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Ian Howell – praised by the New York Times for his “clear voice and attractive timbre,” San Francisco Classical Voice for the “heart at the core of his soulful sound” and Classical Voice of North Carolina for his “lovely, supple, and crystal clear” voice – sings with a warm and seamless tone rarely heard from countertenors. In 2006, Mr. Howell won First Prize at The American Bach Soloists International Solo Competition with an acclaimed performance of Bach’s Cantata BWV 170, Vergnügte Ruh, and Third Prize at the Oratorio Society of New York’s Vocal Competition.
Ian Howell’s debut solo CD, 1685 and the Art of Ian Howell with American Bach Soloists was released in March 2009 and features repertory by Domenico Scarlatti, J. S. Bach, and G. F. Handel. He can also be heard with the all-male chamber choir Chanticleer on one DVD and eight CDs, including GRAMMY nominated Our American Journey.
In December of 2011 Mr. Howell performed Handel’s Messiah with both The American Bach Soloists and The Choir of St. Thomas Fifth Avenue (NYC), for which the New York Times singled him out as, “The most effective…fully supported and consistently expressive.” Upcoming engagements include a “Distinguished Artist” concert as a part of The American Bach Soloists summer Academy program, and a staged performance of Handel’s Giulio Cesare (Tolomeo) with Florentine Opera.
Equally at home on the concert and operatic stage, Mr. Howell’s 2010-11 season included debut performances with Florentine Opera (Blow’s Venus & Adonis – Cupid and Purcell;s Dido & Aeneas – Spirit), Seattle Baroque (Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater), and the New Mexico Symphony (Bach’s Weinachts Oratorium). He returned for engagements with Chatham Baroque (Bach’s St. John Passion), New York’s St. Ignatius Loyola (Handel’s Jeptha – Hamor), and the U. C. Davis Choirs (Bernstein’s Missa Brevis and Chichester Psalms), and in a new work by Pablo Ortiz. Mr. Howell was one of nine singers selected to perform and commercially record a one-to-a-part St. Matthew Passion with the orchestra of the Oberlin Baroque Performance Institute.
In his 2009-10 season, Mr. Howell debuted with Canada’s Orchestra London/Opera London as Tolomeo in Handel’s Giulio Cesare, for which critics called his portrayal “chilling,” “remarkable,” and “heart-rending,” and noted that he “handled the intricacies of Handel’s vocal writing with ease.” Mr. Howell also debuted as a featured soloist on the Ravinia Festival’s Rising Stars Series (Beginner’s Ear Recital), with the St. Louis Symphony (P. D. Q. Bach’s Iphigenia in Brooklyn), The Handel Choir of Baltimore (Messiah), The Hudson Valley Singers (Handel’s Susanna – Joachim), Chatham Baroque (Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater and J. C. Bach’s Lamento), Musica Angelica (Bach’s St. John Passion), and in recital with the Columbus (Ohio) Guitar Society (The New Music: 1602 – Present). He returned to the Bay Area to reprise Handel’s Messiah for the second year in a row with American Bach Soloists.
In previous seasons, audiences have heard Ian Howell as a featured soloist with the Oratorio Society of New York, Musica Sacra (NYC), Rebel Orchestra with The Choir of Trinity Wall St. (NYC), Concert Royále with The Choir of St, Thomas Fifth Avenue (NYC, the Choral Arts Society of Philadelphia, The Vancouver Chamber Choir, The Portland Baroque Orchestra, The Berkshire Choral Festival, The Princeton Glee Club, Tableau Baroque, and the Staunton (Virginia) and Whidbey Island (Washington State) Music Festivals.
Ian Howell holds a Master or Music Degree in Voice conferred jointly by the Yale Institute of Sacred Music and the Yale School of Music.
© Ian Howell