A keen exponent of contemporary music, Lesley-Jane has performed many 20th century works, including Ligeti’s highly comic Aventures and Nouvelles Aventures performed in the presence of the composer, Brian Ferneyhough’s Missa Brevis for twelve solo voices, and Berio’s famous unaccompanied Sequenza III for female voice. (Listen.) In the last few years she has given more than 70 world premières, and is honoured to be the dedicatee for various songs, song-cycles and dramatic scenas. Several choirs have also commissioned choral works with a soprano soloist, including Joseph Phibbs Tenebrae, commissioned by St Albans Bach Choir, and Michael Finnissy Favourite Poets, commissioned by Chantonbury Chorus. (To hear an extract from the Finnissy concert, click here.) Most recently Lesley-Jane gave the première of Alistair Jones' A Prodigal Son with the Chiswick Choir.
Lesley-Jane also enjoys performing 20th century music in general, and, in 2005, revelled in centenary concerts for William Alwyn, Alan Rawsthorne and Mátyás Seiber. Seiber 2005 included Lesley-Jane giving performances of the song cyles “To Poetry” and “Four Greek Folksongs” in Budapest and Szeged, and recording these same pieces for Hungaroton [HCD 32405]. In April 2010, she received a very favourable review in the Cambridge Tab for a concert including these two song cyles.
Lesley-Jane also works frequently with the recorder player John Turner. John’s dedication to new music is legendary, but it is his particular interest in 20th century English music that has led to Lesley-Jane giving performances of songs by such interesting composers as Peter Crossley-Holland, Julius Harrison, Percy Young, Thomas Pitfield, Stephen Dodgson, Ian Parrott, Cyril Scott, Wilfrid Mellers, Walter Bergmann and John Joubert among others. She recorded four of John Joubert’s song cycles in honour of his 80th Birthday in 2007. The resulting CD, entitled John Joubert Four Song-Cycles, was released in May 2007 on the Toccata Classics label [TOCC 0045]. Other CDs featuring Lesley-Jane include Celtic Magic with “music by Peter Crossley-Holland and his circle” released in June 2003 on the Cameo label [Cameo 2026, 2003], and also for Cameo, High Barbaree - a CD of music by the composer Stephen Dodgson [Cameo 2032, 2004] and Grains of Sand - Music by and for Wilfrid Mellers [Cameo 2051/52, 2006].
Other contemporary music exploits include performing the electronic soprano rôle in Sir Peter Maxwell Davies’ opera Resurrection which was recorded live for Collins Classics, and also recording the soprano solos in Carl Rütti's Magnificat and Alpha et Omega, the latter CD being awarded “Editor’s Choice” in Britain’s esteemed Gramophone magazine.
A regular artist for the specialist
contemporary music label Metier,
on the following CDs:
Brian Ferneyhough Missa Brevis for 12 solo voices, and the soprano solos in the Marian Motets with the BBC Singers with Odaline de la Martinez conducting [MSV CD28501, 2007]
David Lumsdaine’s A Little Cantata, Norfolk Songbook and his large dramatic scena A Tree telling of Orpheus with Martyn Brabbins conducting [MSV CD28510, 2010]
Nicola Lefanu’s A Travelling Spirit [MSV CD92064, 2005]
Julia Usher ‘Sacred Physic’: dramatic cantata Sacred Physic and song What is the Price of Experience? [MSV CD92066, 2002]
Sadie Harrison’s ‘Taking Flight’: song cycle Aster [MSV CD92053, 2000] - awarded “Disc of the Month” by Classical London, February 2001
For full details of Lesley-Jane’s concert diary or for booking enquiries, please e-mail: