Brilliant soprano Carolyn Sampson and countertenor Tim Mead, known for his warm and elegant tone, join Les Violons du Roy under the direction of Jonathan Cohen to perform Pergolesi’s touching Stabat Mater and fabulous works by Vivaldi and Handel.
Conductors and soloists
Jonathan Cohen has forged a remarkable career as a conductor, cellist, and keyboardist. Well known for his passion and commitment to chamber music, Jonathan is equally at home in such diverse areas as Baroque opera and the Classical symphonic repertoire. He is Artistic Director of Arcangelo, Music Director of Les Violons du Roy, Artistic Director of the Tetbury Music Festival, and Artistic Partner of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra.
The 2021–22 season sees Jonathan direct a number of baroque masterpieces, including Messiah with Rotterdam Philharmonic and Les Violons du Roy and St. Matthew Passion with Arcangelo (BBC Proms) and the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra. He returns to the Glyndebourne Festival Opera for Alcina and to the Budapest Festival Orchestra for a programme of Scarlatti, Vivaldi and Handel. In the USA, he is back for concerts at the helm of the Handel and Haydn Society and Philharmonia Baroque.
In 2010 Jonathan founded Arcangelo, an ensemble that strives to present special musical projects of the highest quality. He has toured with the group to exceptional halls and festivals, including Wigmore Hall in London, Philharmonie Berlin, Kölner Philharmonie, Vienna Musikverein, the Salzburg Festival, and Carnegie Hall in New York. Arcangelo made its Proms debut at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse in 2016 and returned to the Proms in 2018 to present Theodora to a sold-out Royal Albert Hall.
Arcangelo is busy and much in demand in the recording studio, partnering with fine soloists such as Iestyn Davies (its disc Arias for Guadagni won the Recital Category at the 2012 Gramophone Awards and its recording of Bach cantatas was best Baroque Vocal recording at the 2017 Gramophone Awards), Anna Prohaska, and Christopher Purves for Hyperion Records. Arcangelo’s Mozart disc with Vilde Frang on Warner Classics reached No. 1 on the UK specialist Classical chart and received an Echo Klassik Concert Award. Recital recordings with both Christiane Karg and Matthew Rose were nominated for International Opera Awards in 2016. Its recording CPE Bach Cello Concertos with Nicolas Altstaedt won the BBC Music Magazine Awards Concerto category in 2017, and its Buxtehude Trio Sonatas, Op.1 recording for Alpha Classics was nominated for Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance at the 2018 Grammy Awards. Arcangelo’s most recent recordings of Magnificats by members of the Bach family and Charpentier’s Leçons de ténèbres are already attracting critical acclaim. Their latest release for Alpha Classics is Handel’s Brockes Passion.
Equally at home on the concert and opera stages, Carolyn Sampson has enjoyed notable successes in the UK as well as throughout Europe and the US.
On the opera stage her roles have included the title role in Semele and Pamina in The Magic Flute for English National Opera, various roles in Purcell’s The Fairy Queen for Glyndebourne Festival Opera (released on DVD) and both Anne Truelove The Rake’s Progress and Mélisande Pelléas et Mélisande in Sir David McVicar’s productions for Scottish Opera. Internationally she has appeared at Opéra de Paris, Opéra de Lille, Opéra de Montpellier and Opéra National du Rhin. She also sang the title role in Lully’s Psyché for the Boston Early Music Festival, which was released on CD and was subsequently nominated for a Grammy in 2008.
Carolyn’s numerous concert engagements in the UK have included regular appearances at the BBC Proms, and with orchestras including the BBC Philharmonic, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Britten Sinfonia, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, English Concert, Hallé, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, The Sixteen, and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. In the US Carolyn has featured as soloist with the Boston, Cincinnati, Detroit, Minnesota Orchestra and San Francisco Symphonies, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and the St Paul Chamber Orchestra, and is a regular guest at the Mostly Mozart Festival.
Alongside her longstanding relationship with the BIS label she has released multi award-winning discs for Decca, Harmonia Mundi, and Hyperion, receiving accolades including the Choc de l'Année Classica, Gramophone Magazine Editor’s Choice, BBC Music Magazine’s Record of the Month, an ECHO Award, and a Diapason D’Or. Her recording with Ex Cathedra for Hyperion, A French Baroque Diva won the recital award in the 2015 Gramophone Awards. Carolyn was also nominated for Artist of the Year in the 2017 Gramophone Awards, and her recording of Mozart’s Mass in C minor and Exsultate Jubilate with Masaaki Suzuki and Bach Collegium Japan won the Choral Award. Their subsequent recording together of Bach St Matthew Passion also won the Choral Award in the 2020 Gramophone Awards.
Counter-tenor Tim Mead is praised for his “alluring” and “consistently excellent” interpretations (New York Times). With his “rich, mellifluous sound” (Guardian), he is recognized as one of the finest across the generations of counter-tenors.
Recent operatic highlights include Goffredo in Rinaldo at Glyndebourne; Endimione in La Calisto for Teatro Real, Madrid, and at the Bayerische Staatsoper; Bertarido in Rodelinda for Opéra de Lille; Oberon in A Midsummer Night’s Dream for Opera Philadelphia, Glyndebourne, and Bergen National Opera; Hamor in Jephtha at the Opéra National de Paris; the title role in Akhnaten and Ottone in Agrippina for Opera Vlaanderen; the Boy/Angel in Written on Skin at the Bolshoi; Bertarido in Rodelinda at the English National Opera; and Arsamene in Cavalli’s Xerse with Le Concert d’Astrée at Opéra de Lille, Theater an der Wien, and Théâtre de Caen.
On the concert platform, recent highlights include Handel’s Jephtha with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra at the BBC Proms; a European recital tour with Le Concert d’Astrée; Bach’s St. John Passion with Jonathan Cohen and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra; an appearance with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl and Walt Disney Concert Hall; a tour of Asia with The English Concert; Athamas in Semele with the CBSO and the Handel and Haydn Society; Didymus in Theodora with Akademie für Alte Musik; the world premiere of Theo Loevendie in Spinoza at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam; Handel’s Messiah with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, the New York Philharmonic, and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment (OAE), Gabrieli Consort, the Handel & Haydn Society, the Academy of Ancient Music, and Le Concert d’Astree; the Bach B Minor Mass with The English Concert and Les Arts Florissants; Bach’s Magnificat with Le Concert d’Astrée; Bach’s St. Matthew Passion at the London Handel Festival and with the Netherlands Bach Society; Handel’s Theodora with the English Concert; Handel’s Solomon with Akademie für Alte Musik; Handel’s Judas Maccabaeus with the OAE; and Handel’s Joseph and his Brethren at the Internationale Händel-Festspiele Göttingen.
• Concerto pour cordes en sol mineur, RV 157
• Cessate, omai cessate