John Shirley-Quirk Dies

GRAMMY-nominated bass-baritone dies at 82
April 08, 2014 -- 11:18 am PDT

GRAMMY-nominated bass-baritone John Shirley-Quirk died April 7. A cause of death was not disclosed. He was 82. Born in Liverpool, England, Shirley-Quirk sang and played violin as a child. In 1957 he began studying with baritone Roy Henderson and from 1961–1962 performed with the Cathedral Choir at St. John's in London. In 1963 he was invited by GRAMMY-winning composer Benjamin Britten to join his English Opera Group, with whom he performed the premieres of Britten's Curlew River, The Burning Fiery Furnace, The Prodigal Song, Death In Venice, and his GRAMMY-nominated Owen Wingrave. Shirley-Quirk made his debut at New York's Metropolitan Opera in 1974 with a performance of Death In Venice. In 1975 he was named a Commander of the Order of the British Empire. He earned a GRAMMY nomination in 1993 for Best Opera Recording for Britten: Gloriani. Aside from his singing career, Shirley-Quirk served on the faculty at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore from 1992–2012.

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