Marcus Farnsworth was awarded first prize in the 2009 Wigmore Hall International Song Competition and the Song Prize at the 2011 Kathleen Ferrier Competition. He has appeared in recital at the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, La Monnaie, Brussels with Julius Drake; on a UK tour of Schubert Winterreise with James Baillieu; for Leeds Lieder with Graham Johnson and at Opéra de Lille with Simon Lepper. He has appeared many times at the Wigmore Hall with Malcolm Martineau, Julius Drake and Graham Johnson, the Myrthen Ensemble and Joseph Middleton and with the Carducci Quartet.
Highlights of the 2019-20 season and beyond include a re-invitation to the LSO for JamesMcMillan’s St John Passion, conducted by Gianandrea Noseda; Handel’s Brocke’s Passion with Arcangelo, conducted by Jonathan Cohen; a tour of Purcell’s King Arthur with the Gabrieli Consort and Paul McCreesh, and a tour and recording of Peter Grimes with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Edward Gardner.
Recent engagements have included appearances with the BBC Symphony Orchestra inperformances of Turnage’s The Silver Tassie, the world premiere of Cheryl Hoad’s Last Man Standing and Hubbard in Doctor Atomic conducted by John Adams, while with the London Symphony Orchestra Marcus had a great success in Candide (“Marcus Farnsworth (Maximillian/Captain) brought class to his all-too-brief moments in the spotlight”),conducted by Marin Alsop. Outside of the UK Marcus travelled with the Aurora Orchestra and Nick Collen for Gruber’s Frankenstein in Cologne and made his debut at Teatro Real Madrid in Kurt Weill's Street Scene.
He has performed Guglielmo Cosi fan Tutte, Novice’s Friend Billy Budd and Strephon Iolanthe all for ENO; Lance Corporal Lewis in the world premiere of In Parenthesis by Ian Bell for Welsh National Opera, Sid in Britten Albert Herring in concert with the BBC SO and Ned Keene Peter Grimes at Edinburgh International Festival with Edward Gardner. Other notable roles have included Demetrius A Midsummer Night’s Dream on tour with the Aix en Provence Festival and Bergen National Opera and Eddy in Turnage's Greek for Boston Lyric Opera.
Marcus expansive concert repertoire includes Britten War Requiem; Elgar The Apostles; Orff Carmina Burana; Berlioz L’enfance du Christ; Brahms and Faure Requiem working with orchestras including Adelaide Symphony; Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and Royal Scottish National Orchestras; RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, Dublin; BBC Symphony, Philharmonic and Scottish Symphony Orchestras, with conductors including François- Xavier Roth, Paul McCreesh and Bernard Labadie. He has also sung Bach St John Passion (bass arias) with the Ulster Orchestra; Bach St Matthew Passion and St John Passion (bass arias and Christus) with the Gabrieli Consort and Monteverdi Vespers on tour with Emmanuelle Haïm.
A strong supporter of contemporary composers, he has sung works by John Tavener, Sally Beamish, Thomas Larcher, Peter Maxwell Davies and David Sawer. For the 2017 BBC Proms, Marcus performed Maxwell Davies Eight Songs for a Mad King with the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, conducted by Sian Edwards. He was subsequently invited to perform the same piece with the Moscow Contemporary Music Ensemble at the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow.
Marcus is the Founder and Artistic Director of the Southwell Music Festival.