Julian Empett (baritone) - Biography

Julian Empett is a graduate of King's College London.  He studied singing with the British baritone David Wilson-Johnson at his 'Ferrandou' Summer school in the Dordogne and privately at his London studio, and with the Husler exponent Peter Harrison.  He was also a student of the Mayer Lismann Opera Workshop at ROH Covent Garden, and of Morley Opera.

In 2002 he made his Proms solo début with The English Concert under Trevor Pinnock, taking the role of the High Priest in Bach's St. Matthew Passion.  As an oratorio soloist he has also appeared at the Barbican Hall, the Wigmore Hall, the Queen Elizabeth Hall, the Cadogan Hall and St. John's Smith Square.  Other notable recent performances have included Elgar's Dream of Gerontius for Eton & Windsor Choral Society, Verdi's Requiem in St. George's RC Cathedral Southwark, Vaughan Williams's A Sea Symphony in Tewkesbury Abbey, Haydn's Creation in Peterborough Cathedral, the title role of Mendelssohn's Elijah in Ely and Norwich RC Cathedrals, Beethoven's Missa Solemnis in Cheltenham Town Hall and his Choral Symphony in Cambridge's Guildhall.  Forthcoming engagements include Purcell's Ode on St. Cecilia's Day 1692, Rossini's Petite Messe Solennelle, Elgar's The Apostles, Bach's St. Matthew Passion, Magnificat and Mass in B minor, Brahms's Requiem, and the (bass) Evangelist in Arvo Pärt's Passio in Westminster Abbey in 2012.  He is currently working with Ducere Clarino in a project performing and recording cantatas by Telemann.  He is a professional member of the Noblemen and Gentlemen's Catch Club, and the City Glee Club.

Julian Empett has also given several song recitals:  most significant among these have been Sir Arthur Somervell's Tennyson's "Maud", Vaughan Williams's Songs of Travel and Schubert's magnum opus Winterreise.

Julian Empett is a Lay Vicar (Gentleman of the Choir) at Westminster Abbey.  As well as singing the daily services he has taken part in numerous TV and radio broadcasts, most notably as soloist at the funeral in 2002 of HM Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, and in 2011 the marriage of HRH Prince William of Wales to Catherine Middleton.  In December 2003 he sang the baritone solo in Vaughan Williams's Fantasia on Christmas Carols in Westminster Abbey broadcast on Classic FM on Christmas Day.  Solos in Philip Moore's anthem The King and the Robin, Patrick Gowers's Viri Galilaei, Kenneth Leighton's A Christmas Caroll and William Walton's The Twelve appear on the Hyperion label.  Of the Walton, Gramophone Magazine said in 2010 "...on magnificent form here, as is the baritone Julian Empett who relishes his Belshazzar's Feast-like pronouncements... It is worth buying the disc for this piece alone."

His wider singing career has included work with The Sixteen, Tenebrae, The English Concert, Collegium Musicum 90, European Voices, The King's Consort, The Choir of the Enlightenment and the Tallis Scholars, taking him round Europe, Scandinavia, the USA, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Australia.

(for a concert programme biography, please see 'downloads' page)