St Bride's: Music - Lunchtime Recitals

Benjamin Williamson - counter tenor, James Akers - lute & theorbo, Gavin Kibble - cello

Friday, 3 October at 1:15pm - FREE ADMITTANCE - Retiring Collection

Benjamin Williamson - counter tenor, James Akers - lute & theorbo, Gavin Kibble - celloBenjamin Williamson - counter tenor, James Akers - lute & theorbo, Gavin Kibble - cello


      Can doleful notes


      Vos mépris chaque jour


      O Solitude, my sweetest choice

      Sweeter than roses


      'Lucidissima face' from La Calisto


      Era in sogno almen contento (HWV 167a, Stanco di più soffrire)


Benjamin Williamson recently won First Prize in the Nei Stëmmen International Singing Competition in Luxembourg. A former choral scholar at King's College, Cambridge, where he read philosophy, Benjamin completed his formal training at the Royal College of Music International Opera School, where he won the English Song Competition. Benjamin was a Retrospect Ensemble Young Artist in 2010, and is a member of the solo-voice ensemble Cries of London which won first prize in the Royal Overseas League Competition in 2011.


Roles include Bertarido (cover) in Handel's Rodelinda with Scottish Opera, Mago Christiano (cover) in Handel's Rinaldo with Glyndebourne on Tour, Nireno (cover) in Handel's Giulio Cesare with Opera North, Spirit in Kettlehead by Darren Bloom with Size Zero Opera, Bertarido in Handel's Rodelinda, Mirtillo in Handel's Il Pastor Fido and Tassile in Handel's Alessandro in the London Handel Festival under Laurence Cummings, George Saintsbury in The Lovely Ladies by Peter Cowdrey with Opera Unlimited in the Buxton Festival, Tragedy in Stephen Oliver's Euridice with British Youth Opera, the title role in Kaspar Hauser by Alexis Pope in the Tête à Tête and Grimeborn Festivals, Alessandro (cover) in Handel's Tolomeo with English Touring Opera, Arsamenes in Handel's Xerxes with Fitzwilliam Chamber Opera, Hamor in Handel's Jephtha in the Grimeborn Festival, and various roles in Purcell's "Orpheus Britannicus" with the Mercurius Company at the Cadogan Hall.


Concert highlights include Benjamin's Wigmore Hall debut with Purcell's The Fairy Queen under Matthew Halls, Purcell's Hail, Bright Cecilia (State Hermitage, St. Petersburg), Bach's Mass in B minor with the Conductus Ensemble, and Bernstein Chichester Psalms with the choir of New College, Oxford under Edward Higginbottom, and a concert of Foggitt and Julian Phillips with Cries of London at the Wigmore Hall. Upcoming engagements include Unulfo (cover) in Handel's Rodelinda with English National Opera and Jarba in Handel's Didone with Ensemble Serse in the London Handel Festival.


James Akers studied at the Royal College of Music with Jakob Lindberg and at Trinity College of Music with Jacob Heringman and David Miller, with additional lessons from Paul O'Dette.

James has performed or recorded with many leading ensembles and soloists including Fretwork, I Fagiolini, The Parley of Instruments, the Scottish, English and Irish Chamber Orchestras, Northern Sinfonia, The Dunedin Consort, The Musicians' of the Globe, The King's Consort, The Hanover Band, English National Opera, Welsh National Opera, Opera North, The Scottish Ensemble, Ex Cathedra, Alison Balsom, Dame Emma Kirkby and Damon Albarn.

As a soloist he has performed at The Copenhagen Renaissance Music Festival, The Classical Guitar Retreat, Ullapool Guitar Festival and Exeter Guitar festival.

James has broadcast for BBC Radio 3, BBC 1, BBC News 24, France Musique and RTE Lyric and has appeared in several plays at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre.

His debut solo CD Thesaurus Harmonicus was released in 2012.

James is a visiting lecturer at The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and Aberdeen University.


Gavin Kibble studied first at the University of Oxford, where he was at Magdalen College with Laurence Dreyfus, and then at the Royal Academy of Music with Jonathan Manson. During his time at the Academy, Gavin played as continuo cellist for Rachel Podger, Elisabeth Wallfisch, Margaret Faultless, Laurence Cummings, Peter Schreier and Sir John Eliot Gardiner. In 2011 he was invited by Leonardo García Alarcón to join the Académie Européenne de Musique at the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence and rejoined this conductor in 2013 for the European Baroque Academy of Ambronay.

Gavin is at the heart of some of the UK's most exciting young ensembles and features regularly with Ars Eloquentiae and Oxford Baroque. He has recently formed a period-instrument string quartet and also performs with leading orchestras such as the English Concert, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, the Gabrieli Consort, the London Handel Orchestra, International Baroque Players and La Serenissima. He was recently engaged as guest principal cellist for a production of Handel's 'Agrippina' directed by Harry Bickett at the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona.