“At times you felt like there were a hundred voices; at others, only one.” – Varsity
The Gesualdo Six are a vocal sextet specialising in the performance of renaissance polyphony, directed by Owain Park. Formed in March 2014 for a performance of Gesualdo’s Tenebrae Responsories for Maundy Thursday, the ensemble has since gone on to perform over 50 concerts around the UK, including two summer tours.
Whilst focusing on early music, the group often programmes modern works, including pieces by Joanna Marsh, Sarah Rimkus and Paweł Łukaszewski in their recent concerts. Other programmes have included sacred and secular renaissance works by the English and Italian masters, combined with modern works by Francis Poulenc, Gabriel Jackson and John Joubert.
The group were St John’s Smith Square Young Artists 2015-2016, following a highly competitive audition process. The scheme invests in promising artists who show “enormous talent and energy”, endeavouring to help shape their futures. The ensemble gave five performances at St John’s Smith Square in 2016 and also returned in April 2017 as part of the inaugural Holy Week Festival.
In 2016, the group successfully curated their first Composition Competition, supported by St John’s Smith Square and the Music Sales group of companies. The judges (John Rutter, Stephen Layton, Kate Johnson and Owain Park) were amazed by the number of entries and the extremely high standard of work; in the end there were over 170 entries spanning six continents.
The group’s first recording will be an album of English renaissance polyphony, due for release in late 2017.