IAN HOWELL (countertenor) - 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 the GRAMMY AWARD winning Lamentations and Praises and the GRAMMY nominated Our American Journey.
Equally at home on Opera and Concert stages, Mr. Howell's upcoming season includes performances of Messiah with both American Bach Soloists and The Choir of St Thomas Fifth Ave (NYC), and Handel's Giulio Cesare (Tolomeo) with Florentine Opera. 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 Jephtha – Hamor), and the U.C. Davis Choirs (Bernstein’s Missa Brevis and Chichester Psalms, and in a new work by Pablo Ortiz).
In his 2009-2010 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 Ave (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 of Music Degree in Voice conferred jointly by the Yale Institute of Sacred Music and the Yale School of Music.