About Catherine Bott

About Catherine Bott

Catherine Bott

Catherine Bott presents Classic FM's The Full Works Concert on Thursday and Friday evenings at 8, and Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Classical Music on Sundays at 9pm. Starting out as a member of The Swingle Singers, she has had a distinguished career as a soprano in the early music repertoire and as a broadcaster.

  • Catherine originally wanted to become an actress, or an authority on the 19th-century English novel. She did two seasons spear-carrying in the National Youth Theatre, and then discovered singing. Drama school and university were both sidelined when the Guildhall School of Music offered her a place.

  • At the end of her studies she joined the Swingle Singers (English version): during her two years with them she performed everything from Bach to Berio and developed a considerable gift for improvisation and scat singing.

  • After two years she left to begin a distinguished career in early music: among her many recordings in this field are Bach’s St. John Passion, Monteverdi’s L’Incoronazione di Poppaea and Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas.

  • Over the years she’s spread her vocal wings to perform and record contemporary works by Craig Armstrong, Jonathan Dove, Joe Duddell and Michael Nyman. Her cabaret CD London Pride features numbers by Joyce Grenfell and Donald Swann, George and Ira Gershwin, and Kit and the Widow: and her recording of Spanish and Moorish songs and poetry, Convivencia, was praised by Gramophone magazine for its “rare commitment, worthy of spoken theatre”.

  • The Guildhall School awarded her a Fellowship in 2009, and later this year she will become an Honorary Fellow of Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. 

  • It’s not so widely known that Catherine is an experienced and in-demand studio singer. Her film soundtrack solos range from Shakespeare in Love to Disney’s Atlantis. She’s particularly proud of her job-share with Joanna Lumley on The Magic Roundabout (as the singing voice of Ermintrude the Cow) and the fact that when Colin Firth/Mr Darcy gazes adoringly at Elizabeth Bennett in TV’s Pride and Prejudice it’s Catherine’s singing he’s listening to.

  • Catherine sang a solo vocal on thrash-metal band Bring Me The Horizon’s third album: and back in the day she used to do radio idents for the man who supplies all those inspired Classic FM music idents – David Arnold.

  • Catherine has ten years of radio broadcasting under her belt, from specialist early music programmes to documentaries about Saint Cecilia, the Mantovani Sound and most recently, the two sides of Autotune (pitch-correction software – think Cher). For passengers on Lufthansa Airlines, she’s the English voice of Time For Classics.

Did you know?

In her spare time, Catherine’s a devoted follower of a certain tv soap opera set in the north of England, and hopes to represent Great Britain if reading in bed ever becomes an Olympic sport. .