I studied music and musicology at Oxford University, where I sang as a choral scholar at New College under the direction of Edward Higginbottom. After some graduate work at New College, I won an award to St. Peter’s College for further work on Richard Wagner. At St. Peter’s, I was appointed Director of Musical Performance, and taught courses on eighteenth, nineteenth and early twentieth-century music history for Oxford and Stanford Universities. I was then appointed Director of Music at Oxford’s University Church, where I now divide my time between academic and performing work.
My interests are in opera and aesthetics, and I am currently working on a D.Phil. on Richard Wagner with the philosopher Roger Scruton. My performing has also led me to explore lieder and the music of the renaissance, and I sang and recorded with the award-winning Brabant Ensemble for a number years. I co-founded the company Hand Made Opera, and conducted six operas in touring productions. I also worked with the company on its courses for choral and opera singers in Italy and the United Kingdom, and with its work supporting a number of festivals in the UK.
Over the last few years, I have been expanding my choral conducting with an increasing amount of work with young voices. In Oxford, I am Director of The Hildegard Choir -three choirs for girls in Oxfordshire aged between 6 and 18. Our latest CD, So sweet a melody, received excellent reviews, and our future projects include collaborations with Michael Chance in The Botanic Gardens in Oxford, and concerts in London with John Lubbock and The Orchestra of St. John’s. I also spent a few weeks of this year in Zimbabwe, leading workshops for around 1600 children in schools across Harare and Bulawayo.
Recently, I have been involved with The New Culture Forum in London, and have written a chapter on music and education for their recent book, A Sorry State: Self-denigration in British Culture (ed. Peter Whittle).