Musicians

 

Conductors

 

2017-2018 is a season of change for us and we are looking forward to singing with these three very special conductors who are well known to Oxford Bach Choir  members and audiences.

Benjamin Nicholas

 

VAUGHAN WILLIAMS A Sea Symphony

VAUGHAN WILLIAMS The Lark Ascending

HUBERT PARRY Blest Pair of Sirens

 

Benjamin Nicholas conducts Oxford Bach Choir and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra on Saturday 2 December 2017

at the Sheldonian Theatre Oxford at 7.30 pm

 

The choir has worked with Ben many times in the past, and we look forward to an exhilarating term when he will be conducting us in A Sea Symphony and Blest Pair of Sirens, and showing off the CBSO’s skills in The Lark Ascending on 2 December 2017.

Benjamin Nicholas has worked with numerous choirs and orchestras, most recently conducting the City of London Sinfonia, Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra, The Trondheim Soloists and The Holst Singers in works such as Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius, Vaughan Williams’ Sea Symphony, Holst’s Savitri and Duruflé’s Requiem. This season he makes his debuts with the CBSO and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

 

As Director of Music of Merton College, Oxford, Ben's work with the choir has been acclaimed through recordings on the Delphian label and broadcasts on the BBC, the most recent of which was a broadcast on Radio 3 from St Peter’s Basilica, The Vatican. He has directed the choir on tour in the USA, Sweden, Italy and France, and in world premieres of music by Birtwistle, Chilcott, Dove, Jackson, MacMillan, Tabakova and Weir. In earlier years Ben was a chorister at Norwich Cathedral before holding organ scholarships at Chichester Cathedral, Lincoln College, Oxford and St Paul’s Cathedral. At the age of twenty-three he became Director of the choir of men and boys at Tewkesbury Abbey where he remained until 2012. From 2011 -2016 he served the Edington Music Festival, firstly as conductor of the Schola and then as Festival Director.

 

As an organist, he has appeared with The Tallis Scholars, and his most recent recording, of Elgar’s organ works, was described by The Sunday Times as ‘a musical achievement…captivating”.

Libby Burgess

 

CAROLS FOR ALL

 

Libby Burgess conducts the Oxford Bach Choir with singers and Instrumentalists from Oxfordshire County Music Service on

Sunday 16 December 2017 at the Sheldonian Theatre Oxford at 7.30 pm

 

 

ROSSINI Petite Messe Solennelle

BRUCKNER Motets

 

Libby Burgess conducts the Oxford Bach Choir on Saturday 3 March 2018 at The Church of St John the Evangelist, Oxford OX4 1EH at 7.30 pm

 

Libby proved to be so popular when she took our rehearsals and concert for the annual Carols for All concert last year, that we have invited her back to do the same again this year. Libby will also be conducting our concert on 3 March 2018 – Rossini’s wonderful Petite Messe Solennelle (which is neither petite nor solemn) and a selection of Bruckner motets.

 

As a musician dedicated primarily to working with singers – as pianist, vocal coach and conductor - Libby has worked with choirs ranging from the BBC Singers to the King’s Consort and the Proms Youth Choir. She is regularly invited to give choral workshops and guest-conduct choirs throughout the country; she is highly regarded as a chorus master, in which role she collaborated with Sir Peter Maxwell Davies in the premiere of his Kommilitonen. 

 

Libby has conducted for the Ryedale Festival Opera and as a recitalist, she collaborates regularly with some of the finest singers and instrumentalists of her generation. Her diverse schedule ranges from song recitals in the UK’s major concert halls and festivals, to chamber music in obscure venues around the country or appearances on Radio 3.

 

Libby is Artistic Director of New Paths, a major new festival of concerts, outreach, and education events, which is now in its third year in Beverley, Yorkshire. Libby trained at Oxford, where she was the first female organ scholar at Christ Church, and the Royal Academy of Music.

Paul Spicer

 

Haydn Nelson Mass and Handel Dixit Dominus

HAYDN Nelson Mass

HANDEL Dixit Dominus

 

Paul Spicer conducts the Oxford Bach Choir with The Instruments of Time and Truth on Sunday 9 June 2018 at the Sheldonian Theatre Oxford at 7.30 pm

 

We are delighted to welcome Paul Spicer to conduct our summer concert on 9 June 2018 when we perform Haydn’s Nelson Mass and Handel’s Dixit Dominus. Paul proved very popular when he conducted our Come & Sing event in 2016 and we are looking forward to working with him again.

Paul is one of the UK’s most influential choral conductors. He came to prominence through his work with the Finzi Singers and their recordings for Chandos Records. He conducts the Birmingham Bach Choir and the Birmingham Conservatoire Chamber Choir with whom he has made many acclaimed recordings.

 

He teaches choral conducting at Birmingham Conservatoire and at Oxford and Durham universities. He was Senior Producer for BBC Radio 3 in the Midlands until 1990 and went on to become Artistic Director of the Lichfield Festival. He left that post in 2001 to devote himself to conducting, composing and writing.

 

Major compositions include Easter and Advent Oratorios and a choral symphony Unfinished Remembering commemorating the centenary of the start of the First World War. As an author he has written biographies of his composition teacher, Herbert Howells, and of Sir George Dyson. He is currently writing a biography of Sir Arthur Bliss.

 

Amongst other activities Paul is Chairman of the Sir George Dyson Trust and a lay member of the Chapter of Lichfield Cathedral. Paul conducted our highly successful Come & Sing event on Vaughan William’s A Sea Symphony in October 2016

Josef Laming

Josef Laming

Accompanist

 

Josef Laming is the organ scholar at New College, Oxford, where he is reading music. Growing up in Leicester, he was a chorister at Leicester Cathedral and studied the organ with Jonathan Gregory and Nigel Allcoat. In 2012 he moved to Oundle School for sixth form on a music and academic scholarship. During his time there, he performed Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 3 with the school orchestra at the Royal College of Music, gained a distinction in his DipABRSM on the piano, and directed Haydn's Symphony No. 6 from the harpsichord.

 

Joe spent his gap-year as the organ scholar at Gloucester Cathedral and was also the accompanist to Wycliffe Choral Society.

Deborah Miles-Johnson

Voice Coach

 

Deborah Miles-Johnson has worked with the Oxford Bach Choir for the past five years. She works extensively as a vocal coach for a number of choirs alongside her singing career as a mezzo-soprano. Her choral workshops are much in demand around the UK and further afield. She has worked with most of the world’s leading conductors and has broadcast frequently for the BBC and Classic FM.

 

Deborah has a diverse musical life, being active in contemporary repertoire which has included recording the backing music for various films such as Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter.

 

OBC has performed with many top British orchestras

Orchestras

 

Oxford Bach Choir are privileged to perform with outstanding professional soloists and orchestras, which we feel greatly enhances the enjoyment and standard of our performances.

 

Orchestras have included the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (with whom the Choir performed Beethoven's Missa Solemnis and Delius' A Mass of Life in Symphony Hall, Birmingham, in the 1990s), the BBC Concert Orchestra and the New Queen's Hall Orchestra.

 

In the relatively recent past we have performed with the Philharmonia, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, the Britten Sinfonia and Charivari Agréable, and have collaborated frequently with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the London Mozart Players and the English Chamber Orchestra.

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