Sir Karl Jenkins CBE, FRAM, D.Mus. was appointed as Patron to the choir July 2007.
Karl Jenkins was born in South Wales in 1944. As a child he studied piano and oboe and later read music at the University of Wales and at the Royal Academy of Music.
He won awards as a jazz oboist and multi-instrumentalist working with, among others, Ronnie Scott. He co-founded Nucleus in 1972, winning first prize at the Montreal Jazz Festival, before joining Soft Machine.
A recent survey shows that Karl Jenkins is now the most performed living composer in the world with The Armed Man performed nearly 1000 times in over 20 countries.
He came to prominence with his Adiemus project. It found enormous popularity, topping classical and ‘pop’ charts around the world, gaining 17 gold or platinum album awards while performing in Tokyo, Madrid, London, Helsinki, Munich etc.
Karl has composed many prestigious commissions including the harp concerto commissioned by HRH the Prince of Wales, the concertante, Quirk, commissioned by the London Symphony Orchestra as part of its 2005 centenary season, works for the percussionist Evelyn Glennie and for several choirs and festivals. The Armed Man; A Mass for Peace, commissioned by the Royal Armouries for the millennium and premièred at the Royal Albert Hall, London has had hundreds of performances in recent years while the CD, featuring the National Youth Choir of Great Britain and the London Philharmonic Orchestra, has gained “Gold Disc” status in the UK.
CD releases include Requiem, which went to No. 1 in the UK classical charts, Kiri Sings Karl with Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, and This Land Of Ours, a musical celebration of Welsh culture featuring the Cory Band and the male choir, Only Men Aloud. Stabat Mater was released by EMI Classics on March 9th 2008 prior to the première at Liverpool Cathedral on March 15th and Quirk, a collection of concertos, was released in October 2008. Gloria was released on CD by EMI on 12th July 2010.
In 2004 Karl entered Classic FM’s “Hall of Fame” at No. 8, the highest position for a living composer. In 2006 he was ranked No. 4 amongst British composers. He was presented by Classic FM with the Red F award for ‘outstanding service to classical music@.
Karl holds a D.Mus degree from the University of Wales, has been made both a Fellow and an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music and has fellowships at Cardiff University, the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama, Trinity College Carmarthen, Swansea Institute. He was awarded an OBE by Her Majesty The Queen in the 2005 New Year’s Honours List for services to music, a COB in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2010, and a Knighthood in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2015.
Hilary Davan Wetton, appointed Artistic Director of Leicester Philharmonic Choir at the start of the 2012/2013 season.
As one of Britain’s most versatile and dynamic conductors has enjoyed a distinguished musical career as both conductor and teacher. He was a pupil of Sir Adrian Boult at the Royal College of Music and was awarded the Ricordi conducting prize in 1967. As well as his Artistic Directorship of the Leicester Philharmonic Choir he is also Musical Director of City of London Choir, Conductor Emeritus of the Guildford Choral Society and the Milton Keynes City Orchestra. Since 2010 he has also been Associate Conductor of the London Mozart Players, conducting them throughout the UK.
As a guest conductor he has appeared with the RPO, LPO, Philharmonia, English Chamber Orchestra, Hanover Band and orchestras in America, Iceland and Australia. He made his debut in Seattle with the Bremerton Orchestra and Chorus in Brahms’ Requiem on May 2009.
Hilary performs regularly on Radio 3. He has made many broadcasts with the BBC Concert Orchestra and conducted a series of first broadcasts of 19th century British symphonies with the Ulster Orchestra. He was musical consultant to the BBC1 series Play it Again and was seen on screen teaching Jo Brand to play the organ. for Classic FM he was presenter/conductor of the very successful Masterclass programme from 1990 – 1995.
He has a longstanding commitment to young people and was Director of Music at St Paul’s Girls’ School from 1979 – 1994 and at Tonbridge School from 1994 – 2006. He has been conductor of the Scottish Schools’ Orchestra, the Edinburgh Youth Orchestra, the Birmingham Schools’ Orchestra and the Buckingham shire Youth Orchestra. He had a ten year association with the National Children’s Orchestra, conducting their BBC Prom performance in 2000 and their 25th Anniversary Concerts in 2003. Hilary toured Europe with the Edinburgh Youth Orchestra and conducted the Edinburgh International Youth Orchestra during the Festival in 2002.
