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James Bowman to receive the 2010 York Early Music Festival Lifetime Achievement Award

15 March 2010

James Bowman, one of the world's leading and best-loved countertenors, will receive the 2010 York Early Music Festival Lifetime Achievement Award on Saturday 10 July at the National Centre for Early Music (NCEM), in York.

The Award will be presented to James after the live broadcast of BBC Radio 3's Early Music Show, presented by Catherine Bott.

Speaking about this year's Award, Delma Tomlin, Director of the NCEM said: "It is a great opportunity for us during the York Early Music Festival to celebrate the fantastic achievements of some of our truly outstanding artists through this Award. James Bowman's wonderful musicality, dramatic expressiveness and huge generosity of spirit have touched both audiences and fellow colleagues alike for almost half a century and we are delighted to be able to recognise his remarkable contribution to music."

For more forty years James Bowman's career has spanned opera, oratorio, contemporary compositions, solo recitals and a host of outstanding recordings made with all the major record labels under such directors as Benjamin Britten, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Sir Charles Mackerras, Raymond Leppard, Christopher Hogwood, Frans Brüggen and Trevor Pinnock.

James Bowman commented: "I always enjoy coming to York to sing and therefore it is a great honour to receive this prestigious award from the York Early Music Festival which holds many exciting and fond memories for me."

Catherine Bott will present the Award directly after the BBC Radio 3 Early Music Show which will be broadcast live from the NCEM from 1.00 - 2.00pm on 10 July. Programme guests include I Fagiolini with director Robert Hollingworth, lutenist David Miller and the German lieder specialist Barbara Schlick.

The YEMF Lifetime Achievement Award is presented biennially. Now in its third year, previous recipients have been the Kuijken brothers - received by flautist Barthold Kuijken (2006) and soprano Emma Kirkby (2008).
The National Centre for Early Music is administered by the York Early Music Foundation and funded by Arts Council England, Yorkshire.

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Press Contact:
Shona Galletly, on behalf of the National Centre for Early Music
e: shona@shonagalletlypr.co.uk
t: 0113 255 1308
m: 07813 796 733
Web: www.ncem.co.uk

Notes to Editors:

1. The BBC Radio 3 Early Music Show will be broadcast live from the NCEM on Saturday July 10 between 1.00 - 2.00pm. Programme guests include I Fagiolini with director Robert Hollingworth, lutenist David Miller and German lieder specialist Barbara Schlick.

2. James Bowman has been one of the world's leading Countertenors for over forty years. His career spans Opera, Oratorio, Contemporary music and solo recitals. He has been in demand on both the Opera stage and the concert platform all over the world, appearing at the Aldeburgh Festival, Sadlers Wells, Glyndebourne, English National Opera, the Royal Opera and in numerous opera engagements abroad including Paris (L'Opera, L'Opera Comique, Le Theatre du Chatelet, Le Theatre des Champs Elysees), La Scala, Milan, La Fenice, Venice and the Festival of Aix-en-Provence. In Australia he has appeared at the Sydney and Melbourne Opera houses and in the USA at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center in Washington, as well as Dallas, San Francisco and Santa Fe.

James Bowman has made over 150 recordings with all the major record labels, under such directors as Britten, Harnoncourt, Mackerras, Leppard, Hogwood, Brüggen and Pinnock. He has recorded 'Messiah' four times, under Willcocks, Koopman, Dorati and Parrott. Many of his recordings have been for Hyperion, recording all the Purcell Odes, Church music and Solo songs, as well as various solo discs of music by Bach, Handel, Vivaldi, Pergolesi, Hasse, Domenico Scarlatti and Dowland.

He has also given the world premiere of many important contemporary compositions, including works by Benjamin Britten, Michael Tippett, Peter Maxwell Davies, Richard Rodney Bennett, Robin Holloway, Geoffrey Burgon, Michael Nyman, Alan Ridout and Tariq O'Regan.

In 1992 the French government honoured him with admission to 'L'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres'. In the same year he was awarded the Medal of Honour of the City of Paris. In 1997 James Bowman was made a CBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours.