Helen Charlston is a current BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist (2021-23), and finalist of the 2021 Kathleen Ferrier Awards for which she was a recipient of the Ferrier Loveday Song Prize. In 2023 she won a Gramophone Award for Best Concept Album, and collected the Vocal award at the BBC Music Magazine Awards, both for her second Delphian album: Battle Cry: the only recording that year to win at both ceremonies. Described as “surely one of the most exciting voices in the new generation of British singers” (Alexandra Coghlan, Gramophone 2022),Helen was a ‘Rising Star’ of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment 2017-2019, and was selected for Le Jardin des Voix academy with Les Arts Florissants in 2021. Helen’s other accolades include the first prize in the 2018 Handel Singing Competition and finalist in the Grange Festival International Singing Competition. In July 2022 Helen was announced as one of Classic FM’s Rising Stars (30 under 30).
Last season, Helen sang the title role in Dido & Aeneas with William Christie in Versailles, and Sorceress/Spirit in the same piece at The Grange Festival, Handel’s Israel in Egypt with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and the role of Irene Theodora with the Philharmonia Baroque in San Francisco, both with Richard Egarr, and Handel’s Judas Maccabaeus with the RIAS Kammerchor at the Berlin Philharmonie with Justin Doyle.
This season, she returns to the Scottish Chamber Orchestra for Bach’s B minor Mass, tours the St John Passion with Les Arts Florissants in Asia, Handel’s Messiah with the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, Monteverdi Vespers in Geneva, and Mozart’s Vesperae solennes de confessore & Coronation Mass with the Handel & Haydn Society in Boston.
In 2020, Helen premiered The Isolation Songbook with Michael Craddock and Alexander Soares, which is a set of 15 newly commissioned songs and duets written during lockdown as a musical response to the changing world in which we found ourselves. In 2022, Delphian Records released her second album, Battle Cry: She Speaks with Toby Carr, which received high praise from British press including Editor’s choice in Gramophone.
Recent concert highlights include Helen’s debuts at the BBC Proms in Dido and Aeneas with La Nuova Musica, with the LPO under Adam Fischer (Mozart’s Requiem), and her debut recital at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam which was broadcast live on Dutch radio. Further performances include Handel’s Messiah with BBC NOW and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, a European tour of Handel’s Partenope under William Christie and Les Arts Florissants, Bach’s Weihnachtoratorium with Casa da Musica, Mendelssohn’s Lobgesang with the Royal Northern Sinfonia and Paul McCreesh, Bach’s St Matthew Passion on a tour in The Netherlands, Mendelssohn’s Elijah with Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia, a worldwide tour of Handel’s Messiah with the Seattle Symphony, the Western Australian Symphony Orchestra and Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, and solo recitals at Wigmore Hall, Leeds Lieder, Cheltenham Festival, York Early Music Festival, London Handel Festival, Händel-festspiele Halle, and Korčula Baroque Festival.