Clifton Massey


Clifton Massey enjoys performing a variety of vocal styles with world-class musicians. Praised for his “depth of tone” by the Dallas Morning News and “expressive, moving” singing by San Francisco Classical Voice, he strives for informed interpretations of styles from the Middle Ages to newly-composed pieces. Known for a deep commitment to musical excellence, Clifton is often sought for oratorio and ensemble work throughout the Bay Area and beyond.

At home on the concert and opera stage, he has appeared as Apollo in Albinoni’s Il Nascimento dell’Aurora with City Concert Opera, the sorceress in Purcell’s King Arthur at the Bloomington Early Music Festival, and as soloist with notable period-instrument groups including Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, Concert Royal NYC, American Bach Soloists, and the Dallas Bach Society. He has collaborated with such renowned conductors as Nicholas McGegan, Michael Tilson Thomas, Skitch Henderson, John Holloway, and Paul Hillier. An eclectic taste in music has led to work with ensembles as diverse as electronica composers, bluegrass bands, gospel choirs, and vocal jazz groups.

A proponent of high-level ensemble singing, Clifton sang with the award-winning ensemble Chanticleer with whom he performed over 200 concerts, including the Tanglewood Music Festival, Ravinia Festival, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Tokyo Opera City and in a variety of the world’s finest concert halls. With them, he can be heard as a soloist on their recording “Sound in Spirit”. In 2006, a group of alumni from that ensemble formed Clerestory, an acapella men’s ensemble with whom Clifton can be heard on their upcoming CD “Night Draws Near” available in October. As an educator, Clifton seeks to instill a love of music and singing with young adults, and is often sought as a choral clinician and adjudicator.

Clifton is a native of Dallas, Texas and holds a music education Bachelor’s from Texas Christian University and a Masters in Early Music vocal performance from Indiana University, where he studied with Paul Elliott, Alan Bennett and Paul Hillier.

background photo by Ya-Hsuan Huang