People

Richard Wilberforce

Artistic Director and Conductor

Richard Wilberforce closeup

Richard Wilberforce trained at St John’s College, Cambridge and the Royal College of Music, where he was the recipient of a number of awards. His career as a countertenor led him to sing solo roles in many of Europe’s principal opera houses, such as the Staatsoper unter den Linden, the Tiroler Landestheater Innsbruck, the Théâtre du Capitole and the Grand Théâtre de Provence, and with such conductors as René Jacobs, John Eliot Gardiner and Christian Curnyn.

Richard has just completed a 4 year term as Director of the Hallé Youth Choir, and continues to work with many of the country’s leading choirs, including, the Leeds Philharmonic Chorus as Chorus Master, the Exon Singers as Conductor and Artistic Director, and English Voices as Associate Artistic Director, as well as the London Philharmonic Choir, the BBC Symphony Chorus, and the Hallé Choir. He has previously directed the Choir of the American Cathedral in Paris, the Orlando Chamber Choir and Dorking Choral Society, whom he led to overall victory in the 2012 Leith Hill Music Festival. He has conducted at the Royal Albert Hall, the Bridgewater Hall and the Royal Festival Hall.

Richard has conducted the Hallé Orchestra, the Bristol Ensemble and the National Festival Orchestra. He chorus-mastered Richard Jones’s Olivier Award nominated production of Ariodante, conducted the off-stage chorus for Simon McBurney’s Die Zauberflöte, and conducted Flavio. Richard’s own compositions have been recorded and broadcast.

During this season Richard has conducted Shadwell Opera’s production of O’Regan’s Heart of Darkness in London, James Burton’s The Convergence of the Twain, and Rachmaninov’s Vespers. He also made his Royal Opera House debut singing in the chorus of Gluck’s Orphée.

 

David Hill

President

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I am delighted to be President of the Exon Singers, a group I have admired for many years.

I am thrilled that Richard Wilberforce has become Artistic Director and Conductor of the Exon Singers, following on from 15 years of outstanding choral leadership of the choir by Matthew Owens. Richard is a first class musician, singer, composer and conductor, and someone who I have known since his time as a choral scholar at St John’s, Cambridge. I wish him and all associated with the Exon Singers every good wish for the future.

There are exciting plans ahead and I would urge as many people as possible to take the opportunity to hear the group ‘live’ in one of their many concerts or on their CDs and future broadcasts.

Choral singing and the ‘English Choral Tradition’ is at the heart of our national musical life. The Exon Singers are an intrinsic part of this heritage and their contribution of excellence in this field is unquestionable.

David Hill

Chief Conductor, BBC Singers
Conductor, The Bach Choir