Early music honour for James Bowman

Countertenor presented with Lifetime Achievement Award by York Early Music Festival

James Bowman is to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award at this year’s York Early Music Festival.

The honour marks the significant contribution made to early music performance by the British countertenor in a career that has now lasted over 40 years. In particular, says Delma Tomlin, director of the National Centre for Early Music, it recognises Bowman’s ‘wonderful musicality, dramatic expressiveness and huge generosity of spirit.’

In that long and prestigious career, Bowman has made over 150 recordings of composers such as Purcell, Bach, Handel and Vivaldi, under leading conductors such as Benjamin Britten, Nikolaus Harnoncourt and Sir Charles Mackerras. He has also sung at many of the world’s most famous opera houses and music festivals.

Bowman will receive his award at the York Early Music Festival on 10 July. He follows in the footsteps of soprano Emma Kirkby, who was presented with the honour in 2008.