Rising star appointed to Thames Philharmonic Choir
Thames Philharmonic has appointed rising star Harry Bradford as its new Music Director, with effect from September. Harry follows in the footsteps of founding Conductor John Bate, who retires after 55 years in the role.
Harry read music at Downing College, Cambridge, and was a choral scholar in the choir of King’s College. Active as a conductor and singer at Cambridge, he has gone on to study choral conducting at the Royal Academy of Music under Patrick Russill. He is conducting a number of choral groups, most notably Genesis Sixteen, where he is this year’s Conducting Scholar receiving individual tuition from principal conductor Harry Christophers CBE. In 2018, as the youngest participant, he won third prize at the DIMA International Choral Conducting Competition in Romania. Harry is also a viola player, a keen scuba diver and an ardent Arsenal FC fan.
“I am very excited to be appointed Music Director of Thames Philharmonic Choir. The Choir is widely recognised as one of the finest amateur choirs in South West London and it is a great honour to be invited to step into the shoes of its founder conductor, John Bate”, says Harry.
“The Choir is delighted to have appointed Harry Bradford as its new Music Director”, says Wendy Gairdner, TPC’S Chairman. “We were very pleased that the Choir’s reputation attracted 29 applications from a range of talented candidates. Harry stood out as the best and his appointment has been strongly endorsed by Choir members, with whom he rehearsed. The Choir has been enormously successful under John Bate, who had led the Choir for more than 50 years. With John’s retirement, we look forward to an exciting future under Harry’s leadership.”
John Bate will conduct TPC at two Kingston concerts before the end of this, his last season: one on 9 March when the Choir will perform the Duruflé Requiem and Haydn’s Nelson Mass and the second on 15 June with a programme of English music. He will also lead the Choir in its residency at Winchester Cathedral in July.
MORE INFO: John Bate and Thames Philharmonic Choir
The Choir has its origins in two choirs founded by John Bate in 1964: the Putney Bach Choir and the Richmond Choral Society. In 1975, the two choirs merged and became Thames Philharmonic Choir in 1995. Since 1964, he Choir has given many performances in the Boroughs of Kingston, Richmond and Wandsworth. It has also performed at central London venues such as the Royal Albert Hall, Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall and Cadogan Hall.
TPC has enjoyed a long and fruitful relationship with the Symphonic Choir of the City of Konstanz – twinned with Richmond upon Thames. The German choir visited Richmond in 1982 as part of the twinning ceremony and TPC has reciprocated on a dozen subsequent occasions since then, most recently in 2016.
Conductor John Bate is well known in London music circles and, in the 1980s and 1990s, was Director of Collegiate Music at Kingston University, responsible for the performing groups and activities for which Kingston at that time became famous in the academic world. He has chorus-mastered the Philharmonia Chorus, the Royal Choral Society and the All-London 1977 Silver Jubilee Choir.
For more information about TPC, visit www.thamesphilchoir.org.uk
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