Iestyn Davies & Joseph Middleton

Biography Iestyn Davies & Joseph Middleton

Iestyn Davies
After graduating in Archaeology and Anthropology from St John’s College, Cambridge, Iestyn Davies studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London.

An esteemed Handelian, he has astounded audiences globally with his vocal agility in the title roles of Orlando and Rinaldo, and as Ottone in Agrippina and David in Saul. Iestyn’s intelligent and considered interpretations have led to fruitful collaborations with Thomas Adès, George Benjamin and Nico Muhly. Iestyn received an Olivier Award nomination for singing the role of Farinelli in Farinelli and the King opposite Mark Rylance in a Shakespeare’s Globe production that had successful runs on the West End and Broadway.

On the opera stage, he has appeared at the Metropolitan Opera (New York), Lyric Opera of Chicago, Teatro alla Scala (Milan), Royal Opera House (Covent Garden), English National Opera, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Welsh National Opera, Teatro Real (Madrid) and Salzburg Festival, and in Munich, Vienna and Zurich.

Concert engagements have included performances at the Teatro alla Scala with Gustavo Dudamel; the Royal Concertgebouw and Tonhalle with Ton Koopman; and the Barbican, Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Lincoln Center and the BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall with orchestras that include the New York Philharmonic, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, The English Concert, Britten Sinfonia, Concerto Köln, Concerto Copenhagen, Ensemble Matheus, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Academy of Ancient Music and Scottish Chamber Orchestra.

A committed recitalist, his repertoire ranges from Dowland to Clapton; he has performed at New York’s Carnegie Hall and enjoys a successful relationship with the Wigmore Hall where he has curated residencies.

He has won a Grammy Award and three Gramophone Awards for recital recordings, the Royal Philharmonic Society Young Artist Award, and the 2013 Critics’ Circle Award for Exceptional Young Talent in the Voice category. In 2017 he was awarded an MBE by the Queen for his services to music.

Joseph Middleton
specializes in the art of song accompaniment and chamber music and has been highly acclaimed within this field. Described in the BBC Music Magazine as ‘one of the brightest stars in the world of song and Lieder’, he has also been labeled ‘the cream of the new generation’ by The Times and ‘a perfect accompanist’ by Opera Now. Joseph is Director of Leeds Lieder, a Professor at his alma mater the Royal Academy of Music, and holds the position of Musician in Residence at Pembroke College Cambridge, where he curates an imaginative song recital series as well as directing the University’s Lieder Scheme. In 2016 he became the first accompanist to win the Young Artist Award at the Royal Philharmonic Awards.

Joseph enjoys recitals with internationally established singers including Sir Thomas Allen, Ian Bostridge, Dame Sarah Connolly, Lucy Crowe, Iestyn Davies, Wolfgang Holzmair, Christiane Karg, Katarina Karnéus, Dame Felicity Lott, Christopher Maltman, John Mark Ainsley, Ann Murray, Mark Padmore, Joan Rodgers, Amanda Roocroft, Kate Royal, Matthew Rose, Carolyn Sampson and Roderick Williams. He regularly collaborates with rising stars from the younger generation and in 2012 he formed the Myrthen Ensemble to further explore lesser-known song repertoire with regular duo partners Mary Bevan, Clara Mouriz, Allan Clayton and Marcus Farnsworth. Their début CD was released on Signum Records.

Recent seasons have taken him to London’s Wigmore Hall, Royal Opera House and Royal Festival Hall, the Vienna Konzerthaus, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Köln Philharmonie, Zürich Tonhalle, Paris Musée d’Orsay, Frankfurt and Strasbourg Operas, deSingel Antwerp and Luxembourg Philharmonie. He made his New York debut at the Alice Tully Hall accompanying Sarah Connolly in a recital described in the New York Times as ‘superlative…everything a song recital should be’. Elsewhere in the Americas he has appeared at New York’s Park Avenue Armory, Atlanta’s Spivey Hall, Toronto’s Koerner Hall, Vancouver’s Chan Centre, San Francisco’s Nourse and Herbst Theatres and Chicago’s Ravinia Festival. He is a regular guest at Festivals in Aix-en-Provence, Aldeburgh, the BBC Proms, Brighton, Cheltenham, Edinburgh, Munich, Oxford Lieder, Stuttgart and West Cork.

His critically acclaimed discography includes ‘Fleurs’ and ‘A Verlaine Songbook’ with Carolyn Sampson for BIS Records (the former nominated for a Gramophone Award & Radio France’s Disc of the Month); ‘Strauss Lieder’ with Louise Alder for Orchid Classics; and, for Champs Hill Records: ‘Nocturnal Variations’ with Ruby Hughes (Recording of the Month – BBC Music Magazine), ‘Elgar in Sussex’ with Dame Felicity Lott, ‘Tell me the Truth about Love’ with Amanda Roocroft, ‘This other Eden’ with Kitty Whately (Shortlisted for Best Disc of 2015 – American Record Guide), the Lieder of Ludwig Thuille with Sophie Bevan and Jennifer Johnston and the complete Purcell/Britten realizations with Ruby Hughes, Allan Clayton and Matthew Rose.

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