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Jeremy Backhouse


Jeremy Backhouse is one of Britain’s leading conductors of amateur choirs. He began his musical career in Canterbury Cathedral where he was senior chorister. He has worked for both EMI Classics and later Boosey & Hawkes Music Publishers as a literary editor, but now pursues his career as a freelance conductor. He has been the sole conductor of the Vasari Singers since its inception in 1980 and is totally committed to contemporary music and to the commissioning of new works: he and Vasari have commissioned over 25 works in their recent history, from small anthems to works on the grandest scale. In 1995 Backhouse was appointed music director of the Vivace Chorus (then the Guildford Philharmonic Choir). Alongside the standard classical works, he has conducted the choir in some ambitious programmes, most notably Mahler’s ‘Symphony of a Thousand’ (No. 8) and Verdi’s Requiem, both in the Royal Albert Hall with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2009 he was appointed music director of the Salisbury Community Choir, a 180-strong non-auditioned choir, which celebrated its 21st birthday in 2013 by commissioning a major new work, The City Garden, from Will Todd and giving memorable performances in the cathedrals of both Salisbury and Lincoln. He has also worked with a number of the country’s leading choirs, including the BBC Singers, the Philharmonia Chorus, the London Choral Society and the Brighton Festival Chorus.

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