Musical Director

Richard Wilberforce

Richard 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 has led to him singing solo roles in many of Europe's principal opera houses, including the Staatsoper unter den Linden, the Tiroler Landestheater Innsbruck, the Théâtre du Capitole and the Grand Théâtre de Provence. He continues to sing regularly with the Monteverdi Choir.

After an early success with the BBC Proms Young Composer Competition, Richard made composition the main focus of his time at Cambridge University, where he studied with Robin Holloway and Giles Swayne. Richard's compositions are published by Boosey and Hawkes and RSCM Press. His works are performed globally and have been recorded and broadcast by a number of leading choirs. 

He was for five years Director of the Hallé Youth Choir, working closely with Sir Mark Elder. He was, until taking up his position in 2018 as our Musical Director, Chorus Master of Leeds Philharmonic Chorus, He is conductor and Artistic Director of the Exon Singers and Associate Artistic Director of English Voices. He continues to work with many of the UK's leading choirs, guest directing the London Philharmonic Choir, the BBC Symphony Chorus and the Huddersfield Choral Society. Richard shares his time between the UK and Paris, where he conducts the Jeune Choeur de Paris and Maîtrise de Paris, and teaches choral direction at the Conservatoire à Rayonnement Régional de Paris. He has acted as chorus master for productions at the Philharmonie de Paris, the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence, and the Opéra de Rouen.

Richard brings to CU Symphony Chorus a wealth of talent and experience, having beaten off fierce competition for the post. In 2017, he rehearsed and directed an acclaimed performance of Handel Israel in Egypt with the Chorus in Saffron Hall. We very much look forward to Richard taking the Chorus to ever-greater heights in the years to come.

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