Roderick Williams

Roderick Williams

Baritone

• Born 1965

Biography

Baritone Roderick Williams began to establish his operatic career in the mid-1990s. A Mozart specialist at first, he has developed a varied repertory and has also written a substantial body of music for chorus and piano.

Williams was born in 1965 in London. He attended Oxford University as a choral scholar and then took a job as a music teacher. It was not until he was 28 that he began to study operatic singing full-time, at the Guildhall School of Music in London. While a student there, he made his debut in Benjamin Britten's The Rape of Lucretia as Tarquinius, and he has continued to sing several major Britten roles regularly. Major prizes in the early 1990s -- a top prize at the Great Grimsby International Singing Competition in 1992, a second prize in the 1994 Kathleen Ferrier Competition, and others -- put him on the map, and he began to land major roles, at first especially in northern Britain. He sang the Count in Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro at Opera North in Leeds in 1998, and sang a series of roles, from Mozart to Puccini, at the Scottish Opera. Williams' international debut came in Israel, in Massenet's Werther, in 1998. He has since appeared in many international houses, often in concert performances of operas. He has been a fixture at the Proms concerts since the mid-1990s.

Williams is an accomplished recitalist, and his own choral compositions have been performed at the Barbican, Wigmore Hall, the Purcell Room, and other prestigious British venues. In 2016, he became the president of the venerable Three Choirs Festival Society, and the following year he was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire.

Williams has a large catalog of recordings on the Naxos, Champs Hill, Signum, and other labels; in the year 2017 alone, he appeared on seven separate recordings. Alongside pianist Iain Burnside, he released a recording of Schubert's Die schöne Müllerin, D. 795, on Chandos in 2019.

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