Peter Leech


Peter Leech

Music Director (1999 - 2008)

 

Peter was conductor of the Bristol Bach Choir for ten years from 1999 to 2008. He is currently conductor of Aylesbury Choral Society and Taunton Camerata, enjoying a busy career in the UK and abroad as a  guest conductor, lecturer, broadcaster, musicologist and workshop-leader, with additional freelance work as a singer, continuo player and percussionist. He is Chairman of the South West Early Music Forum and an Honorary Research Fellow in the Department of History, Swansea University.

In 2003 Peter won first prize at the Fondazione Mariele Ventre International Competition for Choral Conductors (Bologna), including the Silver Cup of the Italian Republic for an outstanding cultural achievement. He returned to Italy to direct Coro Euridice di Bologna at the 2005 Ravenna Festival and continues to be involved with the FMV in Bologna. In July 2008 he appeared at the York Early Music Festival and later that month his specialist ensemble Cappella Fede made their debut performance in Liverpool.

In the UK Peter has conducted the Cathedral Singers of Christ Church, Oxford, the City of Oxford Choir, Royal Scottish National Orchestra Chorus, Esterhazy Chamber Choir and Orchestra, Chandos Chamber Choir, Frideswide Ensemble, Wells Tallis Choristers, Canzona, The Delightful Companions, Yeovil Chamber Choir, Bristol Philharmonic Orchestra, Stowe Opera Orchestra and Chameleon Arts Orchestra. He has also appeared with the City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong. Workshop directorships have included Harpenden Choral Society, Cheltenham Choral Society, Nailsea Choral Society, Wyncantores and Early Music Fora throughout the UK.

A graduate of the Elder Conservatorium and Victorian College of the Arts (Australia), Peter commenced doctoral studies at Anglia University (Cambridge) in 1996 whilst lecturing at Colchester Institute. He completed his thesis, 'Music and Musicians of the Stuart Catholic Courts, 1660-1718' in 2004. From 1996-1999 he performed regularly at the Suffolk Villages Festival and from 2000-04 sang with the Cambridge Taverner Choir, choir of St. George's Hanover Square, St. Margaret's Westminster, St. Mary le Bow and other professional London choirs.

Peter's scholarly activities include contributions to the Revised New Grove (2000), reviews for Early Music (OUP) and specialisation in English seventeenth-century Catholic music, art and literature. His critical edition of rediscovered keyboard music by the Jesuit composer Antoine Selosse (1621-87) has been recently published by Edition HH. His discography includes music by various Bachs, Spanish Renaissance masters and Russian Orthodox music and world premiere recordings of works by British composers, the American composer Edward Collins ('Hymn to the Earth', RSNO/Alsop, 2003) and the Australian composer Martin Wesley-Smith’s, 'Quito', with The Song Company (Sydney, 1996), which received numerous Classical Music awards. Other performances premieres have included works by Samuel Wesley, Innocenzo Fede, Thomas Linley Junior, Ian Higginson, Richard Pantcheff, Scott McIntyre, Jonathan Lloyd, Tarik O'Regan and Michael Stimpson.

Find out more about him at his website www.peterleech.com

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