|Year of Birth:||1959|
Sir Simon Keenlyside CBE (born 3 August 1959) is a British baritone who has had an active international career performing in operas and concerts since the mid-1980s.
Keenlyside was born in London, the son of Raymond and Ann Keenlyside. Raymond played second violin in the Aeolian Quartet, and Ann's father was the violinist Leonard Hirsch. When he was eight, he was enrolled in St John's College School, a boarding school for the boy choristers of the Choir of St John's College, Cambridge and spent much of his childhood touring and recording with the choir under the direction of choirmaster George Guest. He later attended Reed's School in Cobham, before moving on to university at Cambridge.
Keenlyside read zoology at Cambridge University, returning to St John's as a choral scholar, before studying singing at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. After graduation, he won a Peter Moores Foundation scholarship (1985) and chose to join the Royal Northern College of Music to study voice with the baritone John Cameron under whom he developed a love for lieder and German poetry. Keenlyside later said of him:
Everyone has to trust a teacher and I trusted John. It is possible to make the Faustian pact of beefing up your voice young. You might survive, but many talented young voices have been ruined. John always said "don't push it, sing your age". That can be very frustrating. You just have to trust that nature will eventually grant you heft.