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PETER LEECH

An international award-winning conductor (First Prize at the 2003 Mariele Ventre International Choral Conducting Competition, Bologna), Peter has directed a variety of professional and amateur UK, European and Australian ensembles to critical acclaim. 

A specialist in music of the late Renaissance and Baroque periods, his interests include seventeenth-century English court music, Russian Orthodox choral music, Iberian Renaissance polyphony and sacred music from eighteenth-century Rome. He is also a composer and passionately committed to contemporary music.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



A graduate of the Elder Conservatorium (Adelaide) and University of Melbourne, Peter studied conducting with Graham Abbott, Robert Rosen, Nicholas Braithwaite and David Porcelijn. In 1996 he moved to the UK to undertake a PhD in musicology at Anglia Ruskin University (Cambridge), studying with Dr Peter Holman MBE.

In the UK Peter’s current conducting posts comprise Harmonia Sacra, Cappella Fede, Cardiff University Chamber Choir, Spectra Musica and Wells Tallis Voices. Past permanent or guest directorships have included the City of Oxford Choir, Cathedral Singers of Christ Church, Oxford, Bristol Bach Choir, Royal Scottish National Orchestra Chorus (preparing them for the first CD recording of Edward Collins’ Hymn to the Earth), Aylesbury Choral Society, Collegium Singers, Bristol Philharmonic Orchestra, Frideswide Ensemble, Canzona, Chameleon Arts Orchestra, Bath Bach Choir, Coro Euridice (Bologna), Coro di Teatro Comunale (Bologna), City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong and The Song Company (with whom he recorded the award-winning music drama Quito for Tall Poppies). Peter has also led choral workshops with numerous UK choral societies and Early Music Fora. He was Chairman of the South West Early Music Forum from 2008-12.

From 2008-14 Peter was an Honorary Research Fellow in the School of Arts and Humanities at Swansea University collaborating with Professor Maurice Whitehead. In 2015 he was appointed an Associate Lecturer in the School of Music at Cardiff University. Peter’s research focusses upon seventeenth-century Jesuit and wider Catholic musical culture in the British Isles, an expansion of his doctoral studies on music at the Stuart Catholic courts (1660-1718), as well as sacred music in eighteenth-century Rome. He has contributed scholarly articles and reviews to Early Music, Eighteenth-Century Music, Music & Letters, The Consort, the Journal of Jesuit Studies, TVNM and Archivum Historicum Societatis Iesu.

Peter's recent career highlights include the December 2016 release of a new CD - The Cardinal King - featuring first recordings of hitherto unknown sacred music from eighteenth-century Rome with Cappella Fede on the Toccata Classics label (acclaimed by BBC Radio 3 Record Review as 'a moving disc' with 'Consort singing second to none' - Elin Manahan Thomas), Cappella Fede concerts in Hereford, Birmingham, Durham and London (2013-15), a lecture at the Utrecht Early Music Festival (2013), conference papers in New York and Canterbury (2014 and 2016), a seminar presentation at the University of Melbourne Conservatorium of Music (April 2012), a guest appearance at the Teatro Comunale, Bologna (January 2010), directing choral Evensong weekends at Brielle and Doesburg, Holland (2011-17), and conducting the world première performance (October 2011) and CD recording (June 2013) of his Requiem For the Fallen for 40 Commando Royal Marines with Collegium Singers. The Requiem received its continental debut performance in 2014 at Groesbeek and Nijmegen (Holland) with Panta Rhei Vocaal under Frank Litjens, and its Australian premiere with Polyphonic Voices under Michael Fulcher in 2015.

With Harmonia Sacra Peter has recorded two critically acclaimed CDs on the Nimbus Alliance label Cherubim & Seraphim and Princely Splendour, the latter having been ‘CD of the month’ on Musicweb International for June 2014.

www.peterleech.com

Peter Leech at Cardiff University

www.harmoniasacra.co.uk

www.spectramusica.co.uk

 

RECENT DISCOGRAPHY

2018   Harmonia Sacra: 'Lux memoriaque(Nimbus Alliance)

2016   Capella Fede, Harmonia Sacra: ‘The Cardinal King(Toccata Classics)

 2014   Harmonia Sacra: ‘Princely Splendour(Nimbus Alliance)

 2012   Harmonia Sacra: ‘Cherubim & Seraphim(Nimbus Alliance)

2019   Harmonia Sacra: ''In Dulci Jubilo'' (Nimbus Alliance)