Renowned musician returns to Ely to host lecture

James Bowman with music students and a harpsichord he has donated to the school

James Bowman with music students and a harpsichord he has donated to the school - Credit: Archant

Celebrated musician and former King’s Ely pupil, James Bowman addressed students, staff and parents at a special lecture this week.

Mr Bowman is a renowned counter-tenor, whose career spans opera, oratorio and solo recitals.

He was educated at King’s Ely between 1951 and 1960, singing as a boy chorister at Ely Cathedral, before going on to study at New College, Oxford, where he was a member of several choirs.

Over the years, Bowman has appeared at almost every major opera house, including La Scala Milan, Amsterdam, Paris, Sydney, Vienna, Strasbourg, and San Francisco. He has also appeared at the English National Opera and the Royal Opera House Covent Garden.

In June 1997, he was made a CBE in the Queen’s honours list, and in the November of the following year received an Honorary Fellowship at New College, Oxford.

School principal, Sue Freestone, said: “During my time as a musician, James Bowman was something of a legend. When I came to King’s Ely and discovered he was a former pupil of the school I was delighted.

“When we decided to create an annual lecture around themes of the creative and liberal arts, the choice of who we should honour by naming the series for him, James was the obvious choice.”

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