Classical and jazz singer shares the ups and downs of life on the road and how to make money in between. Heather Cairncross, is of course, also lucky enough to be Nicola’s sister
Heather’s uniquely versatile voice has allowed her to sing successfully at the highest level internationally in many musical genres.
Her career has included concert performances at Carnegie Hall with Stephane Grappelli, operas at La Scala, Milan, and solo engagements with the world’s leading ensembles including the Chicago, Boston and London Symphony Orchestras.
A specialist in both contemporary and baroque music, Heather sings with Steve Reich and Musicians as well as being a member of, and soloist for Sir John Eliot Gardiner’s Monteverdi Choir (which Gramophone Magazine voted Best Choir in the World in 2010).
She is equally in demand in the recording studio. In addition to the fifteen albums she recorded as a member of a cappella group The Swingle Singers, she has sung for artists such as Tony Bennett, Björk, Mike Oldfield and Michael Jackson. She has also recorded many film scores including Lord Of The Rings, Harry Potter, Star Wars and La Vie en Rose (BAFTA 2008 winner).
Heather premiered David Newton’s Jazz Song Cycle Portrait of a Woman in 2009 and they have enjoyed collaborating ever since. He has been voted Best Pianist by the British Jazz awards eleven times.
Together, they recorded a CD called At Last which Walter Love on BBC Radio Ulster’s Jazz Club described as “a remarkable example of empathy and understanding…as near to perfect as you’re likely to get.”
At the time of this recording, Heather was just back from a tour of China and had a busy year which included appearances at the Lincoln Centre as a soloist with the NY Philharmonic and at the Glastonbury Festival with Jonny Greenwood from Radiohead.
Just Jazz Magazine wrote of her CD “I am not overstating it to suggest this recording is absolutely exceptional…..it is as good as any vocal album I have ever heard for a very long time. Just superb!”
And All About Jazz said “When Cairncross sings……she makes every word count. Her voice, technically excellent and emotionally engaging, gives each lyric a very personal perspective, as if these are her stories, not just her interpretation of others’ tales. It’s the mark of a great jazz vocalist.”
Chosen from over a thousand applicants to attend a special day at BBC centre to encourage more women into local radio presenting, Heather has just got a date for her first stint on Radio Sussex – watch this space…