Dominic Ellis-Peckham :
Dominic Ellis-Peckham is a conductor, chorus master, education specialist, author, workshop director and presenter. A Fellow of the Royal Society for Arts, Dominic has been commended by reviewers as 'a latent star' and praised for his dedication to unique performance experiences and equality and access in music making, whilst also passionately championing new music and delivering inspirational collaborations on stage and in the education sector. Dominic has prepared choruses in opera houses, festivals and on the concert stage for BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, English National Opera, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. and The Bach Choir.
Internationally renowned for his conducting and pioneering educational work, Dominic appears regularly on TV and Radio as a presenter and choral expert, most notably for BBC2, BBC Radio 3 & 4 and SkyArts. In 2016 he published his first book with Bloomsbury Publishing entitled ‘Inspire your Choir’. Recent appearances and perfomances have taken him to the USA, Kenya, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Qatar, Singapore, Nepal, Bangkok, the Netherlands, Kuala Lumpur, and China.
Dominic also embraces cross-genre collaborations and commercial performance, including TV broadcasts, arena appearances, recordings and arranging with international contemporary artists. He has conducted projects at Abbey Road, Air Studios, Angel Studios and for Deutsche Grammophon, Whistle Records, Signum Records, Sky, and BBC. Most recently his credits include collaborations with Madonna, Pete Townsend, BAFTA, Sir Paul McCartney, Rachel Fuller, Disney, Lulu, and Will.I.Am; and his releases have reached No.1 in both the US Classical Billboard Charts and the UK Specialist Charts.
Dominic is Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of Chamber Choir of London, Chorus Master for Opera Holland Park, a Guest Conductor for London Mozart Players, Guest Chorus Master for The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Associate Principal Conductor of The National Youth Choirs of Great Britain, Visiting Lecturer at the University of Oxford, Musical Director of London Oriana Choir and Music Director of Aldeburgh Voices, Chorus Director and Visiting Artist at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance and Ambassador for Friday Afternoons from Britten Pears Arts.
He regularly conducts The Meridian Sinfonia and London Mozart Players, and performs throughout the UK on concert stages including The Royal Albert Hall, The Barbican, Birmingham Symphony Hall, Usher Hall, Bridgewater Hall and Wigmore Hall. Forever a collaborator, Dominic has worked alongside Sir Simon Rattle, Stephane Deneve, Sir Richard Hickox, Bernard Labadie, Edward Gardner OBE, Sian Edwards, Simon Halsey CBE, David Hill, Robert Ziegler, Michael Hofstetter, Keri-Lynn Wilson, Christopher Bell, Vassily Sinaisky, Sir David Willcocks CBE, Lorin Maazel, Stefan Bevier, Roger Vignoles and John Rutter CBE.
Recent performances include projects in Hong Kong, the Netherlands, Italy, Germany and Oman. This summer Dominic rejoined Opera Holland Park as Chorus Master for Janacek's 'The Cunning Little Vixen' and Mascagni's 'L'Amico Fritz' and enjoyed collaborations with Southbank Centre, a world premiere with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Chamber Choir of London. His first season as Music Director of Aldeburgh Voices commenced in August with performances at the Red House of Britten's 'Five Flower Songs'.
Listen to Dominic's latest releases from Chamber Choir of London on Apple Music, Spotify and other music services
Nicholas Chalmers :
Nicholas Chalmers is widely recognised as having established some of the most exciting and highly successful artistic and education projects in recent years. Nicholas has been the artistic director of Nevill Holt Opera since the creation of the festival in 2013. His direction has seen this award winning festival produce 7 new operas, revive 5 productions, and create a nationally recognised education and young artist programme.
In addition to his work with Nevill Holt Opera, Nicholas is a founding artistic director of Second Movement. Their ‘Rough for Opera’ series has commissioned and showcased more than 40 young composers and librettists. With his long term collaborator, director Oliver Mears, he has created over 20 productions.
With Nevill Holt Opera, Nicholas has conducted The Magic Flute, La Bohème, The Turn of the Screw, Carmen, Rigoletto, The Elixir of Love, Tosca, Noye’s Fludde, Le Nozze di Figaro, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Cosí fan tutte.
