Live streamed from Wigmore Hall, London

Winter to Spring

Ashley Riches bass-baritone & Joseph Middleton piano

The duo present a program of English songs on the apt subject of Winter turning to Spring, ending with Finzi’s Let us Garlands Bring.

Ashley Riches, bass-baritone

Ashley Riches studied English at King’s College, Cambridge where he sang in the Chapel Choir under Stephen Cleobury. From 2012-14 he was a member of the Jette Parker Young Artist Programme at the Royal Opera House, where he made his debut in a duet with Robert Alagna and represented the house at a gala celebrating Young Artist Programmes at the Bolshoi Theatre. He is currently a BBC New Generation Artist.

His song discography includes Poulenc Chansons Gaillardes with Graham Johnson (Hyperion), the songs of Arthur Sullivan with David Owen Norris (Chandos) and a world premier recording of the Shakespeare Sonnets of Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco with Emma Abbate (Resonus). He has also recorded Handel L’Allegro, il Pensieroso ed il Moderato with the Gabrieli Consort, Paul McCreesh (Gabrieli) Bach St Matthew Passion (Bass arias, Pilate) with the Monteverdi Choir (Soli Deo Gloria) and Bach St John Passion (Jesus) with Crouch End Festival Chorus, the first recording in English for over fifty years.

Highlights on the concert platform include Berlioz’s Lélio with Sir John Eliot Gardiner in Carnegie Hall, New York, Bernstein’s Wonderful Town with the London Symphony Orchestra under Sir Simon Rattle, a European tour of Giulio Cesare and Agrippina with Les Talens Lyriques with Christophe Rousset and Creon Oedipus Rex with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra.

In recital, he has collaborated with pianists including Graham Johnson, Iain Burnside, Julius Drake, Joseph Middleton, Anna Tilbrook, James Baillieu, Simon Lepper, Gary Matthewman and Sholto Kynoch.

Joseph Middleton, piano

Pianist Joseph Middleton specializes in the art of song accompaniment and chamber music and has been highly acclaimed in this field. Described in Opera Magazine as ‘the rightful heir to legendary accompanist Gerald Moore’, by BBC Music Magazine as ‘one of the brightest stars in the world of song and Lieder’, he has also been labeled ‘the cream of the new generation’ by The Times. He is Director of Leeds Lieder, Musician in Residence at Pembroke College, Cambridge and a Fellow of his alma mater, the Royal Academy of Music, where he is a Professor. He was the first accompanist to win the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Young Artist Award.

Joseph is a frequent guest at major music centres including London’s Wigmore Hall, Royal Opera House and Royal Festival Hall, New York’s Alice Tully Hall and Park Avenue Armory, Het Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Konzerthaus Vienna, Zürich Tonhalle, Kölner Philharmonie, Strasbourg, Frankfurt, Lille and Gothenburg Opera Houses, Philharmonie Luxembourg, Musée d’Orsay Paris, Oji Hall Tokyo and Festivals in Aix-en-Provence, Aldeburgh, Barcelona, Schloss Elmau, Edinburgh, Munich, Ravinia, San Francisco, deSingel, Soeul, Stuttgart, Toronto and Vancouver. He made his BBC Proms debut in 2016 alongside Iestyn Davies and Carolyn Sampson & returned in 2018 alongside Dame Sarah Connolly where they premiered recently discovered songs by Benjamin Britten.

Born in Gloucestershire, Joseph graduated with an MPhil from the University of Birmingham, studied piano on an EMI Scholarship at the Royal Academy of Music and went on to win the accompanist prizes at the Wigmore Hall International Song, Kathleen Ferrier, Richard Tauber, Royal Over-Seas League and Geoffrey Parsons Awards.

Franz Schubert (1797-1828)
Strophe aus Die Götter Griechenlands D677
Winterreise D911Auf dem Flusse
Schwanengesang D957Frühlingssehnsucht
Im Frühling D882

Benjamin Britten (1913-1976)
Winter Words Op. 52

Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Fünf Lieder Op. 105No. 4 Auf dem Kirchhofe
Fünf Lieder Op. 106No. 3 Es hing der Reif
Fünf Gedichte Op. 19An eine Äolsharfe No. 5
9 Lieder und Gesänge Op. 63Frühlingstrost No. 1

Gerald Finzi (1901-1956)
Let us garlands bring Op. 18

Wednesday, March 24, 2021 3:30pm ET / 7:30pm GMT
This concert will be available on demand for 30 days after the date of the concert.

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