Will Dawes

Will Dawes is the Conductor of the Orlando Chamber Choir, Ensemble 45, Frideswide Voices (Oxford’s first liturgical choir for 7-14 year-old girls), and Director of Music at the church of St Mary Magdalen, Oxford. He is a graduate of the RAM where he studied Choral Conducting and Singing.

Will’s musical career started as a chorister at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, and as a member of the Berkshire Young Musicians Trust.  He studied music at the University of Edinburgh and then Choral Conducting and Voice at the Royal Academy of Music under the direction of Patrick Russill, Paul Brough and David Lowe.  There, he frequently conducted in the opera department and took part in masterclasses with conductors such as David Hill, Timo Nuorane and Stephen Layton.  On graduating, he was awarded the Thomas Armstrong Prize for Choral Direction.

Will’s work with his various choirs has seen performances of works ranging from the St John Passion(Bach), Vespers of 1610, (Monteverdi) and The Seasons(Haydn) to A Child of our time (Tippett), and Seven last words from the Cross (MacMillan), the latter being hailed as “A quite remarkable musical experience which had emotional intensity and depth of feeling”.  As Chorusmaster to Ludus Baroque, he prepares the choir for their biannual performances of the great works by Handel and Bach, as well as for their recordings on the Delphian label.  His work with Ensemble 45 has included national premieres of works by Pärt, Penderecki, Rautavaara and Whitacre alongside music by Brahms, Carver, Britten and Gabriel Jackson.  A recent highlight was conducting the Eric Whitacre Singers in a recording marking the launch of Virtual Choir 4: Fly.

Aside from his career as a conductor, Will is active as a consort singer and is a member of the internationally acclaimed and multiple-Grammy-nominated vocal ensemble Stile Antico.  The group performs all over the globe, so far including concerts at the Wigmore Hall, Royal Albert Hall, Cadogan Hall, 50 different venues in the USA, as well as Mexico, Portugal, Estonia and Canada. He is a former Lay Clerk of Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford, and has also appeared as part of the Gabrieli Consort, Cardinall’s Musick, Collegium Vocale Gent and Polyphony.