Dominic Ellis-Peckham :
Dominic Ellis-Peckham is a conductor and chorus master, specialising in opera and choral repertoire. He has been commended by reviewers as 'a latent star' and praised for his dedication to the Renaissance and Baroque era, whilst also passionately championing new works and delivering inspirational collaborations. 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.
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 Artistic Director of The Fourth Choir and has been praised internationally for his ‘freshness and vitality’ in the direction of orchestral and choral performances and recordings. From May 2020 Dominic takes up the position of Music Director of Aldeburgh Voices - the resident choir at Snape Maltings. He holds the position of Chorus Director and Visiting Artist at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, Guest Conductor for The Royal Opera House Big Sing programme and Presenter for The Royal Opera House BP Big Screens and Insight Evenings, interviewing leading figures such as Sir Antonio Pappano, Eva-Marie Westbrook and among many others. In 2016 Dominic conducted The London Mozart Players' Royal Gala performance for Her Majesty The Queen's 90th birthday, including a world premier by Roxanna Panufnik.
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.
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.
Recent engagements include: BBC Music Day, the world premier of Rebecca Dale's 'Nox Perpetua' with London Mozart Players, Ethel Smyth's Mass in D with Meridian Sinfonia, Brahms' 4th Symphony, Liszt's Piano Concerto No.1 and Mozart's 'Le Nozze di Figaro' for Dartington International Festival, the 2019 Aldeburgh Festival with Roderick Williams and Roger Vignoles and Bernstein's Chichester Psalms at Blackheath Halls.
Dominic’s acclaimed ensemble Chamber Choir of London have released a series of new singles all available on iTunes, 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.
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.
Susan Young :
Susan is a versatile, accomplished musician whose commitment to performing is matched and balanced by her love and dedication to teaching. Her infectious enthusiasm, natural curiosity, sound technical knowledge and deep musical understanding combine to inspire a creative, collaborative approach fostering high levels of communication, enjoyment and achievement.
Having taught as several leading universities, Susan has an extensive practice at the University of York and private work in London with undergraduates, postgraduates and young professional singers. Former and current students have taken part in the Genesis Sixteen programme, The Samling Academy, National Youth Choir Fellowship scheme, Choral Scholar and Lay Clerkships, West End Musical Theatre Academy as well as postgraduate studies in leading conservatoires and professional stage work with UK based opera and theatre companies and award winning choral groups.
In her own performing life, Susan has developed a growing reputation in the field of contemporary opera and as a champion of neglected works relishing the musical, artistic and dramatic challenges. For English National Opera, she created the role of Wife in the World Premiere of Tansy Davies’ Between Worlds, directed by Deborah Warner. Also for ENO, Susan has worked on The Passenger (Weinberg), giving a pre-performance talk and was heard on Radio 3’s Private Passions and has covered the demanding role of the Duchess in Powder Her Face (Ades). Other notable roles include Micaëla/Carmen, Caterina/L’amico Fritz, Silvia/Zanetto (Mascagni) (all for Opera Holland Park), the title role in Kát’a Kabanová and Tatyana/Eugene Onegin. She has garnered critical praise for her strong dramatic sense and rich, warm sound.
Previously a regular soloist with the Choir of Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford, Susan’s numerous concert appearances include Beethoven Missa Solemnis, Symphony no 9, Dvorak Te Deum, Elgar Spirit of England, Vaughan Williams A Sea Symphony, Dona Nobis Pacem, Spohr The Last Judgement, Szymanowski Stabat Mater, Tippett A Child of Our Time, Orff Carmina Burana and Verdi Requiem.
Susan is proud to have been an integral part of the group of musicians who founded the now internationally renowned Oxford Lieder Festival and has a considerable knowledge and experience of performing a wide range of song repertoire. She holds qualifications from the Universities of Durham and London and Trinity College of Music.
Anna Disley-Simpson :
Anna was the winner of the London Oriana Choir's five15 Young Composers Competition in June 2019 with her piece 'In their Gold Coats' - a setting of text from William Shakespeare's 'A Midsummer Night's Dream'.
Anna is a recent Composition graduate of the Royal Northern College of Music, having studied with Laura Bowler and Larry Goves. She is particularly passionate about utilising the voice and working in a multimedia setting and she regularly collaborates with writers, visual artists and film makers.
During her studies she also engaged in a multitude of ways with performance across many genres and has since begun singing with the London Contemporary Voices.
In addition to her appointment this year with the London Oriana Choir she has also taken up the post of Graduate Musician in Residence at Radley College, where she facilitates many creative elements of the Music Department including teaching classes in Music Technology. She was chosen as the winner of Kantos Chamber Choir’s recent call for new Christmas Carols and was chosen to take part in the ORA Singers’ Christmas Gift scheme.
After writing works for the European Union Chamber Orchestra, the RNCM Chamber Choir, the No Dice Collective, the Camerata Players and the BBC Singers, her recent projects include a series of works for solo instrument and electronics, a commissioned set of pieces for the Hallé Youth Choir, a commissioned work for the Radley College Concerto Concert this Spring and an interactive multimedia installation piece in collaboration with singer-songwriter and seamstress, Anna Baines, for Summer 2021.
In 2018 Anna curated a slot at Kendal Calling festival when her piece ‘Constellation’ for chamber ensemble and spoken word was performed. She has also toured with the band, New Order, playing synths and singing backing vocals, and featured in their recent documentary ‘Decades’ on Sky Arts.
Prior to her degree Anna studied at the Purcell School and was also a composer with the National Youth Orchestra, receiving tuition from Anna Meredith and Larry Goves. During this time her music was played at The Sage Gateshead, South Bank, Snape Maltings, Birmingham Symphony Hall and Tate Britain. In 2014 she was a winner of the BBC Proms ‘Inspire’ competition with her piece ‘Underneath’ for three voices and beat boxer.
Keen to pass on her brimming enthusiasm for music that challenges, intrigues and excites an audience, she has been a BBC Proms ‘Inspire’ ambassador for three years acting as a mentor for young composers. She has also worked with teenagers at the Sound and Music Summer School and the National Youth Orchestra. Most recently she has started writing blog posts for the ORA Singers ‘Composer Create’ website, a resource aimed at young composers.
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.