We’re proud to have a talented group of music professionals work at HCS.
Martyn Brabbins is Music Director of the English National Opera. An inspirational force in British music, Brabbins has had a busy opera career since his early days at the Kirov and more recently at La Scala, the Bayerische Staatsoper, and regularly in Lyon, Amsterdam, Frankfurt and Antwerp. He is a popular figure at the BBC Proms and with most of the leading British orchestras, and regularly visits top international orchestras such as the Royal Concertgebouw, DSO Berlin and Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony (all of whom he conducted last season). Known for his advocacy of British composers, he has also conducted hundreds of world premieres across the globe. He has recorded over 120 CDs to date, including prize-winning discs of operas by Korngold, Birtwistle and Harvey. He was Associate Principal Conductor of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra 1994-2005, Principal Guest Conductor of the Royal Flemish Philharmonic 2009-2015, Chief Conductor of the Nagoya Philharmonic 2012-2016, and Artistic Director of the Cheltenham International Festival of Music 2005-2007. He is currently Visiting Professor at the Royal College of Music and Music Director to the Huddersfield Choral Society alongside his duties at ENO, and has for many years supported professional, student and amateur music-making at the highest level in the UK.
Martyn Charles Brabbins (born 13 August 1959) is a British conductor. The fourth of five children in his family, he learned to play the euphonium, and then the trombone during his youth at Towcester Studio Brass Band. He later studied composition at Goldsmiths, University of London. He subsequently studied conducting with Ilya Musin at the Leningrad Conservatory.
Brabbins first came to international attention when he was awarded first prize at the Leeds Conductors Competition in 1988. Between 1994 and 2005, Brabbins was Associate Principal Conductor of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. He became principal conductor of Sinfonia 21 in 1994. He was artistic director of the Cheltenham Music Festival from 2005 to 2007. During his Cheltenham tenure, he established a new ensemble, the Festival Players. In Leeds, he created a new chamber music series called "Music in Transition". On 17 July 2011, Brabbins conducted the 6th live performance of Havergal Brian's Symphony No. 1 "The Gothic" at The Proms, which was later released on a Hyperion commercial recording. Brabbins was subsequently named president of the Havergal Brian Society. Brabbins is also conductor laureate of the Huddersfield Choral Society. In 2002, Brabbins founded a training course for aspiring conductors at the St Magnus International Festival in Orkney, which he continues to co-direct.
Outside of the UK, Brabbins became principal guest conductor of deFilharmonie (Royal Flemish Philharmonic) in 2009. In December 2011, Brabbins was announced as the next chief conductor of the Nagoya Philharmonic Orchestra. He held the Nagoya post from 2012 to 2016.
Brabbins first guest-conducted at English National Opera (EMO) in 2012, in a production of Vaughan Williams' The Pilgrim's Progress. On 21 October 2016, ENO named Brabbins its next music director, with immediate effect. His initial ENO contract is through October 2020.
Brabbins has conducted commercial recordings of music for such labels as Warner, Chandos, Hyperion, NMC, Nimbus, and Deutsche Grammophon.
Brabbins and his wife Karen (née Evans) met at Goldsmiths. The couple married in 1985, and have three children. In January 2013, the University of Bristol awarded Brabbins an honorary degree, of Doctor of Music honoris causa.
Gregory Batsleer is one of the UK's most dynamic and in demand choral conductors and chorus masters. In addition to his role of Choral Director with the Huddersfield Choral Society, Greg is also Chorus Director of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra Chorus (since January 2015) and of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra Chorus (since 2009). He is also principal conductor of the National Portrait Gallery’s Portrait Choir. He has previously held the position of Director of the Hallé Youth Choir (2008-11) and Director of Choirs at Manchester University (2009-13).
Gregory is also heavily committed to work outside of the classical music world and is Artistic Director of innovative live music company Pencil Presents. He has worked as music supervisor and consultant on performance and recording projects with artists including Elbow, James, Clean Bandit, Damon Albarn and New Order. He has a close working relationship with composer Joe Duddell and has premiered works by composers including Colin Metters, Uri Caine and Ben Parry.
Gregory began choral singing at the age of nine as a member of the Manchester Boys Choir and later went on to hold scholarships at Princeton University and the Royal College of Music. He has received tuition and support from leading musicians including Baldur Brönniman, Martyn Brabbins, Sian Edwards, Simon Carrington and Simon Halsey. On his return to the UK in 2008 and co-founded and directed the Manchester Consort as well as taking up the role of Director of the Hallé Youth Choir(2008-11) and went on to direct and lead the Manchester University Chorus (2009-13). He graduated from the Royal College of Music in 2012, where he majored in vocal studies.
He has also previously held successful associations with the Amadeus Orchestra and RNCM Outreach Department. As a guest conductor, highlights include performances with the Hallé, Academy of Ancient Music, New Century Baroque, Brandenburg Sinfonia, Royal College of Music Baroque Orchestra, members of Florilegium, Rodolfus Choir, the chapel choir at Royal Naval College Greenwich. He has appeared at festivals including Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Edinburgh International Festival, Three Choirs Festival and the Latitude festival. He has been guest chorus master for orchestras including Northern Sinfonia, English Chamber Orchestra, Houston Symphony Orchestra and BBC Philharmonic, working with leading international conductors including Sir Mark Elder, Markus Stenz, Adam Fischer, Louis Langrée, Sir Roger Norrington and Robin Ticciati.
