Whilst still a student at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Mhairi Lawson won the International Early Music Network Young Artists Prize with the fortepianist Olga Tverskaya, which led to her first CD recording of Haydn's English and Scottish Songs.
Mhairi has performed in opera houses and concert halls worldwide with such companies as English National Opera, Les Arts Florissants, The Gabrieli Consort & Players, The Academy of Ancient Music, The Early Opera Company and The Scottish Chamber Orchestra, and with many leading conductors such as William Christie, Sir Charles Mackerras, Paul McCreesh, Jane Glover and Sir John Eliot Gardiner, in repertoire ranging from traditional folksong to opera.
With Les Arts Florissants, Mhairi has performed dramatic music by Purcell, Charpentier, Landi and Monteverdi at the Cité de La Musique, Paris, and throughout Europe, including London's Barbican Centre and Birmingham's Symphony Hall. At the Wigmore Hall, she has performed operas by Purcell, Handel and Hasse with the Early Opera Company. She has performed Handel's “Messiah” in Amsterdam, Utrecht, Paris and Barcelona with the Netherlands Bach Society and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra.
Mhairi has enjoyed working with the Gabrieli Consort & Players for many years and projects with them include Bach's “St John Passion” and “St Matthew Passion”, the Mass in B minor and the “Wedding Cantata”, Handel's “La resurrezione”, and Purcell's “Dido and Aeneas”, “King Arthur” and “The Fairy Queen”.
Mhairi has sung Bach's “St John Passion” in New York's Lincoln Centre, and in Weimar, Germany, and the “St Matthew Passion” with the St Paul Chamber Orchestra. At English National Opera she sang Purcell's “Dido and Aeneas” and “King Arthur” in productions with the Mark Morris Dance Group. Consequently Mhairi travelled to California for further performances of “King Arthur” with the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, San Francisco.
Work with European symphony orchestras includes Handel's “Athalia” in Madrid, Bach's “Christmas Oratorio” in Zurich and Vivaldi's “Gloria” and Mozart concert and operatic arias in Nantes, France.
She has made many commercial recordings, most recently Haydn's “Creation” with the Choir of New College, Oxford, conducted by Edward Higginbottom, and Scottish Jacobite Songs on the Avison Ensemble's CD “Rebellion”. Forthcoming CD releases include two discs of Schubert Lieder, including the vocal tour de force “Der Hirt auf dem Felsen”, with clarinettist Jane Booth and pianist Eugene Asti.
With the virtuoso baroque band La Serenissima, Mhairi has recorded many of Vivaldi's sacred and operatic works and has performed large-scale pieces including “La senna festeggiante” and “La fida ninfa” in Venice.
Recital engagements include songs from the British folksong tradition and Lieder by Haydn, Mozart, Schubert, Schumann, Strauss and Wolf with appearances in the Edinburgh Festival, Newcastle and York Universities, and recordings for BBC Radio 3.
Recent and future highlights include performances of Handel's “Messiah” with the Hallé Orchestra and with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Purcell's “King Arthur” with the Academy of Ancient Music at the Barbican Centre, the title role in “Semele” with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Galatea “Acis and Galatea” and Bach's B minor mass with the Gabrieli Consort, Venus “Venus and Adonis” with the Dunedin Consort, Mozart's Mass in C Minor with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Raphaël Pichon, a residency at the Carmel Bach Festival in the USA, a recital with lutenist Elizabeth Kenny as part of the St Magnus International Festival, and Mhairi continues her recital collaboration with Eugene Asti. Mhairi also features on Les Arts Florissants' recent release of Monteverdi Madrigals vol. 3 “Venezia” for Harmonia Mundi.
Pic. Lloyd Smith Photography