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Stephen Connolly (Bass)

Born: February 13, 1966 - Leeds, Yorkshire, England

The English bass, Stephen Connolly, was a boy chorister at the Leeds Parish Church (St. Peter-at-Leeds), and from age 18 studied music at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. Among his more important teachers there was Rudolf Piernay.

In 1987, on the recommendation of a former member of the Swingle Singers, Stephen Connolly was able to audition for the open bass singer position with the King’s Singers. He was awarded the post that year and soon became co-director of the ensemble. One of six in the ensemble, Connolly possesses a voice distinct from the others since he is the only bass singer in the group and owner of a rich, powerful voice. He has been a member of the King’s Singers since he was 21, and thus most of his performance credentials are associated with them. With the King's Singers Connolly has appeared in approximately 125 concerts per year (with notable appearances at Carnegie Hall, Royal Albert Hall, and Shea Stadium before a crowd of 55,000!) and made dozens of recordings, among them the 1993 “Annie Laurie”, a popular EMI disc of folk songs, and the 2008 Signum CD “Simple Gifts”, which received a Grammy award for Best Classical Crossover album in 2009.

Stephen Connolly has appeared in concert and on recordings as a freelance singer as well, most notably as one of several artists on an acclaimed Harmonia Mundi CD of sacred works by Orlando Gibbons. Issued in 2004, it featured Connolly with other such renowned singers as counter-tenors Rogers Covey-Crump and Steven Harrold, accompanied by Fretwork and the Magdalen College Choir, Oxford. He has also devoted much time to educational activity, founding and directing the International A Cappella School, conducting master classes at home and abroad, and holding workshops at the Eton Choral Courses. His recordings are available on a variety of major labels, including RCA, Conifer, Harmonia Mundi, EMI, and Signum UK.

Stephen Connolly's activities apart from his work with the King’s Singers have been considerable over the years, from the concert stage and recording studio to the realm of teaching. Leaving the King’s Singers, effective September 2010, he continues with a busy schedule of singing engagements and with his duties as director at the International A Cappella School.

Source: Shanghai Cultural Information Website (June 2008); All Music Guide Website (Author: Robert Cummings)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (December 2010)

Recordings of Arrangements/Transcriptions of Bach’s Works

Conductor

As

Works

Bill Dobbins

Bass

Bach-Dobbins: BWV 248, arranged for big band [w/ The King’s Singers]

Links to other Sites

Shanghai Cultural Information: The King's Singers Concert

Stephen Connolly - Biography (AMG)

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Last update: ýOctober 13, 2011 ý20:19:56