Gregory Batsleer’s outstanding work as a choral director was recognised with the 2015 Arts Foundation’s first-ever Fellowship in Choral Conducting.
Ellie Slorach is a conductor based in Manchester. She is the Founder and Artistic Director of Kantos Chamber Choir and works in the UK and internationally with orchestras and choirs.
In the 2022-23 season, Ellie makes her debut with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Orchestra of Opera North, and Manchester Camerata. She returns to the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and the Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de Liège.
In 2021-22, Ellie was the Assistant Conductor for the Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de Liège, working regularly with the orchestra and assisting their Music Director, Gergely Madaras. She also had engagements with the BBC Philharmonic, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir, Northern Ballet (productions of Swan Lake & Dangerous Liaisons), Royal Opera House (Lost & Found at St Pancras International), and Northern Opera Group (Musical Director for Handel’s Silla).
Other recent projects have included working with the BBC Singers for a recording in Shakespeare’s Globe, Hallé Orchestra whilst Musical Director of the Hallé Youth Orchestra, ABLE Orchestra, and touring major UK theatres with Matthew Bourne’s new production of Romeo & Juliet as Young Associate conductor.
Ellie founded Kantos in 2015; this trailblazing vocal ensemble is at the cutting edge of choral singing in the UK. Kantos performs unique and innovative concerts, devised by Ellie, to sell-out audiences, in venues ranging from nightclubs to concert halls. The choir regularly perform and record with orchestras including the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and the BBC Philharmonic, on labels including Decca Classics. As well as touring the UK, Kantos toured to Rome and Assisi for special edition broadcasts for BBC Radio 4.
Ellie studied Conducting at the Royal Northern College of Music having previously studied Music at the University of Manchester.
Daniel is also the Senior Teaching Fellow in Performance and Repetiteur at the University of Leeds' School of Music (part-time).
He is also Conductor of the Huddersfield Singers, and Choir Master / Deputy Organist of St John the Baptist, Adel.
Daniel has worked with Black Dyke Band (piano/organ), the CBSO Chorus (repetiteuring), Manchester Camerata (harpsichord), Opera North, Leeds Festival Chorus, et. al. He is the voluntary Music Director for the Leeds NHS Trust. He was accompanist of the Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus for nine years and is an Honorary Life Member of the Chorus. He is a pupil of Darius Battiwalla.
Before working in music, Daniel taught computing to postgraduates, and created software for researchers in potential-field geophysics.
Joyce Tindsley is an experienced vocal tutor as well as being a working professional singer. She has been employed by the BBC for nearly 30 years, firstly as a member of the BBC Northern Singers and latterly the Daily Service Singers, as well as being an acclaimed mezzo-soprano soloist. She was Professor of Voice at Lancaster University 1988-93, has led masterclasses at Chethams School of Music, courses for organisations such as the Chapter House Choir of York Minster, Preston Arts, Kirkham Singers, LGN Choir St. Helens, the W.I. and has been the vocal tutor on courses for the Association of British Choral Directors. She also runs a private teaching practice at home. Joyce has led weekly adult singing classes in the Preston area for over 25 years.
Alison grew up in Harrogate in a very musical family.
Her love of music and a long held desire to teach led her to study at Bulmershe College, Reading where she sang with the award winning Bulmershe Girls’ Choir directed by Gwyn Arch. Her love of singing continued when she moved back to the north and became the top voice in the successful vocal quintet, Quintessential.
She began her teaching career in Leeds but it was the move to Lindley Junior School in 1997 that really ignited her passion for children’s choirs. The Lindley Choir was formed in 1999 and it wasn’t long before the choir were winning competitions both locally and nationally. The first major success was in 2001 winning BBC North Choir of the Year in Bradford’s St George’s Hall. The choir’s major successes since have included winning Songs of Praise Choir of the Year 2008 and 2016, finalists in 2014 and 2015, “Choir of the Year’s Children’s Choir 2012”, first prize at the International Eisteddfod at Llangollen in 2012 and 2017. The choir has also had many exciting opportunities, including performing alongside Aled Jones in a BBC Children in Need CD and sharing the concert platform with many excellent choirs and bands. Alison also runs three other choirs at Lindley Junior School. The Training Choir, a Boys’ Choir of 125 and the Lindley Community Choir which has a membership of 130 ranging from 6-80+ years old.
She joined the Huddersfield Choral Society Youth Choirs in September 2016 and has achieved success with the groups. Both the Young Voices and Vocalise won their classes at the Mrs Sunderland Music Festival 2017 and Young Voices also won at the Holmfirth Music Festival 2017. The Youth Choir were invited to appear on the CBBC programme “Creeped Out” which aired in November 2017.
In recognition of her work, primarily at Lindley, Alison was awarded an MBE in the 2018 New Year Honour’s list.
Originally from Northern Ireland, Laura completed her Masters in Choral Conducting at The University of Birmingham under the tutelage of Simon Halsey C.B.E. Prior to her studies at Birmingham, Laura graduated with BA Honours in Classical Voice at Leeds Conservatoire where she primarily focused her singing in opera studies, as well as taking conducting as her major specialism.
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