2011-2012 Season Conductors
Principal Conductor: Sarah Tenant-Flowers
Sarah Tenant-Flowers studied music at Oxford and Durham universities, arts administration at Roehampton and conducting with Sir Charles Groves, Peter Erdei from the Liszt Academy, Laszlo Heltay and Alan Hazeldine from the Guildhall. The numerous choirs with which she has worked include the Cape Town Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra, the Kantorei der Friedenskirche of Düsseldorf, Reading Bach Choir, Guildford, Croydon and Sevenoaks Philharmonic Choirs, Newbury Spring Festival Chorus, and Harlow Chorus, one of the UK's most innovative amateur choirs. Sarah is currently on the council of the Association of British Choral Directors, co-director of Encoro, Choir Director of the University of Nottingham, and artistic director of Singscape.
Launched in 2000, Singscape is an ensemble of professional singers whose performances consistently push the boundaries of repertoire and presentation beyond the choral norm, via collaborations with artists working in numerous different media. Forthcoming projects include a dance collaboration project with composer and singer Roderick Williams and recordings of Chesnokov's Panihida and contemporary Russian Orthodox music for Classical Communications.
Sarah is Associate Music Director of the Brandenburg Sinfonia, with whom she works regularly in London, throughout the UK and overseas, and orchestras and period ensembles which she has directed include the Britten Sinfonia, City of London Sinfonia, City of London Chamber Players, Ensemble Bash, Fiori Musicali and the Alberni and Brandenburg Symphony Orchestras. In addition to her conducting engagements Sarah leads choral directing and singing workshops and seminars throughout the UK, teaching for both the Association of British Choral Directors and Sing for Pleasure, and is a professional arts management consultant. Former posts include administrator of the Menuhin International Violin and televised Choir of the Year Competitions, Artistic Director of Music at Oxford, and General Manager of The Sixteen conducted by Harry Christophers, with whom she has worked worldwide.
In 2008 Sarah made her debut with the National Chamber Choir of Ireland and the Hilliard Ensemble, conducting a performance of Pärt's Passio in the presence of the composer for RTE's Living Music Festival and also featured on BBC2's TV series 'Maestro', coaching actor and comedian Bradley Walsh. Recent concerts include performances at St Martin-in-the-Fields, London with Alex James, English Baroque Choir and Encoro. Forthcoming engagements include visual and dance multimedia projects with Singscape, première recordings of works by Bernard Rose and Vaughan Williams with Encoro, and a choral theatre collaboration with the Gate Theatre, Notting Hill.
Described by the Observer newspaper as "a contemporary hero of British Choral Music", Bob Chilcott has worked tirelessly over the past thirteen years as a full-time composer and choral conductor. He has over 125 pieces published by Oxford University Press, and versions of several of his pieces are published in German, Swedish, Norwegian, Slovenian, and Icelandic.
Over the past two years two larger-scale works have been premièred - Salisbury Vespers in May 2009 by 600 musicians in Salisbury Cathedral, and in March 2010 Requiem was premièred by Nicholas Cleobury, The Oxford Bach Choir, and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra to great critical acclaim. The cantata The Making of the Drum has been performed across the globe, as has A Little Jazz Mass in both mixed and upper-voice versions, and his catalogue of music for upper- voices has gained a large following throughout the world.
Since 2002 Bob has been Principal Guest Conductor of the BBC Singers in London. He has also conducted many other distinguished choirs including The RIAS Kammerchor in Berlin, the Vancouver Chamber Choir, Jauna Musika in Lithuania, The World Youth Choir, The Tower New Zealand Youth Choir, and the Taipei Chamber Singers. Over the coming year he will conduct the Wroclaw Philharmonic Choir and begin a two-year project with The Kyoto Echo Choir in Japan. He regularly leads singing days for communities and schools in Britain, and over the past twelve years has conducted and given workshops in 23 countries worldwide. In 2011 he will be Composer-in- Residence at Festival 500 in Newfoundland, Canada, and will also give workshops at the 9th IFCM World Choral Symposium in Patagonia.
He has two critically acclaimed recordings on the Signum label, The Making of the Drum with the BBC Singers and Making Waves with the women's choir The Sirens. His music has been recorded by many other choirs including King's College Choir, Cambridge, The Cambridge Singers, The Sixteen, Westminster Abbey Choir, Grex Musicus from Helsinki, and The Chamber Choir of Europe. He wrote the title track for the newly-released King's Singers album, Swimming over London and his piece Irish Blessing was featured on the multi-platinum debut album of The Priests.
Peter is currently Deputy Head: Vocal Learning and Initial Curriculum at Berkshire Maestros, the young musicians' trust delivering music education for 8000 young people across the county, having previously been Head of Voice there for four years. Before that, Peter was Head of Music at Chipping Norton Secondary School for nine years and, thanks to his hard work, the school gained status as a Performing Arts College from September 2004, putting it firmly at the centre of artistic activity in the Chipping Norton community. From 2000-2002 Peter was also part-time Advisory Teacher for Oxfordshire's vocal strategy.
Peter studied Music at Dartington College of Arts where he was active in promoting chamber choir singing. Peter has a wide experience of school teaching at primary and secondary levels, and was one of the first Choral Animateurs to be appointed by the British Federation of Young Choirs when their outreach programme began in 1995. He is a keen and versatile choral singer, a passion that began with high-quality experiences in a chamber choir at school, and he has sung in many groups including the New London Chamber Choir, with whom he toured extensively performing professional programmes.
As a choir trainer and conductor, Peter works with all ages and abilities, but regularly with school students. He was co-founder of the highly acclaimed Oxfordshire Youth Chamber Choir, and has been musical director of adult and children's groups over many years. This broad experience of singing work and education has led to publications, and in 1999 he was consultant for the BBC's re-launch of their successful radio series Singing Together. He is the inspiration behind a series of publications with Oxford University Press called Voiceworks - a handbook for singing, which have proved to be extremely popular as a support for anyone wishing to develop singing with groups. Its wealth of eclectic material and useful support teaching notes have made it a significant contributor to the revival of singing in many counties across the UK, and its versatility has led to a total of nine Voiceworks publications. Peter has also collaborated with Bob Chilcott on a new choral series called Songstream with publishers OUP, which presents new and refreshing music from across the world to young choral singers.