WILL DAWES (MUSICAL DIRECTOR) is the Conductor of Bath Choral Society, Conductor of Henley Choral Society, Director of Ensemble 45, Chorusmaster for Ludus Baroque, and Director of Music at the church of St Mary Magdalen, Oxford.
Will’s musical career started as a chorister at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, and as a member of the Berkshire Young Musicians Trust. He studied music at the University of Edinburgh and then Choral Conducting and Voice at the Royal Academy of Music under the direction of Patrick Russill, Paul Brough and David Lowe. There, he frequently conducted in the opera department and took part in masterclasses with conductors such as David Hill, Timo Nuorane and Stephen Layton. On graduating, he was awarded the Thomas Armstrong Prize for Choral Direction.
Will’s work with Henley Choral Society has seen performances of works ranging from the St John Passion (Bach) to The Company of Heaven (Britten), the latter being hailed as “a musical experience as exciting as you’d get at any major London venue”. As Chorusmaster to Ludus Baroque, he prepares the choir for their biannual performances of the great works by Handel and Bach, as well as for their recordings on the Delphian label. His work with Ensemble 45 (and its Edinburgh-based predecessor Edinburgh Camerata) has included national premieres of works by Pärt, Penderecki, Rautavaara and Whitacre alongside music by Brahms, Carver, Britten and Gabriel Jackson. A recent highlight was a performance of James MacMillan’s chamber opera Parthenogenesis.
Aside from his career as a conductor, Will is active as a consort singer and is a member of the internationally acclaimed and multiple-Grammy-nominated vocal ensemble Stile Antico. The group performs a large number of concerts all over the globe, so far including concerts at the Wigmore Hall, Cadogan Hall (BBC Proms), 25 different venues in the USA, Gloucester Cathedral (Cheltenham Festival) and the Thomaskirche, Leipzig, as well as Mexico, Portugal, Estonia and Canada. He is a former Lay Clerk of Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford, and has recently appeared as part of the Gabrieli Consort, Collegium Vocale Gent and Polyphony.
As a soloist, Will has sung works such as Carmina Burana (Orff), Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen (Mahler), and The Wound Dresser (Adams) as well as more canonic works by JS Bach and GF Handel. His one and only operatic role to date is that of Mr Gedge in Albert Herring. He studies with Giles Underwood.
For further information, including forthcoming performances, please visit www.willdawes.co.uk.