One of Britain's most renowned and distinguished musicians and one of the most recorded artists in the world of concert and opera, John Shirley-Quirk (1931-2014) was known particularly for his masterly performances of orchestral repertoire. He performed with most of the leading conductors, including Abbado, Giulini, Solti, Rostropovich, Haitink, Previn, Osawa and major orchestras - Amsterdam, Berlin, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, New York, London, Paris, Philadelphia and Vienna. His discography encompasses well over one hundred recordings on every major international label. While his repertoire reached back into the classical and the baroque, he always had an active association with new music. His first operatic venture was in the first performance of Henze's Elegy for Young Lovers, but he later created roles in Tippett's The Ice Break and in all of Britten's last five operas, culminating in the virtuoso seven-fold role of The Traveller in Death in Venice, which was composed expressly for him. Operatic engagements include Royal Opera, Covent Garden, English Opera Group, Scottish Opera and all the leading European and American houses.
John Shirley-Quirk received numerous awards including Commander of the Order of the British Empire, Honorary Doctor of Music (Liverpool University), Doctor of the University (Brunel University), Honorary Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music and many Grammys. He was also a distinguished member of the voice faculty of the Peadbody Conservatory in Baltimore, Maryland.
Jonathan Lemalu, a New Zealand born Samoan, is already among the very forefront of today’s young generation of singers. He graduated from a Postgraduate Diploma Course in Advanced Performance on the London Royal Schools Opera Course at the Royal College of Music and was awarded the prestigious Tagore Gold Medal. He is a joint winner of the 2002 Kathleen Ferrier award and the recipient of the 2002 Royal Philharmonic Society’s Award for Young Artist of the Year. He has performed at the Munich, Edinburgh, Ravinia and Tanglewood Festivals and at the BBC Proms.
He is in great demand from the major opera houses, orchestras and recital venues of the world. He released a debut recital disc on EMI with Roger Vignoles to great critical acclaim and which won a Gramophone Debut Disc of the Year award. Other recordings include an operatic arias disc with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and a disc of English and American songs with Malcolm Martineau.