The English soprano, Charmian Bedford, began her musical career as a violinist learning with Sheila Nelson. At 13 she attended the Junior Royal Academy of Music where she continued the violin as her principle study. She was a member of the London Schools Symphony Orchestra and led the orchestra in 2002, including a tour to France.
|As a singer Charmian Bedford was given many opportunities at school, appearing as soloist with the orchestra in works such as Haydn's Creation, Johannes Brahms' Requiem and W.A. Mozart's Exsultate, jubilate. She was invited back in 2004 to sing Paul Patterson’s Millennium Mass. At the same time she enjoyed a close association with the North London Choral Society where she performed as soloist in Haydn's Little Organ Mass and Francis Poulenc's Gloria under Neil Bowman. In 2002 she won first prize in the Louis Watt Memorial Competition. Charmian graduated from Clare College, Cambridge in 2005, where she read Classics. As a choral scholar there she worked with conductors including Sir John Eliot Gardiner (Berlioz, L’Enfance du Christ for the BBC Proms), Ivor Bolton (Salzburg festival), Daniel Harding (Haydn's Seven Last words from the Cross, with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment) and Nicholas Kraemer, (W.A. Mozart's Requiem, with the Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa, Japan) as well as touring extensively. At Cambridge she performed as soloist frequently with the chapel choir, notably singing J.S. Bach's Cantata BWV 194 at the London Bach Festival. She was also soloist in a performance of W.A. Mozart's Requiem under Robin Ticciati, J.S. Bach's St. Matthew Passion (BWV 244) under Nicholas Collon and Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas at the Cambridge Arts Theatre.
Charmian Bedford has enjoyed coaching and master-classes from Graham Johnson, Robert Tear, Anthony Rolfe-Johnson and Julie Kennard and currently studies with Alison Wells. Since graduating, she has moved back to London where she took part in ‘The Knack’, a part time performance arts course at English National Opera directed by Mary King. Most recently she completed a post graduate advanced course in vocal studies with distinction at Trinity College of Music (TCM), where she was supported by a scholarship. Whilst at TCM she was a finalist in both the Lillian Baylis French Song Competition and the Elizabeth Schumann Lieder Prize. She also won the Paul Simm Opera Prize in 2007 for her portrayal of Blanche in F. Poulenc's Dialogues des Carmelites and again in 2008 for her role Anne Trulove in Igor Stravinsky's Igor Stravinsky.
Since 2007 Charmian Bedford has worked with the Monteverdi Choir (J. Brahms' Requiem, J.S. Bach's Christmas Oratorio (BWV 248), St John Passion (BWV 245)) and the Academy of Ancient Music (St John Passion (BWV 245), Messiah, Dido and Aeneas - 2nd woman). Recent solo performances have included Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 4 with the Edinburgh University Symphony Orchestra, an Opera Cabaret at the Arcola Theatre as part of the Grimebourne Festival, Tippet’s A Child of our Time with the Hook Choral Society, St John Passion (BWV 245) with Richard Egarr.