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Carolyn Sampson

Carolyn Sampson (Soprano)

Born: 18th May 1974, Bedford, England

Nationality: English

Artist's website:

The English soprano Carolyn Sampson was born in Bedford in 1974 and read music at Birmingham University; rather than taking the usual route of postgraduate study at a conservatoire, she honed her performing skills in the Birmingham-based early music ensemble Ex Cathedra (with whom she has recorded several acclaimed discs of French baroque arias) and later with The Sixteen, The Tallis Scholars and Polyphony, going on to make her operatic debut in a small role in Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea at English National Opera. She would go on to have great success with the company as Handel’s Semele and Pamina in The Magic Flute, though opera accounts for a relatively small part of her repertoire – she is particularly acclaimed in Bach’s sacred music, and has recorded numerous discs of cantatas with Masaaki Suzuki and Bach Collegium Japan, as well as the Christmas Oratorio, St John Passion and Mass in B minor.

Sampson is also a keen recitalist, and works regularly with the British pianist Joseph Middleton: their discography includes an album based around Schubert’s women, Fleurs (a Gramophone Awards finalist in 2015), and Lost is my Quiet (a programme of duets and solo songs with Middleton and countertenor Iestyn Davies, released on BIS in 2017).

Further Reading: Carolyn Sampson

Interview, Carolyn Sampson reflects on her first hundred recordings

Ahead of her recital with Joseph Middleton at Wigmore Hall tonight, the soprano discusses her 100th album but I like to sing... - and reflects on some of the highlights of her recording career to date...

Recording of the Week, Wolf's Italienisches Liederbuch from Carolyn Sampson, Allan Clayton and Joseph Middleton

All three artists are wonderfully attuned to the wit and warmth of Wolf's set of 46 delectable miniatures, with Middleton's characterful postludes proving in a joy in themselves...

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