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Timothy Penrose (Counter-tenor)

Born: April 7, 1949 - Farnham, Surrey, England
Died: January 9, 2014 - London, England

The English counter-tenor, Timothy Nicholas Penrose, started his musical career as a quirister at Winchester College and went on to study voice and organ at Trinity College of Music, where he obtained his Fellowship. He was a "Gentleman-in-Ordinary" to Her Majesty's Chapel Royal for three years and was chosen by the Greater London Arts Association as one of the "Young Musicians of the Year".

Timothy Penrose made his operatic debut in 1974 at the Holland Festival. He was one of the foremost counter-tenors of his generation. During his career he appeared in numerous solo concerts throughput the UK and most European countries and made tours to North and South America and the Far East. He was a member of the pioneering early music vocal ensemble Pro Cantione Antiqua and gave concerts also with Medieval Ensemble of London and London Music Players.

Timothy Penrose gave solo recitals for BBC and European radio stations. As a member of Pro Cantione Antiqua, he made numerous recordings, including music from the 13th century, as well as works by Byrd, Orlando di Lasso (Lassus) and Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina. Other recordings include Gabrieli's Sym Sacrae II with Andrew Parrott, works by Thomas Tomkins with the English Consort of Viols, Purcell's The Fairy Queen and George Frideric Handel's Semele with John Eliot Gardiner. He also recorded with Medieval Ensemble of London, London Music Players and London Early Music Group.

Timothy Penrose’s career as a singing teacher and coach flourished, working with a wide range of amateur and professional singers. He was vocal coach with the Trinity Boys Choir, and taught voice at Eltham College and Trinity School Croydon. In recent years, he was Organist and Director of Music at All Saints' Church, West Dulwich.

Timothy Penrose’s honours include: Recipient of Greater London Arts Association; Young Musicians Award, 1975. He was a member of Gentlemen-in-Ordinary; Her Majesty’s Chapel Royal, 1972-1975; City Glee Club, London. He was first married to Shirley Margaret Bignell, and married his second wife Carol Heather on November 14, 1986. He died after a short illness at age 64.

Source: Trinity Boys Choir Website; International Who's Who in Music & Musicians' Directory (13th Edition, 1992/93); Timothy Penrose LinkedIn Profile; Robert King (January 2014)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (February 2011, January 2014); Robert King (Dates, January 2014)

Recordings of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works




Paul Steinitz


G.F. Handel: Brockes Passion, HWV 48 [Radio Broadcast]

Links to other Sites

Trinity Boys Choir: People
Timothy Penrose Obituary (The Guardian)

Timothy Penrose on LinkedIn

Biographies of Performers: Main Page | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z
Explanation | Acronyms | Missing Biographies | The Sad Corner


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