Biography of Varcoe Stephen:
Stephen Varcoe is well known in the UK and internationally as a bass baritone with a wide-ranging repertoire. His discography of more than one hundred recordings includes many of the great baroque masterpieces by Purcell, Bach and Handel. There are choral and orchestral works by Haydn, Mozart, Fauré, Stravinsky, Schönberg, Britten, Tavener and others, and there are songs with orchestra by Elgar, Finzi, Butterworth, Vaughan Williams, Quilter and Grainger. Amongst his recordings with piano are songs by Schubert, Fauré, Ravel, Hahn, Parry, Stanford, Bridge, Gurney, Grainger and Finzi. His concerts and recitals have taken him to the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, Mexico, Israel and most of the countries of Europe. Stephen tried to join his parents’ madrigal group at the age of three, but had to wait until he had joined the Canterbury Cathedral choir five years later. The King’s School, Canterbury, then prepared the way for him to gain a choral scholarship to King’s College, Cambridge, after which he spent a postgraduate year at the Guildhall School of Music. Since then, he has built a successful career in music, appearing with many of the great orchestras and conductors of our time. His operatic appearances have included Tavener’s Mary of Egypt, Rimsky-Korsakov’s Mozart and Salieri, Vaughan Williams’ Riders to the Sea, Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas and Britten’s Noye’s Fludde. But his particular enthusiasm lies with the song repertoire, and his book Sing English Song is designed to stimulate interest amongst students in our rich but neglected musical heritage.