English tenor Mark Padmore began his musical studies as a clarinetist, switching to singing after he gained a choral scholarship to King's College, Cambridge. After graduating in 1982, Padmore began working with a number of period performance choirs and ensembles, including the Tallis Scholars, The Sixteen and the King's Consort. In 1987, he became a member of the Hilliard Ensemble with whom he toured extensively and made a number of recordings. In 1991, he became a member of Les Arts Florissants, taking part in some of the group's most acclaimed productions and recordings, including the Gramophone-award winning recording of Rameau's Hippolyte et Aricie and the critically acclaimed recording of George Frideric Handel's Messiah. Padmore continues to collaborate with Les Arts Florissants, albeit less frequently. Over the past several years, he has become particularly well known for his committed performances of the Evangelist in J.S. Bach's Passions (BWV 244 & BWV 245). His appearance as the Evangelist in the staged production by Deborah Warner of Bach's Saint John Passion (BWV 245) with English National Opera merits particular mention.
Mark Padmore's repertory ranges from medieval polyphony, to opera, to contemporary songs. His operatic roles have included Jason in M-A Charpentier's Medeé, Alphee in Lully's Proserpine, the title roles in Rameau’s Pygmalion and Zoroastre, Hippolyte in Rameau's Hippolyte et Aricie, Arnalta in L'Incoronazione di Poppea, Admete in G.F. Handel's Alceste and many others. As a concert artist, he has performed with such leading conductors as Philippe Herreweghe, William Christie, Paul McCreesh, John Eliot Gardiner, Robert King, Christophe Rousset, Marc Minkowski, Nicholas McGegan, Gustav Leonhardt and Richard Hickox.