Preview: James Gilchrist and Anna Tilbrook

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James Gilchrist’s musical career unofficially began when he was eight, when he joined the local church choir.

However, the road to becoming one of the world’s leading light tenors was not a smooth one. He felt called to the medical profession, and trained as a doctor, before finally becoming a full-time musician in 1996.

James has an extensive concert repertoire, and has performed in venues throughout the world.

Recent highlights have included Britten’s Church Parables with performances in St Petersburg, London and at the Aldeburgh Festival, War Requiem with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, and the Evangelist in St John Passion at the BBC Proms in 2014, where one reviewer dubbed him “the finest Evangelist of his generation.”

James collaborates regularly with Anna Tilbrook, one of Britain’s most exciting pianists, with a considerable reputation in song recitals and chamber music.

She made her debut at the Wigmore Hall in 1999 and has since become a regular performer at Europe’s major concert halls and festivals, as well as coaching regularly for the Royal Opera, Covent Garden.

Anna is a graduate of the Royal Academy of Music, where she was awarded a Fellowship and in 2009 became an Associate. She has won many major international accompaniment prizes, including the AESS Bluthner prize and the award for an outstanding woman musician from the ROSL.

The pair released a new disc of Schumann song cycles in Summer 2015.

Kelso Music Society will be welcoming James and Anna back to the Borders on January 17, when they will perform exerpts from Butterworth’s A Shropshire Lad.

They will also give a live rendition of their recording of Schubert’s Die Schöne Müllerin, which received rave reviews when it was released in 2009, and was hailed as one of the finest recordings of the piece available.

The concert starts at 3pm. Tickets are £12, (students £5, under-18s go free). See www.kelsomusicsociety.com for further details.