For Second Movement he has conducted Mozart and Salieri, Trouble in Tahiti, The Medium and Impresario, Les Deux Aveugles, Rothschild’s Violin and The Knife’s Tears. Conducting engagements with Northern Ireland Opera include The Medium, Tosca (Best Opera - Irish Times Theatre Awards), The Turn of the Screw, Noye’s Fludde (Belfast Zoo, Beijing and Shanghai), The Flying Dutchman, The Bear, Macbeth, The Magic Flute, Salome, Don Giovanni, Powder Her Face and Cosí fan tutte.
Nicholas works with the major UK orchestras and choirs. Most recently with The BBC Singers, Royal Northern Sinfonia, Britten Sinfonia, The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, The English Chamber Orchestra and The Ulster Orchestra. He is the Associate Conductor of the London Oriana Choir and Organist and Director of Music at St Jude-on-the-hill, Hampstead Garden Suburb. He has been on the music staff at English National Opera, Westminster Abbey, St Paul’s Cathedral and Chichester Cathedral. Nicholas studied music at Lincoln College, Oxford and the Piacenza Conservatoire.
Future engagements include Bernstein’s A Quiet Place at The Royal Opera House where Nicholas is a Senior Associate Artist (Opera) and the curator of the ROH Opera Nation ‘Songbook’ (a book of famous opera aria arrangements for 14-18 year olds). At Covent Garden, Nicholas also leads the Sing at ROH programme and works with the youth opera company. Nicholas made his BBC Proms conducting debut in 2020 with the BBC Singers at the first night of the festival.
Aimee Presswood :
Aimee completed a Masters in vocal performance at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, where she studied singing with Sophie Grimmer. Whilst at Trinity, she won First Prize in the Roy Pleasance Competition and in the English Song Competition, and was joint winner of the Elisabeth Schumann Lieder Prize, the latter two with her duo partner Neus Peris. Aimee recently won second prize in the recital class at the David Clover Singers' Platform, and was a finalist in the opera class. Aimee graduated from the University of Manchester with a first class degree in Music in 2014, specialising in vocal performance and musicology. She grew up in Hong Kong and South Africa before returning to the UK aged 9.
As a soloist, Aimee performs a range of opera, oratorio and lieder. Recent operatic roles include Lucy (Menotti's The Telephone) and Virtù (L'incoronazione di Poppea). She has sung Mahler’s Fourth Symphony with Halesowen Symphony Orchestra and with the University of Manchester Symphony Orchestra, and was a soloist in Bach's Magnificat and Cantata 191 with The Suffolk Ensemble at the Snape Maltings Concert Hall. In May 2019 she will sing Iphis in Grantham Choral Society's Jephtha. Aimee enjoys performing contemporary music; she recently premiered Rotem Sherman's song cycle 'Little Matters' with the Trinity Laban wind orchestra, sang in Daniel Chappell's new ballet-opera 'Liturgie' with Spectra Ensemble which appeared at the 2017 Tête-á-Tête festival, and in 2017 was part of Oliver Beer's live installation 'Resonance Project'at Thaddaeus Ropac's Mayfair gallery.
As a choral singer, Aimee has sung with groups including The Sixteen, Armonico Consort, Siglo d'Oro, Reverie and Turton Consort. She is a member of the new Chamber Choir of London, and was in the National Youth Choir of Great Britain Fellowship and Genesis Sixteen. She is a professional singer with the Philharmonia Chorus.
Aimee teaches singing at St Helen's in Northwood and at St Marylebone School, and for London Oriana Choir. She has also done education work for Wandsworth Music Service, National Youth Choirs of Great Britain, Ulster Youth Choir and VCM Foundation (Voces8/Apollo5). She has conducted ensembles including Opera Seria, Salford Choral Society, St. John’s Cathedral Choir in Salford, Ad Solem Chamber Choir and Manchester University Chorus. She has also conducted for the Hallé's corporate choirs scheme, and was the Musical Director of Macclesfield Mydel Choir from 2015 to 2016.
Aimee's studies were generously supported by the George Fentham Birmingham Charity, Philip Bates Trust and Joseph Scott's Educational Foundation.
Hannah Kendall :
Hannah was appointed in September 2020 as the Choir's fifth five15 composer-in-residence, for the 2021-22 season.
Known for her attentive arrangements and immersive world-building, Hannah Kendall’s music looks beyond the boundaries of composition. Her work bridges gaps between different musical cultures, both honouring and questioning the contemporary tradition while telling new stories through it. Contrasting fine detail with limitless abandon, she has become renowned both as a composer and a storyteller, confronting our collective history with narratively-driven pieces centred on bold mission statements.
