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Roderick Williams

born: 1965
country: United Kingdom

Roderick Williams is a baritone who performs a wide repertoire from Baroque to contemporary music, in the opera house, on the concert platform and in recital. He won the Singer of the Year Award in the 2016 Royal Philharmonic Society Awards and was awarded the OBE for services to music in June 2017. He works regularly with all of the major opera houses in the United Kingdom, singing roles including Papageno (Die Zauberflöte), Don Alfonso (Così fan tutte), and the title roles in Billy Budd and Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria. He has sung premieres of operas by David Sawer, Sally Beamish, Michel van der Aa and Robert Saxton.

Williams has sung with the Berlin Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Russian National Orchestra, Orchestre philharmonique de Radio France, Orchestre de chambre de Paris, Academy of Ancient Music, The Sixteen, Le Concert Spirituel, RIAS Kammerchor, Bach Collegium Japan and many other ensembles. His numerous festival appearances include the BBC Proms, Edinburgh, Cheltenham, Aldeburgh, Bath and Melbourne.

In 2015 Williams sang Christus in Peter Sellars’ staging of the St John Passion with the Berlin Philharmonic conducted by Sir Simon Rattle—a performance now available on DVD. In 2019 Williams reprised the role with both the Berlin Philharmonic and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. Recent and future engagements include Oronte in Charpentier’s Médée, Toby Kramer in Van der Aa’s Sunken Garden, the baritone role in a staging of Britten’s War Requiem for English National Opera, the title role in Eugene Onegin, Van der Aa’s After Life at Melbourne State Theatre, the title role in Billy Budd, and Ned Keene in Peter Grimes. He is an accomplished recital artist who has been heard at Wigmore Hall, Vienna’s Musikverein and Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw. His numerous recordings include operas by Vaughan Williams, Berkeley and Britten, and an extensive repertoire of English song with pianist Iain Burnside. He is in the process of recording the three Schubert cycles.

Roderick Williams is also a composer, and has had works premiered at the Wigmore and Barbican Halls, the Purcell Room and live on national radio. He was Artistic Director of Leeds Lieder in 2016.


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