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ABOUT

Brunswick Vocal Arts was founded in 2022 to support exceptionally talented classical singers in the final stages of their studies and the crucial early stages of their careers. It does this principally through the provision of role/repertoire debut performance opportunities alongside established professional orchestral musicians. Importantly, the singers we support benefit from an extended and intensive period of coaching and piano rehearsal in the weeks prior to a Brunswick Vocal Arts concert. These performances are professionally filmed, providing singers with high quality video footage for online use and audition/competition applications, and we invite decision-makers from the opera industry to our events. 

 

Our inaugural performance - highlights from Mozart’s IDOMENEO - took place in September 2023, followed by an ARIA SHOWCASE in January 2024. See our Events page for future projects and ticket sales. Singers can view our current application status on our Apply page. 

Alongside performances of operatic and orchestral song repertoire in concert, the work of Brunswick Vocal Arts also encompasses further educational activity: we will present a programme of both public and private workshop sessions (which will also benefit student pianists and conductors who show serious interest in working with singers). We are also always looking for enthusiastic amateur singers to join us as members of our Brunswick Vocal Arts Community Opera Chorus; please see our Apply page if this is of interest to you!

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If you share our passion for fine singing, wonderful music and the nurturing of artistic excellence, and would like to know more about our plans with a view to perhaps joining us as a member of the Brunswick Vocal Arts Consortium, please get in touch. You can use our online contact form, or write to Gary Matthewman directly at gary@brunswickvocalarts.com We’d be delighted to hear from you.

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We acknowledge with huge thanks the generous support of our founding donors:

Nicholas Bacon - Keith and Meri Benham - Jeremy Campbell - Chipperfield Choral Society Hammond Award -

Stephen Claypole - Kathleen Duncan - Stephen Ellis and Carlos Chacon - Ian Ferguson & Susan Tranter -

The Fischer Fund - Stefa Hart - C & T King-Farlow Charitable Trust - Rory Kotin - Francesca Makins -

Colin Menzies - Andrew Moth & David Falconer - Sara Naudi & Prof. Mark Layton  -

Gillian Newson - Sir Desmond & Lady Pitcher - Michael & Carolyn Portillo - The Salamander Charitable Trust -

Lord Sherbourne of Didsbury - Brian Smith - The Earl & Countess of Verulam -

Michael Wade - David Wakefield - Graham Williams

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Brunswick Vocal Arts

Registered Charity No. 1202624

Artistic Director - Gary Matthewman

Founding Trustees - Claire Barnett-Jones, Carl Jackson, David Wakefield

Gary Matthewman is well-known to British audiences as one of the UK's leading song-pianists, performing worldwide, and in recent years has gained swift recognition as an emerging conducting talent. As pianist, he has appeared in recital alongside many leading names in classical singing (including Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Ailyn Perez, Louise Alder, Joyce DiDonato, Kate Lindsey, Mark Padmore, John Mark Ainsley, Sir Thomas Allen, Adam Plachetka and Matthew Rose) in venues such as Wigmore Hall London, Carnegie Hall New York, Musikverein Vienna, Philharmonie Paris and Bolshoi Theatre Moscow. As conductor, Gary’s focus is on opera and vocal repertoire, appearing in recent months for the Dutch National Opera Academy, the Royal College of Music, Chelsea Opera Group and the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz Austria. He has has been engaged as assistant conductor by Glyndebourne, Opera North, Birmingham Opera Co., La Monnaie Brussels and Cape Town Opera.  Gary is professor of vocal repertoire at the Royal College of Music, and a coach for the Jette Parker Artists Programme at the Royal Opera, Covent Garden.

Mezzo soprano Claire Barnett-Jones was a Finalist and Winner of the Dame Joan Sutherland Audience Prize at the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World 2021. Recent and future performance highlights include Fricka Die Walküre at the Tiroler Festspiele Erl in Austria; Madame Flora The Medium for Oper Frankfurt; Dryad in concert performances of Ariadne auf Naxos at the Edinburgh International Festival; her European concert debut at The Concertgebouw in Amsterdam in Szenen aus Goethe’s Faust, conducted by Sir John Eliot Gardiner; and Jezibaba Rusalka at the Théâtre du Capitole, Toulouse. Claire has appeared widely with ENO, the late Graham Vick’s Birmingham Opera Company, Glyndebourne on Tour, and Buxton Festival Opera. She has given recitals at the BBC Proms with Simon Lepper; Snape Maltings with James Ballieu; the Ludlow English Song Festival and the Wigmore Hall with Iain Burnside; and the Blackheath Halls with Rebecca Cohen.

Carl Jackson MVO was born in London and studied at the Royal Academy of Music with Malcolm Hill and Alan Harverson. He also held organ scholarships at the Chapel Royal, Hampton Court Palace, and at Downing College, Cambridge, where he was a pupil of Peter Hurford. He obtained a postgraduate teaching certificate at Goldsmiths’ College (University of London) before embarking upon a thirty-six-year teaching career, from which he retired in 2018. Carl was Organist of Croydon Parish Church (now Croydon Minster) from 1986–1990, Sub Organist of the Chapel Royal, Hampton Court Palace, from 1990–1993, and Assistant Director of Music at St Peter's Church, Eaton Square, from 1993–1996. In October 1996, he returned again to the Chapel Royal at Hampton Court on his appointment as Director of Music. He has broadcast with the chapel choir on radio and television – notably in The Queen’s Christmas Message 2010 and in two documentaries for BBC Four. As an accompanist he has worked with Sir Willard White, and with the Elysian Singers of London with whom he appears on their CD of the music of James MacMillan (Signum Records). Distinctions include Associateship of the Royal Academy of Music and of the Royal School of Church Music, and Honorary Fellowship of the Guild of Church Musicians. He was appointed MVO in the 2012 New Year Honours list.

David Wakefield served in the Royal Navy for seventeen years leaving with the rank of Commander. He then became successively the Operations Director and CEO of the Priory Hospitals Group and non-executive chairman of the Care Management Group and Integrated Neurocare. Public appointments include Vice Chairman of Merton, Sutton and Wandsworth Health Authority and Trustee then Chairman of Southwark Homecare. He was Chairman of London Lighthouse, the Terrence Higgins Trust, Paul’s Cancer Support Centre, the Eric Thompson Trust for Organists, and remains the Chairman of the Larkin Trust; he is a former trustee of the Royal College of Organists and is a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Musicians, assisting with their extensive outreach programme.

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