After a successful year of running under their interim chorus master Darius Battiwalla, and after a highly competitive round of auditions in the spring, the Phil are happy to announce that Richard will be their new chorus master starting in the 2013-14 season.
I’m very excited to be taking on this illustrious and venerable choir in September, and can’t wait to throw my energy into the organisation and the city of Leeds! I’m very passionate about the ability of amateur singing to bring communities together, and few choirs could boast such an enduring and central role within a city’s cultural community as ‘The Phil’. In my mind, Leeds was the beating heart of late-Victorian symphonic choral music – don’t mention that to my colleagues down the M62 at the Hallé! – and I’m thrilled to be playing a part in this proud heritage.
The role of a chorus master is as much about energy and passion, as it is about fixing wrong notes, and my approach to choir training is high-octane and, I hope, entertaining! My experience as a professional singer gives me the tools to teach choirs about vocal technique, and to coax the very best sound out of the available voices. Having worked with the choir earlier in the year, I was very encouraged by the quality of voices on offer, and am confident that with hard work, the Philharmonic will consistently achieve musical results of the very highest quality. Furthermore, the 2013-14 season is shaping up to be extremely exciting, with plenty of opportunities for our singers to get to know some real masterpieces, of which you can guarantee we’ll give memorable performances for singers and audience alike!”