St John Passion – 26th March 2022
Ben Vonberg-Clark – Tenor
Ben trained at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, King’s College London, the University of Vienna and Durham University. Upon moving to London in 2012 he became increasingly in demand as a tenor, and therefore undertook a masters in vocal performance at Trinity Laban. He is now taught by operatic tenor Nicky Spence.
Ben has established himself as a leading tenor and conductor. He performs in recitals and concerts around the country and conducts five regular choirs in London. Whether performing in the Aldeburgh Festival or taking a workshop for primary school children, Ben is fully committed to providing high-quality music to as many adults and children as possible – especially those, for whom music or musical tuition would otherwise be inaccessible.
James Quilligan – Baritone
James is a recent graduate of the Alexander Gibson Opera Studio at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland where he studied with Scott Johnson.
On the concert platform, James has performed Bach St John Passion and St Matthew Passion, Charpentier Te Deum, Dvořák Stabat Mater, Fauré Requiem, Finzi In Terra Pax, Handel Messiah, and Nelson Mass, Haydn Harmoniemesse, Mozart Requiem, Rossini Petite Messe Solennelle, Vaughan Williams Fantasia on a Christmas Carol and Five Mystical Songs. A keen recitalist, he has performed at the Wigmore Hall, St Martin in the Fields, St George Hanover Square, Hatchlands Park and the Old Royal Naval chapel, Greenwich. In 2021 James was awarded the Elgar/Spedding Lieder Memorial prize alongside his duo partner, Amy Chang.
Alison Ponsford-Hill – Soprano
Ali sings with several world class ensembles including the Monteverdi Choir, I Fagiolini, The Tallis Scholars and Polyphony, and has performed in many of world’s top concert halls, frequently appearing as a soloist with these groups. Step-out performances have included ‘Endless Pleasure’ from Handel’s Semele at the Philharmonie de Paris and Teatro alla Scala with The Monteverdi Choir. Alison also regularly performs as a soloist across the UK, with notable performances including Josabeth in Handel’s Athalia at the Sheldonian Theatre in Oxford, Bach’s Johannes-Passion in Salisbury Cathedral and being nominated for a Gramophone Award for a recording of Howells’s Sine Nomine with Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.
Simon Ponsford – Countertenor
Simon started singing at a young age in Gloucester Cathedral Choir. He went on to study at King’s College, Cambridge, reading for a degree in English Literature whilst being a Choral Scholar in King’s Chapel Choir. From Cambridge, Simon moved to Windsor Castle and spent five years singing in the choir of St George’s Chapel, before moving to Westminster Abbey in 2013.
Whilst at Windsor, Simon undertook a postgraduate MA at the Royal Academy of Music, where he studied with Michael Chance. On graduating with Distinction, he was awarded the S & M Eyres Wilson Scholarship and a Diploma of the Royal Academy of Music for outstanding performance.
Andrew Ashwin – Baritone
Andrew studied Music at the University of Birmingham, then post-graduate singing at the Royal College of Music, graduating with Distinction. He continued his opera studies at the International Opera Studio in Belgium and the Zurich Opera Studio.
As a singing teacher and vocal coach, Andrew is in increasing demand across the country. He was recently admitted as a Fellow of the Royal Schools of Music (FRSM), with Distinction, one of only a handful of singing teachers to achieve such an award. He is a voice teacher at the world-leading Royal Academy of Music Junior Department in London, as well as running the singing activities at Leicester Grammar School Trust.