Martyn Hill

Martyn Hill


• Born 1944


Martyn Hill is one of the most distinguished British tenors on the international scene as an opera singer, recitalist, and concert artist. He has appeared at major international venues and is comfortable both in standard repertory and in period performance styles, and has a command of the most advanced modern performing styles.

He is well known for his performances of the many tenor works by Benjamin Britten. He has sung in the War Requiem with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra under Edo de Waart and the Los Angeles Philharmonic with André Previn, and the Spring Symphony with the Hallé Orchestra under Kent Nagano. He has sung and recorded Les illuminations and the Serenade.

He sang the complete song cycles of Michael Tippett in the presence of the conductor on Tippett's 90th birthday and recorded them for Hyperion. In 1995, he sang the three great Schubert song cycles (Die schöne Müllerin, Winterreise, and Schwanengesang) on three consecutive evenings at St. John's Smith Square in London. He has sung for staged performances of Winterreise, and also sang in Hans Zender's orchestral arrangement of the great Schubert cycle in Frankfurt with Ensemble Modern.

Most of his notable operatic performances are in early and modern opera. Examples of the former are Il ritorno di Ulisse in Patria, in the role of Eumetes (in Innsbruck, Tokyo, Athens, Florence, and Cremona) and as Admète in Alceste in Montpellier. He has sung the title role of Britten's Peter Grimes, Red Whiskers in Billy Budd and Peter Quint in The Turn of the Screw. In Boston he was Tom Rakewell in Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress and at Royal Festival Hall sang as Oedipus Rex in Stravinsky's opera-oratorio. He even sang the part of Mozart in Rimsky-Korsakov's Mozart and Salieri and was Achilles in Tippett's King Priam. He created the title role of Sandeep Bhagwati's Ramanujan at the Munich Bienniale.

His concert appearances include Schoenberg's Von heute auf morgen with Boulez and the Ensemble InterContemporain, Lutoslawski's Paroles tissés, Nono's Il canto sospeso, and Holliger's Erde und Himmel, and the world premiere of Elliott Carter's In Sleep, in Thunder. He has recorded for EMI, Hyperion, Chandos, Harmonia Mundi, Erato, Vanguard, and Virgin Classics.