Gwilym Bowen


© Pablo Strong



Acclaimed for the clarity and beauty of his singing and dynamic stage presence, British tenor Gwilym Bowen performs internationally with orchestras and ensembles of the highest calibre. His engagements in the 2019/20 season include James MacMillan’s All the Hills and Vales Along at the Edinburgh Festival and Dussek’s Mass in G with the Academy of Ancient Music; a Purcell programme, ‘Gabriel – An Entertainment with Trumpet’ with The English Concert, Alison Balsom and Harry Bicket at the Barbican Centre; Messiah with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra conducted by Stephen Layton; Christmas Oratorio with the Oslo Philharmonic; St John Passion with the Ensemble Orlando Fribourg and the English Concert and Evangelist in the St Matthew Passion with BBC National Orchestra of Wales conducted by John Butt.

A regular with the Academy of Ancient Music, Gwilym’s most recent recording with the orchestra, of Handel’s Brockes-Passion conducted by Richard Egarr, was released in September 2019.

Gwilym’s repertoire ranges from the Baroque to the contemporary, with a specialist interest in Bach, Monteverdi and Handel. His operatic highlights include Valletto L’incoronazione di Poppea for Angers-Nantes Opéra; Eurimaco/Giove Il ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria at The Grange Festival; Damon Acis and Galatea and multiple roles in Poppea and Ulisse with Academy of Ancient Music at the Barbican, the Ateneul Roman in Bucharest and Scuola Grande di San Rocco in Venice; Sylph in Rameau Zaïs with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment at Queen Elizabeth Hall and Father in Hasse’s Piramo e Tisbe with Classical Opera.  Opera roles have also included Tom Rakewell The Rake’s Progress and Davey in Jonathan Dove’s Siren Song; forthcoming engagements include Flute A Midsummer Night’s Dream and his debut at Opera de Lille.

A passionate proponent of new music, Bowen has created the roles of Tamino in Be With Me Now at the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, with performances at the Philharmonie de Paris, La Monnaie and the National Opera of Poland, the protagonists in two operas by Kate Whitley, Unknown Position and 0520, and Smith in Matt Rogers’ and Sally O’Reilly’s And London Burned.

In concert, Gwilym has sung Evangelist in the St John Passion with John Butt and BBC National Orchestra of Wales, and the St Matthew Passion for De Nederlandse Bachvereniging and the Auckland Philharmonia, and has sung Bach cantatas with Masaaki Suzuki at Lincoln Center; Monteverdi and Schütz with the Dunedin Consort; Christmas Oratorio across Australia with Richard Tognetti and the Australian Chamber Orchestra, and with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment; Das Lied von der Erde with the City of London Sinfonia; Ernst Wilhelm Wolf’s Passionsoratorium with Die Kölner Akademie;  Messiah with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, West Australian Symphony Orchestra, Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, Hanover Band and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra; and Bach Mass in B Minor with the OAE at St John’s, Smith Square. His recordings include the St John Passion arias with De Nederlandse Bachvereniging and in a world-first Welsh language broadcast for S4C, and Mass in B Minor with the Choir of Trinity College, Cambridge and OAE for Hyperion. ​

Born in Hereford, Gwilym was a choral scholar at Trinity College, Cambridge, graduating with double-First class honours in Music, before studying at the Royal Academy of Music. 

If you wish to include this biography in a concert programme etc, please contact Hazard Chase to ensure that you receive the most up to date version | Email: Tom Wood

Messiah with Seattle Symphony Orchestra

"Bowen made the kind of impact not heard here since the lone Messiah appearance in Seattle of the great English tenor Philip Langridge, back in the late 1970s. Lyrical and agile, with considerable expressive depth, Bowen delivered every phrase as if it had just occurred to him, with unfailingly expressive spontaneity. His Thy rebuke was positively heart-rending" | Melinda Bargreen, Seattle Times

© Hana Zushi-Rhodes


Johannes-passion with Ensemble Vocal Orlando Fribourg

March 27th & 28th, 20:00

Siri Thornhill | Ruth Sandhoff | Gwilym Bowen | Christian Immler

Laurent Gendre | Ensemble Vocal Orlando Fribourg | Freitagsakademie Bern

March 27th: French Church, Bern, Switzerland

March 28th: Church of Collège Saint-Michel, Fribourg, Switzerland


Johannes-passion with The English Concert

April 4th-6th

Robin Johanssen | Katie Bray | Gwilym Bowen | Stephan Loges

Harry Bicket | The English Concert

April 4th, 15:00 - Bach-Kirke, Arnstadt, Germany CANCELLED

April 5th, 19:30 - Wigmore Hall, London, UK CANCELLED

April 6th, 18:30 - St George's Hall, Bristol, UK CANCELLED

Matthäus-passion with BBC NOW

April 9th & 10th

Evangelist - Gwilym Bowen

Christus - David Shipley

Mhairi Lawson | Jess Dandy | Anthony Gregory | James Newby

John Butt | BBC National Chorus of Wales | BBC National Orchestra of Wales

April 9th, 19:30: Brangwyn Hall, Swansea CANCELLED

April 10th, 14:00: St Davids Hall, Cardiff CANCELLED

Easter Oratorio with London Choral Sinfonia

May 28th, 19:30

Lotti: Crucifixus 

Pergolesi: Stabat Mater

Monteverdi: Beatus Vir

Bach: Easter Oratorio BWV249

Katherine Watson | Tim Morgan | Gwilym Bowen

Michael Waldron | London Choral Sinfonia

St John's, Smith Square, London

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"All of this glory was outshone by young tenor Gwilym Bowen...Vibrant, expressive, agile and dramatic, this crowned an astounding array of vocal quality throughout the performance" | David Barmby, Limelight

"In Berkeley's culinary comedy, his foppish Gallic charm as Prince Phillippe was matched by the refinement and fluidity of his singing" | Yehuda Shapiro, Opera

"As Sellem, Gwilym Bowen offered a very different sense of humour, utterly captivating, never outstaying its welcome, and likewise never at the expense of excellent musical values, line and attention to the words exemplary" | Mark Berry, Seen & Heard International


Il ritorno d'Ulisse in Patria | Grange Festival


"attractively sung and superbly acted by Donna Bateman and Gwilym Bowen: their “Dolce, mia vita” was another of those moments which touched the sublime" | David Karlin, bachtrack

"stand-out performance" | Michael Church, Independent

"superb" | Tim Ashley The Guardian

L'incoronazione di Poppea | Angers-Nantes Opera


"excellently facetious in the farcical, schoolboy sequences which punctuate the drama, his dynamic phrasing rises to full-bodied heights" | Damien Dutilleul, ôlyrix

 "We note the piquant Valetto of Gwilym Bowen, with never-failing articulation: it's a true pleasure to "taste the text" in these scenes, Bowen revealing the exasperation as much as the sensual outbursts of which the character is capable" | Alexandre Pham, classiquenews

 © Benjamin Ealovega