Interim Musical Director
Training and directing choirs and orchestras has been central to Philip’s life and career since he made his conducting debut with the Bedfordshire Youth Chamber Orchestra at the age of 16. In his home county, in Edinburgh as a music student, and then in various parts of the UK, he has worked with adult ensembles and with young musicians encompassing a wide range of repertoires and types of performance – choirs specialising in music for the liturgy being balanced by entirely secular groups, including opera.
Teaching successively in Gloucestershire, County Durham, Worcestershire and more recently in Edinburgh (where he is Director of Music at St.George’s School for Girls), Philip has amassed great experience of coaching and training young choirs and voices, gaining regional and national awards, and making recordings and broadcasts on local and national media. He is particularly proud of the number of new works commissioned by and for groups under his direction including pieces from composers Andrew Carter, Richard Lloyd, and Will Todd.
Active as a string player, organist, and singer, Philip has performed under leading figures in the choral and orchestral sphere including David Willcocks, Rudolf Schwarz, and Aaron Copland, and appeared in the premiere of Edward Harper’s opera ‘Fanny Robin’ and in the first British staging of Rameau’s ‘Les Indes Galantes’.
A commitment to the development of music in the wider sphere has led to active involvement in, and membership of, the governing bodies of The Association of British Choral Directors and the Music Masters and Mistresses Association, including work in their development and in organising and running local and national events and conferences. Philip is a regular contributor to professional publications, writing articles and reviews of new publications and recordings for ABCD, MMA, and the Viola da Gamba Society. He is an examiner for the SQA and is in demand as an organist and vocal coach.
Philip is looking forward to an exciting year as Interim Musical Director of Cadenza which will culminate in the choir’s Festival Fringe concert in August 2015 when together they will give the Scottish premiere of Will Todd’s Mass in Blue, with the composer leading the jazz ensemble.