A Champion of nineteenth and twentieth century British composers, his many recordings of neglected works have been critically acclaimed. As founder/conductor of the Holst Singers, he made ground breaking recordings of Holst, Bliss, Britten and Vaughan Williams for Hyperion. He received the Diapason d’Or for Holst’s Choral Symphony (Hyperion, 1994) with the Guildford Choral Society. Finzi’s In Terra Pax with the CLC (Naxos, 2009) reached no. 2 in the Gramophone classical charts and enjoyed wide critical acclaim. Beethoven’s Der Glorreiche Augenblick (Naxos, 2012) has also been much admired, receiving a five star review in BBC Music Magazine.
He has been awarded honorary degrees by the Open University (MA) and De Montfort University (DMus); in July 2011 he was made an Honorary Fellow of the Birmingham Conservatoire.
Leicester Philharmonic Choir were pleased to announce the temporary appointment of Matthew Haynes as LPC Chorus Master from September 2016 for the Season. Matt’s tremendous energy, skill and enthusiasm to the choir were well used to prepare us for successful performances in this season, notably bringing new intensity to our performance of the Messiah which was much acclaimed.
Leicester Philharmonic Choir announced the appointment of Fraser Graham as accompanist in 2013.
Fraser graduated from Birmingham Conservatoire Music College in 2004, having studied under Malcolm Wilson and Simon Nicholls and now performs a wide variety of music. He is an active performer, soloist, accompanist and event pianist in the UK. Recent solo projects include his debut London recital at Steinway Hall and a Beethoven series, where Fraser performed five Beethoven Sonatas over five consecutive Friday lunchtimes, with donations going toward Macmillan Nurses.
In November 2013 Fraser was one of four finalists to take part in the Liszt Society Piano Competition at Goldsmiths University in London. Fraser regularly performs at the Dean and Chadlington Festival in Gloucestershire. In June 2014 Fraser accompanied the winner of their song competition, tenor Nick Pritchard, in a prize winners recital featuring Schumann’s Liederkreiss Op. 24 as well as solo works by Bach and Schubert.
Fraser also works with Midland Festival Chorus, Worcester, and in April 2015 took part in a workshop and performance of Czerny’s arrangement of Mozart’s Requiem for four hands. In the summer of 2015 Fraser performed a solo recital at Gateway Arts in Shrewsbury as part of their tea-time series featuring four pianists on each Thursday in June.
Fraser teaches privately, is a teacher and accompanist at Oakham School, Uppingham Community College and Loughborough University and we are extremely pleased, and fortunate, to have Fraser as the accompanist for the Leicester Philharmonic Choir.
Dr Stephen Bullamore, appointed Musical Director of Leicester Philharmonic Choir shall commence September 2017
Stephen Bullamore is an active and accomplished choral director, music editor and organist. In addition to his work with the Leicester Philharmonic Choir, he is Director of Music at St Mary Magdalene, Newark, Musical Director of the North Herts Guild of Singers and General Editor of Music 18.
Stephen started his musical life as a chorister York Minster. He studied as an undergraduate at Keble College, Oxford as Organ Scholar, where with the chapel choir he recorded a number of CDs, including part of Priory Records’ Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis series and broadcast live on BBC radio. In conjunction with his post at Keble, Stephen was Organist and Director of Music at St Mark’s, Swindon. Postgraduate study at Goldsmiths resulted in the degree of MMus in Historical Musicology, gained with Distinction. His PhD study of the Sacred Music of John Weldon was undertaken at Bangor University where he spent some time as a graduate teaching assistant.
He spent a year at Guildford Cathedral as Organ Scholar before moving to Lincoln Cathedral in 2001 as an Assistant Organist. From 2005 to 2013 he was Director of Music at Waltham Abbey. Tours with the Abbey choir included Guildford, Chichester, Chelmsford and Lincoln Cathedrals and they recorded a CD for the church’s 950th anniversary in 2010. He then spent a short period as director of Music at St Mary-le-Tower, Ipswich, where he founded a girls’ section to the choir.
Stephen was Musical Director of Barnet Choral Society from 2012 to 2014.
Stephen also directs Ferdinand’s Consort. Their CD output includes The Sacred Music of Thomas Morley, released on the Priory label, and a recording of the work of Thomas Tudway using editions especially prepared by Stephen. A recording of the Solo Anthems of John Weldon with tenor Mark Wilde is in the pipeline.
As an international examiner for the ABRSM, Stephen has travelled all around the UK and abroad listening to candidates in a wide variety of disciplines.