Catherine Bott became well-known as a singer after her early ambition to be an actor was sidelined when she accepted a place at the Guildhall School of Music. She started her career as a member of The Swingle Singers and then developed a distinguished reputation as a soprano in the early music repertoire and later as a broadcaster.
She is recognised as a virtuoso of early music, and amongst her many recordings in this field are Bach’s ‘St John’s Passion’, Monteverdi’s ‘L’Incoronazione di Pomppea’ and Purcell’s ‘Dido and Aeneas’. Her repertoire expanded and she recorded Spanish and Moorish songs and contemporary music by Craig Armstrong, Jonathan Dove, Joe Duddell and Michael Nyman. Her cabaret CD ‘London Pride’ featured numbers by Joyce Grenfell and Donald Swan, George and Ira Gershwin and Kit and the Widow.
Catherine developed a considerable gift for improvisation and is in demand as a studio singer. Her film-track solos include ‘Shakespeare in Love’ and Disney’s ‘Atlantis’, and she was the singing voice of Ermintrude the cow in ‘The Magic Roundabout’. In the 1996 TV version of ‘Pride and Prejudice’, when Mr Darcy gazes adoringly at Elizabeth Bennett across the piano, it is Catherine Bott to whom he is listening.
Between 2003 and 2013 she wrote and presented more than 300 editions of Radio 3’s long-running ‘Early Music Show’ and was one of the regular presenters of live evening concerts. In 2013, she came under contract to Classic FM where her Sunday Night programme ‘Everything you ever wanted to know about Classical Music’ explores a different topic each week, from the evolution of the overture to Elgar’s vocal music.
She continues to make feature programmes for Radio 4 where she is a member of the ‘Pick of the Week’ presenting team.
Catherine is a Fellow of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and an Honorary Fellow of the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance.
She became a patron of Hosking Houses Trust in 2009