Barnaby Smith & The Illyria Consort
Biography Barnaby Smith & The Illyria Consort
is Artistic Director of the internationally renowned vocal ensemble VOCES8, LIVE From London digital festivals, and the UK and US arms of The VOCES8 Foundation including its Digital Academy and Milton Abbey Festival. He is in demand as a conductor, choir trainer, teacher, countertenor and arranger.
With a schedule that takes him around the world, Barnaby has performed at many of the world’s most prestigious festivals and halls including BBC Proms, Royal Albert Hall, the Barbican Centre, Wigmore Hall, Bridgewater Hall, Sydney Opera House, Muziekgebouw Amsterdam, La Seine Musicale and Cité de la Musique in Paris, Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, BOZAR in Brussels, Tokyo Opera City, NCPA Beijing, Mariinsky Theatre Concert Hall, Victoria Concert Hall in Singapore, Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City and Vienna Konzerthaus.
Of particular note for Barnaby in ‘22/‘23 is his debut conducting Nederlandse ReisOpera (Handel Messiah); the concert world premiere of Christopher Tin The Lost Birds alongside new arrangements of Eric Whitacre Sleep, Caroline Shaw and the swallow, and his new adaptation of The Lark Ascending for violin, choir, and orchestra; the release of his second solo album, ‘Bach’, in Spring. Collaborations with Eric Whitacre and Paul Simon continue with album release and the premiere of Paul Simon Seven Psalms at the Royal Albert Hall, also in Spring, and the release of Whitacre The Sacred Veil. Barnaby conducts Decca’s Christmas ‘23 album release of works by Taylor Scott Davis.
Barnaby has conducted orchestras including the Philharmonia Orchestra, the Academy of Ancient Music, Australian National Academy of Music, English Chamber Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, Monte Carlo Symphony and he directed the music for the Olympic Mascots Film Scores at Abbey Road Studios with the British Film Orchestra.
Barnaby’s collaborations have included projects with Rachel Podger, Roderick Williams, Christina Pluhar, Jack Liebeck, Masaki Suzuki, Jacob Collier, Ola Gjeilo, Eric Whitacre, Jonathan Dove and Christopher Tin amongst others. Digital collaborations have included The Sixteen, the English Chamber Orchestra, Gabrieli Consort & Players, The King’s Singers, The Tallis Scholars, the Academy of Ancient Music and Chanticleer. A passionate pedagogue, he has taught at Academies and Universities across the world including co-curating the Master’s course in ensemble singing at the University of Cambridge.
On disc Barnaby has released albums with record labels including Decca Classics, Universal, Sony, Warner, Naxos, Signum Classics and VOCES8 Records. He is Grammy® nominated, has five No.1 albums to his credit and has won numerous awards including Classic FM Album of the Year. He released his first solo album ‘Handel’ (VOCES8 Records) with guest Mary Bevan in October 2021 receiving rave reviews: “… his even steadiness of tone and well-nigh faultless sense of both legato and phrasing in the slower arias, which are the album’s chief glory. There’s a warm, easy sweetness in his upper registers, which makes ‘Ombra mai fù’ really appealing.” (Gramophone) Barnaby conducted the Philharmonia for the world premiere recording of Mårten Jansson and Charles Anthony Silvestri & Requiem Novum. Recent releases with VOCES8 include Infinity (Decca Classics) and After Silence (VOCES8 Records). Barnaby will release his second solo album of Bach in 2023. Barnaby completed his studies in Specialist Early Music Performance at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis where he was a pupil of Andreas Scholl and Ulrich Messthaler. He is an alumnus of the Britten-Pears Young Artists Programme and began his career singing as a treble in The Choir of Westminster Abbey. Barnaby Smith is managed worldwide by Percius.