Roy Wales

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Dr

Roy Wales

BEM
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Born
Roy Frederick Wales

(1940-11-09) November 9, 1940 (age 81)
Guernsey, Normandy.
NationalityBritish
CitizenshipUnited Kingdom
Occupation
  • Choral
  • Orchestral
  • Operatic conductor
AwardsBritish Empire Medal (2020)

Dr Roy Wales, BEM (born 9 November 1940) is a British choral, orchestral and operatic conductor, and a recipient of a British Empire Medal for Services to Choral Music in HM the Queen's 2020 New Year Honours..[1][2]

Background and professional career

Born in Guernsey in the Channel Islands during the German Occupation, Wales first became involved in music via the local Salvation Army band[3].

In 1959, Wales left Guernsey and undertook teacher training in Bognor Regis. In 1961 he commenced music studies in London at Trinity College of Music, studying singing with Gwynn Parry Jones[3]

Wales formed his first choir, the London Student Singers in 1963. In the same year, he appeared in a professional barbership quartet called The Nutcrackers in Blackpool for a summer season, and he sang in a pantomime Dick Whittington at the Golders Green Hippodrome in London the same year, in a cast featuring Beryl Reid and Tommy Cooper.[3]

From 1964 onwards, Wales took choirs to international choral festivals, starting with the International Student Cultural Festival in Istanbul. In 1965. Wales took his London Student Chorale to the Montreux International Choral Festival in Switzerland, where they were First Prizewinners[3].

In 1965, Wales joined the George Hurst Summer Conducting Course at Canford, Dorset, alongside fellow conductors Andrew Davis and John Eliot Gardiner[3]. Wales undertook postgraduate conducting studies at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama with conductor Stanford Robinson, winning the Conducting Prize and Kapsalis Memorial Cup in 1966.

As a singer, Wales performed with the Chorus of the Royal Opera House in the first ROH production of Arnold Schoenberg's Moses und Aaron conducted by Georg Solti[3]. In January & February 1967, he sang with Sadler's Wells Opera Company in Janacek's From The House of the Dead.

During his career, he held positions including Director of Music at the University of Warwick[4] from 1974-80, Director of the Queensland Conservatorium of Music (now Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University)[5] from 1981-87, and Principal of the Birmingham School of Music (now Royal Birmingham Conservatoire)[6] from 1987-89.

Through his career he has founded many choirs and choruses including the London Student Chorale and London Chorale, Southend Festival Chorus[7][8], Brisbane Chorale in 1983[9][10], and the English Concert Singers and Chorus[11]

In May 2003, Wales founded the Cornwall International Male Voice Choral Festival[12], and he is the Festival Vice President. The first Festival featured 50 choirs from Cornwall, the wider UK and internationally.

In 2011, Wales founded Rottingdean Arts and he is currently Chairman and Artistic Director[13]. In 2013, Wales was nominated as a finalist in the Argus Achievement Awards for Contribution to Arts and Culture for his work with Rottingdean Arts[14].

Premieres of notable repertoire

Wales conducted the London Premiere of Aaron Copland's folk opera The Tender Land on 29 November 1965 with Camden Opera Group, in Chelsea Town Hall. The Premiere performance was reviewed in The Daily Telegraph on 30 November 1965[15]

On 6 June 1966, Wales conducted the first London performance of Leonard Bernstein's Chichester Psalms with the London Academic Orchestra, London Student Chorale and Pro Arte Singers in the Duke's Hall of the Royal Academy of Music. Bernstein's work also featured in the official opening concert of the University of Warwick Arts Centre in 1974, in the presence of the Composer, who was the recipient of an Honorary Doctorate from the University.

On 28 November 1966, Wales conducted the UK Premiere of Zoltan Kodaly's folk opera Hary Janos in St Pancras Town Hall with a cast including bass Frank Olegario, tenor David Johnston, baritone Michael Rippon and mezzo-soprano Jean Temperley.

Wales commissioned and premiered Phyllis Tate's Secular Requiem for choir and orchestra, for Hampstead Arts Festival in 1967.

Wales conducted the UK Premiere of Kodaly's Kallo Folk Dances for clarinets and string orchestra received on 13 November 1967 at St Pancras Town Hall.

Wales has worked closely with English composer Paul Patterson over several decades, including commissioning his piece Kyrie[16] for choir and prepared piano, and premiered by the London Student Chorale in New York in April 1972 at the Lincoln Centre Choral Festival. The piece was also recorded for the BBC in October 1972. Patterson's piece Gloria was also premiered by Wales and the London Mozart Players & London Chorale on 24 March 1973 at the Royal Albert Hall. Both pieces were recorded for EMI and released in 1977[17].

Wales received personal permission from Leonard Bernstein to give the UK Premiere of his Bernstein Mass in Coventry Theatre on 16 May and the Royal Albert Hall on 17 May 1976. Performers included the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, London Chorale and Cycles Dance Company.

In the media

References

  1. "New Year Honours list 2020". GOV.UK. Retrieved 2020-05-23.
  2. "Roy Wales British Empire Medal". The Gazette Official Public Record. 27 December 2019.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Wales, Roy (2020). My Musical Journey. Portsmouth, UK: Tricorn Books. pp. 33, 53, 64, 78, 84, 89. ISBN 9781912821358.
  4. "Music Centre History". www.warwick.ac.uk.
  5. "Peter Roennfeldt: Brisbane Chorale - Our Journey". Griffith University. 2017.
  6. "Birmingham Conservatoire 125 Years" (PDF). jobs.bcu.ac.uk.
  7. "Stunning Performance of the Oratorio, Israel In Egypt". Leigh Times.
  8. "Honour for Southend Festival Chorus' Founder". www.leightimes.co.uk. 9 January 2020.
  9. "Brisbane Chorale". Queensland Symphony Orchestra.
  10. "About the Chorale - Brisbane Chorale" (PDF). Brisbane Chorale.
  11. "English Concert Chorus - Music Director". English Concert Chorus.
  12. "Previous Festivals". www.cimcf.uk.
  13. "About Rottingdean Arts". Rottingdean Arts.
  14. "Argus Achievement Awards 2013 Shortlist Revealed". Brighton Argus. 2 October 2013.
  15. D.J.M. (30 November 1965). "Copland Folk Opera - Freshness and Spontaneity". The Daily Telegraph.
  16. "Kyrie – Opus 13 (1971) | Paul Patterson". Retrieved 2020-05-31.
  17. "Paul Patterson - The London Chorale, Roy Wales, Dr. Arthur Wills* - Kyrie • Gloria". Discogs. Retrieved 2020-05-31.

External links

This article "Roy Wales" is from Wikipedia. The list of its authors can be seen in its historical. Articles taken from Draft Namespace on Wikipedia could be accessed on Wikipedia's Draft Namespace.