Death of an English countertenor, 88

We have been informed of the passing of Grayston Burgess, founder of the Purcell Consort of Voices and longtime teacher at Malvern College.

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  • One of the best of his generation of ‘early music’ advocates – who struggled for recognition of the counter-tenor voice by just getting on with the music-making, and letting the case speak for itself.

  • So sorry to hear that Donald Burgess has died, a fine musician and a great character who was latterly a Brother resident at The Charterhouse in London and a staunch supporter of the traditional cathedral choir. His fascinating and entertaining memories of being a Canterbury Cathedral chorister (in Canterbury and Cornwall) during the Second World War are currently available online at http://www.mvdaily.com/articles/1999/06/burgess.htm and well worth reading. He was also an early singer of Oberon in Britten’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’, following Alfred Deller and Russell Oberlin. By the way, I believe he was born in April 1932 so that makes him 86 (nearly 87), not 88 as stated here.

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