Death of a distinguished singing teacher, 58

Death of a distinguished singing teacher, 58


norman lebrecht

December 25, 2018

Friends have shared news of the death, at home in Madrid, of David Mason, a singing professor and chorus leader who taught two generations of professionals.

Born in Wigan, England, he studied at the Royal Northern College of Music and took his first job at the Britten Pears School in Aldeburgh, working with Peter Pears, Elizabeth Schwarzkopf, Hans Hotter and Galina Vishnevskaya.

He went on to work with the Dutch Radio Chorus in Hilversum and the German Radio Chorus in Berlin. Moving to Madrid, he served as vocal coach for thye Balearic Islands´University Choir and Alonso Lobo´s Chorus in Cuenca. He also worked with Academy of Ancient Music at the University of Salamanca.

A deeply private man, he avoided being photographed.

David Mason with Alasdair Elliott


  • Jonathan Grieves-Smith says:

    How sad, what a loss, what a musician & man

    • Mark Tucker says:

      Yes he was a great pioneering teacher, thinker and performer. Light years ahead of his time in the 80‘s concerning vocal pedagogy. He was the greatest influence on my own performing and subsequent teaching. An original and authentic musician.

  • Mark Tucker says:

    Might there be a memorial service in london in the new year? I am sure there are many musicians and singers who would attend andhave something to say in tribute to David.

  • Una says:

    As my own brother at 58 had died the month before, I have only just seen this as I was looking for one of David’s articles on singing he did for the Singer magazine. I knew David in the early days as he played for some of my singing lessons with Audrey Langford, and knew him from the RNCM in Manchester as an accompanist. So sad, so young, and so much to offer.

    • Anthony Gerrard says:

      I knew david way back when he still lived with his parents in wigan.
      He accompanied me and my brother at a festival playing Bach concerto for violin .he also accompanied my mother Katherine Gerrard opera singer/teacher
      He lived with our family for several years in Manchester while I was still at school.. he used to practise for hours and hours . A time I look back to as a privilege to have listened to
      After mum died in 1986 I lost touch with David . I tried looking for him after the internet arrived but with such a common name I was always unsuccesfull .
      I just searched harder this time and found this article.
      Left me feeling really empty . and sad from Anthony

      • Nicolas Priestley says:

        Dear Mr Gerrard

        I have just discovered this awful news. I was at the RNCM with David and we gave many concerts together. I remember him talking often about your family. Nicolas Priestley

      • Alex Mason says:


        I don’t know if you’ll see this but I’m David’s niece. Just wanted to say how lovely it is to see such nice things written about him. He really was so talented. He’s missed by all of us.