Mark Rowlinson - biography

After a Choral Scholarship at Oxford, Mark Rowlinson spent the 1970s as a singer based in London and was at various times a member of the choirs of Brompton Oratory and Westminster Abbey. He made his debut at London's Royal Festival Hall as early as 1973, was a soloist with the CBSO, Hallé, and New Philharmonia Orchestras both in concert and on record, and gave a number of live BBC song recitals. Perhaps the high spot of his London career was to be chosen as the baritone soloist for the performance of Benjamin Britten's War Requiem given as the composer's London memorial concert. He also dines out in having sung in Duke Ellington's last concert in the UK, albeit in the backing group!

Mark spent the next 20 years as a Music Producer for the BBC based in Manchester, during which time he produced some 3,000 programmes and worked with a great many of the world's finest musicians. Yet he continued to sing during this time, giving recitals at Aldeburgh, the York Early Music Festival, in Milan, Amsterdam and The Hague, and occasionally on BBC Radio 3. He was honoured to be invited by the composer Sir Peter Maxwell Davies to take a role in his opera Resurrection which was performed as Davis's 60th birthday concert, with the BBC Philharmonic, conducted by the composer, and recorded for CD. A minor speaking part (five words!) in Hindemith's opera Sancta Susanna led to appearances with the BBC Philharmonic at the Bridgewater Hall, Barbican and at the Henry Wood Proms, as well as on CD.

2008 saw performances of Purcell’s Indian Queen and Dido and Aeneas with the New London Consort, Bach’s St Matthew Passion at King’s College, Cambridge and Coventry Cathedrals, and Bach’s St John Passion at Manchester and Blackburn Cathedrals. Of particular interest was a performance of Mendelssohn’s Elijah in Birmingham Town Hall with the Birmingham Festival Choral Society, who gave the first performance of Elijah, conducted by Mendelssohn himself in that very building.

Highlights for 2009 include Monteverdi Vespers at the Bridgewater Hall, Purcell and Eccles’s music for Don Quixote in Paris, Messiah in Malta, Bach’s St John Passion at King’s College, Cambridge, and appearances in Amsterdam, Sopron, Istanbul, Warsaw and in the Far East. In June Mark will be giving a series of song recitals at Manchester Cathedral in which he will perform all three Schubert song cycles, Die schöne Müllerin, Winterreise and Schwanengesang.