor DON CARLOS, Sarastro DIE ZAUBERFLÖTE, Leporello and Commendatore DON GIOVANNI, Lindorf, Coppelius, Dr Miracle and Dapertutto LES CONTES D’HOFFMANN, Golaud and Arkel PELLÉAS ET MÉLISANDE, Boris Timofeyevich Ismailov LADY MACBETH OF MTSENSK, Pimen BORIS GODUNOV, The General THE GAMBLER and Thomas à Becket ASSASSINIO NELLA CATTEDRALE and title roles in BLUEBEARD’S CASTLE, BORIS GODUNOV, OBERTO, MOSE IN EGITTO, DER FLIEGENDE HOLLÄNDER, and the world premiere of Birtwistle’s THE MINOTAUR
John Tomlinson has a large concert repertoire and has sung with all the leading British orchestras and in Germany, Italy, Belgium, Holland, France, Spain, Denmark and the U.S.A. He has made many recordings including Wotan, Wanderer, Hagen, Hans Sachs, Titurel, Don Alfonso COSÌ FAN TUTTE, Leporello, and title roles LE NOZZE DI FIGARO and BLUEBEARD'S CASTLE, Beethoven CHORAL SYMPHONY, MESSIAH, ACIS AND GALATEA and the Verdi REQUIEM. Videos include MARIA STUARDA, PETER GRIMES, GIULIO CESARE, RIGOLETTO, DAS RHEINGOLD, DIE WALKÜRE, SIEGFRIED and THE MINOTAUR.
Engagements in the 2012/13 season include Hunding DIE WALKÜRE, Hagen GÖTTERDAMMERUNG and title role THE MINOTAUR for Royal Opera, Covent Garden, Gurnemanz PARSIFAL for Bayerische Staatsoper, Munich, Hagen Götterdämmerung for Vienna Staatsoper, the Green Knight in GAWAIN AND THE GREEN KNIGHT for Salzburg Festival and concerts for the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia and Berlin Philharmonic. Future performances include engagements at Royal Opera, Covent Garden, Berlin, Hamburg, Frankfurt, Antwerp and Tokyo.
is a Grammy award-winning pianist and accompanist, working with leading singers, instrumentalists and ensembles in concerts, broadcasts and recordings throughout the world. He is also Artistic Director of the Ryedale Festival, programming around 60 events each year in the many beautiful and historic venues of Ryedale, North Yorkshire.
Described by The Times as having 'beauties and insights aplenty' and praised in Gramophone for his 'breathtaking sensitivity', Chris has performed with singers including Sir Thomas Allen, John Mark Ainsley, Sophie Bevan, Claire Booth, Susan Bullock, Allan Clayton, Lucy Crowe, Sophie Daneman, Bernarda Fink, Michael George, Anthony Rolfe Johnson, Christiane Karg, Jonas Kaufmann, Andrew Kennedy, Yvonne Kenny, Dame Felicity Lott, Christopher Maltman, Mark Padmore, Joan Rodgers, Kate Royal, Kathryn Rudge, Toby Spence, Bryn Terfel, Sir John Tomlinson, Robin Tritschler, Ailish Tynan, Roderick Williams, Catherine Wyn Rogers, Elizabeth Watts and many others.
He has also performed with instrumentalists including Julian Bliss, Andrej Bielow, Adrian Brendel, Michael Collins, Nicholas Daniel, David Garrett, Tine Thing Helseth, Daniel Hope and Steven Isserlis; with ensembles including the Elias, Heath, Fitzwilliam and Szymanowski Quartets, London Winds, Britten Sinfonia and Scottish Chamber Orchestra; and with choirs including The Sixteen.
Chris was born in Leicester and read music an organ scholar at New College, Oxford, before studying piano with John Streets in France and Malcolm Martineau at the Royal Academy of Music. His many awards include a Grammy, the accompaniment prize in the 2001 Kathleen Ferrier competition, the 2003 Gerald Moore award and the 2002 Geoffrey Parsons award.
Since making his debut at Wigmore Hall in 2001, Chris has performed in major concert venues and festivals throughout Europe and North America, and toured to Japan, China, Brazil, Sri Lanka, Russia and Canada. He has made over 20 recordings on labels including Hyperion, Decca, Erato, DG, Coro and Signum. He has also made many studio recordings and live broadcasts for BBC Radio 3.
Chris enjoys working with young musicians and is a Professor at the Royal College of Music, an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music, a coach for the Jette Parker Young Artist Programme at the Royal Opera House, and a course leader for the Samling Foundation. He has been an adjudicator for many international competitions.
Recent highlights include recording the piano soundtrack for the forthcoming film 'Altamira' (starring Antonio Banderas), the world premiere of a newly-discovered work by Mendelssohn on BBC Radio 4, performances at the BBC Proms, collaborations with the Richard Alston Dance Company and Rufus Wainwright, rediscovering the 'serious' songs of Donald Swann for a forthcoming CD, and 'The Passion' with The Sixteen and Streetwise Opera.
Future plans include a series of concerts entitled 'Songbooks' that he will curate for Wigmore Hall, Winterreise with Mark Padmore at the Endellion Festival, and a forthcoming CD of Grainger songs and piano pieces with Claire Booth. Chris will also join Toby Spence, Roderick Williams and Sir John Tomlinson for the first performances of new English translations he has commissioned from Jeremy Sams of Schubert's song cycles.