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Bob Chilcott

Bob Chilcott - Photographer Benjamin CurtisBob Chilcott is one of the most active composers and choral conductors in Britain today.

He has been involved in choral music most of his life - he was a chorister in the choir of King's College, Cambridge, and sang the Pie Jesu on the renowned 1967 King's recording of Fauré's Requiem, conducted by Sir David Willcocks. He returned to King's as a Choral Scholar, and between 1985 and 1997 was a member of the British vocal group The King's Singers.  He has been a full time composer since 1997.

Over the last eight years, Bob has poured his energy into choral composition, conducting, and promoting choral singing throughout the world. He is well-known for his compositions for children's choir, including his piece Can you hear me? which he has conducted in the United States, Canada, Australia, Japan, Estonia, Latvia, Germany, and  the Czech Republic. He is also associated with the New Orleans Children's Chorus and the Crescent City Festival in New Orleans, for whom he has written five pieces including Jazz Mass, Happy Land and Be Simple Little Children. In 2005 the Cotswold Children's Choir, conducted by Hilary Tadman-Robins, and accompanied by Sir Philip Ledger released Spells, an album of some his more well-known children's choir music.

He is equally active as a composer of mixed-voice music. He has been the commissioned composer for the last three festivals for the Alliance for Arts and Understanding, promoting singing for boys' and men's voices, and pieces for this festival include In the heart of the world and The Dove and the Olive Leaf. Of his larger work, The Making of the Drum, a cantata for choir and percussion, has been extensively performed by choirs including The BBC Singers, the Tower New Zealand Youth Choir, the Chamber Choir of Europe and the Taipei Chamber Singers. In 1999 the Finnish Choir Grex Musicus conducted by Marjukka Riihimaki released The Making of the Drum, an album of music for mixed choir by Bob.  His two larger sacred works, Jubilate and Canticles of Light have also been performed extensively. In November 2005 Bob conducts Jubilate in New York's Carnegie Hall.

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He has also written two contrasting works for professional and amateur perfomers to perform together, commissioned by Making Music. The first, A Sporting Chance, was written for Onyx Brass and primary school choirs, and the second, Tandem, a work for two orchestras was commissioned in conjunction with BBC Radio Three.

As a conductor Bob has worked extensively with choirs and festivals throughout the world. For seven years he was conductor of the Chorus at the Royal College of Music in London. He is Principal Guest Conductor of the BBC Singers, with whom he works regularly in studio recordings and concerts, and he has also guest conducted the RIAS Kammerchor in Berlin, and the Elmer Iseler Singers in Toronto. He has twice been featured conductor for the youth project at Festival 500 in Newfoundland, and has conducted at festivals throughout Canada and the United States, including The World of Children's Choirs in Vancouver, the Niagara and Toronto International Choral Festivals, and in 2003 was the first non-American conductor to conduct a National Honor Choir for the American Choral Directors Association, and this he did in New York City. He has been a featured conductor for Europa Cantat in Sweden, Germany and Belgium, and in 2004 he conducted for the first time at the renowned Dartington International Music Festival in Britain. He has also been a featured conductor for the Japan Choral Association, and in 2004 was the first foreign conductor to conduct at the Song Festival in Tallinn, Estonia.

Bob Chilcott is available as a guest conductor and clinician for workshops world-wide.  His music is published by Oxford University Press.

To visit Bob Chilcott's web site click here

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