Conor Biggs studied voice with Evelyn Dowling (Dublin) and John Cameron (Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester). He also studied piano with Mabel Swainson and organ with Prof. Gerard Gillen. In 1983, with the help of a German government scholarship, he continued his organ studies with Ludwig Doerr (Freiburg). In 1982 he graduated with a degree in musicology from Trinity College, Dublin. Since 1992 Conor Biggs has lived in Belgium, where he is regularly in demand as a recitalist. He has performed with groups such as The Fires of London, Het Nederlands Kamerkoor, The BBC Northern Singers, Opera Theatre Company, Transparant, Nua Nós, Ex Tempore, Christ Church Baroque, Ricercar, Walpurgis, Currende, Huelgas, Psallentes, The Flemish Radio Orchestra, La Cetra d’Orfeo and Les Agrémens. Operatic performances include Il Commissario in Madama Butterfly, the Speaker in Die Zuaberflöte, Vitellius in Massenet’s Hérodiade, Dr Bartolo and Antonio in Le Nozze di Figaro and Don Alfonso in Così fan Tutte. Other opera rôles include Ben in Menotti’s The Telephone, Caront in Monteverdi’s Orfeo, l’Ami in Milhaud’s Le pauvre mâtelot and several roles in stage works by Peter Maxwell Davies, notably Eight Songs for a Mad King. He enjoys particular renowned for his interpretation of art songs.
His performances of the art song, or Lieder, repertoire with pianist Pádhraic Ó Cuinneagáin and Michel Stas in Ireland and Belgium have received great critical acclaim. Conor Biggs’s repertoire of more than 600 songs includes song cycles by Schubert, Schumann, Beethoven, Mahler, Shostakovitch, Mussorgsky, Poulenc, Brahms, Copland, Milhaud, Ravel and Eliott Carter.
In addition, he has commissioned and given the first performances of cycles by Irish composers such as Kevin O’Connell, James Wilson, Martin O’Leary and Michael McGlynn. In 2007 Conor Biggs pioneered the “What Makes a Great Song?” series of lecture recitals in order to make the song repertoire more accessible, and gave a total of fifteen such recitals, covering German, French, Russian, English and Italian repertoire in Ireland and Belgium, to critical acclaim. In 2011 Conor Biggs embarked on his monumental complete songs of Schubert project, Schubertreise, together with Belgian pianist Michel Stas. The series of thirty-eight recitals take place in the National Concert Hall, Dublin, and lasts ten years.
Conor Biggs has made solo recordings for Sony, Eufoda, (Buxtehude’s Membra Jesu Nostri), Vox Temporis, Cyprès (Campra’s Requiem) and Ars Sonor. His CD of Tchaikovsky songs with accompanist Pádhraic Ó Cuinneagáin was released on the Heliopolis label in March 2005. He has also made solo broadcasts for BBC Radio 3, RTE radio and television, Dutch television and Flemish and Walloon radio (Klara and Musiq3). He is a member of The Vlaams Radiokoor.