Marked by striking and often polarising dynamics, her large-scale work simmers on the surface, and is upturned by the briefest moments of bombast. Ensemble pieces subvert audience expectations of ‘quiet and loud’, ‘still and moving’; scattering those musical opposites unexpectedly. The sounds are visceral, but their placement is complicated, disclosing the detail that exists beneath. While hinging on intense moments, Kendall’s music is also staggeringly intricate, manoeuvring tiny decisions that reveal themselves on further listens.
Kendall’s recent work has provided a meeting point for different types of music, carrying with it the weight of connected but unharmonised histories. Recently, she’s achieved this by looking beyond the typical tools of composition, using auxiliary instruments that exist outside of the concert hall. In Tuxedo: Vasco ‘de’ Gama, she integrated the spiritual Wade in the Water, transcribing its melody into a delicate music box, contrasting the fragility of the instrument against the song’s resounding place in history. Tuxedo: Hot Summer No Water (2020) for solo cello features an ACME Metropolitan whistle, placing a sonic timestamp on the piece; pointing to a year significantly defined by the police’s presence in black communities.
Her Tuxedo series is named after an artwork by American artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. His eponymous piece provides one of many graphic scores that Kendall has used as inspiration throughout her career. Rather than create ‘representations’ of these images, she uses them to spark her writing process. Building pieces from a place of intuition, her compositions are just as likely to be become abstracted, turned inside out by surprises she finds along the way, as they are to have a firm narrative.
Kendall’s work has been widely celebrated. She has created pieces such as Disillusioned Dreamer (2018), which the San Francisco Chronicle praised for having a ‘rich inner life’, as well as The Knife of Dawn (2016), a chamber opera that received critical acclaim for its involving and claustrophobic representation of the incarceration of Guyanese political activist Martin Carter. Her work has been performed extensively, and across many platforms. She has worked with ensembles including London Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Seattle Symphony Orchestra, The Hallé, Ensemble Modern, and London Sinfonietta, but you’ll also find her collaborating with choreographers, poets and art galleries; crossing over to different art-forms, and celebrating the impact these unique settings have on sound. She is currently composing an Afrofuturist opera for experimental vocalist and movement artist Elaine Mitchener.
Born in London in 1984, Kendall is based in New York City as a Doctoral Fellow in composition at Columbia University.
David Smith :
Born in Stockport, David completed a BMus at the University of Birmingham before moving to the Royal Academy of Music where he studied with Michael Dussek and Vanessa Latarche. After graduating with distinction he was awarded Junior Fellowships working with the vocal department at both the Royal Academy and Royal College of Music.
Numerous competition successes include the Birmingham Accompanist of the Year, Vivian Langrish accompanists’ prize, Michael Head and Bliss prizes for accompaniment as well as the Christian Carpenter prize, awarded in recognition of his achievements at the Academy. In 2009 David was one of the first pianists to be invited to work with the prestigious Samling Foundation under the tutelage of Sir Thomas Allen.
He has collaborated with many exceptional singers of his generation including James Rutherford, Sarah Tynan, Benedict Nelson and Allan Clayton, in addition to significantly established artists such as Sir Willard White and Sir Thomas Allen, and has appeared at many of the major UK venues including Wigmore Hall, St John’s Smith Square, Colston Hall, Symphony Hall Birmingham and Pittville Pump Room as well as some of the major UK music festivals.
Further afield David has performed in a number of countries including France, Spain and Germany, and has developed relationships with the Heidelberg and Aix-en-Provence Festivals. In 2012 he was invited to become an HSBC Laureate of the Aix Festival, performing in a number of concerts around Europe.
Naomi Belshaw :
five15 Project Manager
Naomi is project manager for the choir’s five15 initiative in support of women composers. For over a decade, she has worked in various roles across the music industry including PRS for Music, PRS Foundation and WildKat PR, as well as lending insights to other independent projects.
She now also shares her expertise with the artistic community; particularly composers and artists who want to better navigate the industry and build a career strategically via her own consultancy.
In her spare time, she plays the violin in a number of orchestras, including Orchestra Vitae and Midsummer Opera Group and also Prog Rock band The Wood Demons.