Our President - John Mitchinson

"Mitch"

Mitch ” as he is affectionately known to all is a vastly experienced musician with great knowledge of the whole classical music world.  

He is THE Gerontius of his generation and Philomusica has been fortunate to share in some of these wonderful performances; most recently in a gala performance in November 2007 at Tewkesbury Abbey to launch our fortieth anniversary season.

Besides Elgar Mitch is also well known for his singing of Wagner, Mahler (particularly “Das Lied von der Erde” where his recording with Alfreda Hodgson, conducted by Horenstein is regarded as the finest available), Schoenberg and Janacek.  He took part in the USA premiere of a new edition of Janacek’s “Slavonic Mass” with the Boston Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sir Simon Rattle in 1998 having sung in the USA premiere of the first version of the work some 20 years previously.  

He was Head of Vocal Studies at the Welsh College of Music and Drama until his retirement in 1997.  Luckily however he still graces both the opera stage and the concert platform.  He is now actively involved with a Canadian company, KidsOp, who produce operas both aimed at and involving children.  He was the eponymous lead in “The Raven King” in 2000 and in 2001 was The Bear in “Coyote and the winter that never ends”.   On the concert platform he has recently sung in Estonia & Ulster and performed Gerontius in Wells Cathedral under the baton of Richard Knight as well as in the Edinburgh Festival.  

It is impossible to capture all of Mitch ’s experience on one webpage so here are a few highlights of a glittering career.  

Prizes Awarded
The Sarah Andrews Scholarship, The Imperial League of Opera Prize, The Ricordi Prize, The Curtis Gold Medal, The Queens Prize and The Kathleen Ferrier Prize

Operatic Roles
How many?  Well a vast number is the short answer including Tristan & Isolde, Beatrice & Benedict, Peter Grimes, Idomeneo, La Belle Helene & Oedipus Rex.  Mitch has also undertaken many opera broadcasts for the BBC including Faust, Aida and Die Walkure.

Recordings
In addition to the “Das Lied von der Erde” mentioned above Mitch has also made a large range of recordings including “The Dream of Gerontius” with Sir Simon Rattle, Mahler’s 8
th Symphony with Leonard Bernstein, Janacek’s Missa Glagolskaja with Kurt Masur & Sir Simon Rattle and Wagner’s Tristan & Isolde with Reginald Goodall.

Concert Tours
Mitch has undertaken concert tours all over the world; Argentina , Australia , Brazil , Mexico , New Zealand , all of the European countries, all of the Eastern European countries and all of Scandinavia .  Concerts given in North America have included performances with the following symphony orchestras Boston , Cleveland , Denver , Los Angeles , Ottawa , San Francisco , Vancouver & Washington .

Conductors
The list of conductors with whom he has worked is equally impressive including Leonard Bernstein, Sir Adrian Boult, Pablo Casals, Sir Andrew Davies, Sir Colin Davis, Antal Dorati, Sir Alexander Gibson, Carlo Mario Giulini,  Jascha Horenstein, Otto Klemperer, Kurt Masur,  Zubin Mehta, Seiji Ozawa, Sir Simon Rattle and Sir Malcolm Sargent.

Not forgetting Linda Parsons

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