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James Bowman - High Praise for High Notes

James Bowman is one of my favourite counter-tenors. In recent times, thanks largely to Alfred Deller spreading awareness of the early-music repertoire of the counter-tenor in the 50s and 60s, the counter-tenor has found a new and growing audience. James Bowman has helped that progress.

In many ways it is a very English singing voice, which harks back to the minstrel days of John Dowland, and James Bowman is a very English counter-tenor. His recordings, particularly for Hyperion Records, have brought me immeasurable pleasure over the years. There is something about the high range that connects with me. I eventually managed to see him live in a small church in deepest Somerset, performing an intimate recital of song including Dowland and Purcell, and I am grateful for having done so.

On May the 21st, James will perform his last London recital at the Wigmore Hall with harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani in a programme of Handel, Bach, and Purcell. It should be an absolute treat. I'm currently investigating how I might conspire to attend. In the meantime, here is a nice clip of James.


  1. I agree with your comments about James Bowman's voice. I am fortunate enough to have tickets to attend his recital at Wigmore Hall on 21 May! I have attended a number of his concerts in recent years. Whilst I am looking forward to this recital, it will be somewhat of a bittersweet experience, given that it will be his last appearance in London.

  2. It should be a wonderful evening. I hope it serves as a fitting farewell for audience and singer alike.


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