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 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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