Director of Music

Peter Foggitt Peter Foggitt

Peter is a conductor, composer, pianist, and organist. He made his BBC Radio 3 debut at 21, playing Rachmaninov's third concerto; he has won several competitions for solo and collaborative piano - including the Kathleen Ferrier Award and the Croydon Concerto Competition - and was a finalist in the 2017 St Albans International Organ Improvisation Competition. Recent recital venues include Wigmore Hall, St John's Smith Square, and Leiston Abbey; future engagements include the complete Well-Tempered Clavier.

Peter's music has been commissioned and performed by artists including Angela Hewitt, the Choirs of St Paul's, Chichester, Manchester and Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedrals, Dame Shirley Bassey, opera companies and choral societies; Handel-inspired opera Pale Shadows was made into a feature film in 2013. Two albums of his solo vocal music, including settings of Spenser's Amoretti for countertenor and piano, and of the Keats Odes, are due for release next year.

Peter's career as a conductor began as Chorus Master at the Royal Danish Opera, and has since involved performances with his own octet, Cries of London, at concert halls and festivals around the UK. Recent engagements have included working as Assistant Conductor at the Royal Opera House (4:48 Psychosis), and in the first opera at Latitude Festival, Cautionary Tales; last year, he conducted the recent release - Ablaze with Light - of William Petter's choral music (5* The Guardian). He teaches conducting at the University of Durham, and works as a vocal coach preparing soloists for appearances with all the principal opera companies and early music ensembles. Peter is Director of Music in Chapel at St John's College, Durham, Director of Music at Hampstead Parish Church, and Musical Director of Orlando Chamber Choir. Future engagements include Striggio's forty-voice motet Ecce beatam lucem with singers from various London chamber choirs, the Verdi and Brahms Requiems, and the St John Passion of J.S. Bach.

Peter read for the BA as a Choral Scholar at King's College, Cambridge, and undertook further study at Trinity College of Music and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. He is currently the Radcliffe Scholar (doctoral) in composition at the University of Durham. Visit him at peterfoggitt.com, or send him amusing pictures of puffins and delicious cake recipes @peterfoggitt

Director of the Junior Choir,
Director of the Community Choir and
Tenor

Aidan Coburn Aidan Coburn

Aidan first sang with the senior choir at HPC when he was just sixteen, and has been involved with music making at the church in various ways ever since. Between then and now, Aidan read undergraduate music at Gonville and Caius College Cambridge and postgraduate vocal studies at Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Aidan taught academic music at The London Oratory School where, in addition to teaching the choristers, he also directed the internationally-renowned Schola Cantorum, and ran the Singup Chorister Outreach Programme.

As a singer, Aidan has worked with, amongst others, Glyndeboune and Wexford Festival Operas and at the Royal Opera House. In addition to singing, Aidan has performed widely as a conductor, having founded Shadwell Opera (with whom he won the International Herald Angel Award at Edinburgh Fringe Festival), and now conducting the Colla Voce Singers. At Hampstead, Aidan continues to sing in the senior choir as well as directing the Junior Choir and the Community Choir.

Organist

Geoffrey Webber Geoffrey Webber

Geoffrey Webber is an organist, conductor and music historian. In addition to his work at Hampstead he is General Editor of the Church Music Society and Associate Artistic Director of Armonico Consort. His musical education began as a chorister at Salisbury Cathedral and he read music at Oxford University, initially serving as Organ Scholar at New College under Edward Higginbottom. He later became Assisting Organist at Magdalen College and University Organist, and also served as Acting Organist for spells at both New College and Magdalen. As a doctoral student he researched music of the German Baroque period, and his publications in this area include North German Church Music in the Age of Buxtehude (OUP 1996) and a web-based resource for the Royal College of Organists on Buxtehude's organ music. He is also the co-editor of The Cambridge Companion to the Organ (CUP 1998), a general study of the history and repertoire of the instrument, and his most recent publication is a study of early Anglican church music for a German music encyclopedia. From 1989-2019 he worked in Cambridge as Precentor and Director of Studies in Music at Gonville & Caius College, releasing many CD recordings with the Caius choir of varied repertoire from first-millenium chant to music by contemporary composers such as Judith Weir and Julian Anderson (mainly on the Delphian label). During this time he also taught extensively for the Faculty of Music, and from 2011-19 he served as Course Principal and Director of the MMus degree in Choral Studies which he helped establish, which attracted students from all over the world. As an organ recitalist he enjoys performing a wide range of repertoire (recent venues include Bradford Cathedral, St John's College, Cambridge, and St Michael's Cornhill where he performed Petr Eben's dramatic cycle Faust) and he has also composed a chorale prelude for The Orgelbüchlein Project (which recently completed a task left unfinished by J.S. Bach) drawing inspiration from the music of Arnolt Schlick and György Kurtág.

Members of the Choir

Basses

Malachy Frame Malachy Frame

Belfast-born baritone Malachy Frame was a Garsington Opera Alvarez Young Artist for 2018. He was Northern Ireland Opera's 'Voice of 2016,' having won the competition at the company's annual 'Festival of Voice’ in August.

Since then, operatic roles have included Aeneas in Purcell’s ‘Dido and Aeneas’, Masetto in Mozart’s ‘Don Giovanni’, Guglielmo in Mozart’s ‘Così fan tutte’ for Northern Ireland Opera, Count Ceprano in Verdi’s ‘Rigoletto’ for Wexford Festival Opera, Labarta in the UK premiere of Juan Durán’s ‘O Arame’ for XOGA, and Contadino 1/Ufficiale in Alfano’s ‘Risurrezione’ for Wexford Festival Opera. He was a finalist in the Oxford Lieder Young Artist Platform 2018, and a finalist in the Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards 2016 at the Wigmore Hall.

Malachy completed a Masters at the Royal Academy of Music in London, studying with Mark Wildman and Iain Ledingham and graduating with distinction and a DipRAM for an outstanding final recital. Prior to this he graduated from the University of Cambridge, where he read Music and was a choral scholar at Gonville and Caius College.


Benjamin McKee Benjamin McKee


Tenors

xxxxx Paul Robinson
Paul read music and was both a chorister and choral scholar at King's College, Cambridge. He continued his studies at the Royal College of Music and was awarded the Opera Scholarship and the Mills Williams Junior Fellowship. His recordings include Purcell's Ode to St Cecilia and Mendelssohn's version of Bach's St Matthew Passion for Radio della Svizzera Italiana (RTSI) and a setting of Psalm 91 on the Hyperion Schubert series. Concert performances have included Beethoven's Mass in C in Bergen; Bach's St John Passion in Buxton; Handel's Messiah and Mozart's Requiem in King's College, Cambridge; Haydn's Missa Sancti Nicolae and Schubert's Magnificat with the Philharmonia at the Royal Festival Hall; Britten's Cantata Misericordium with the Bochum Symphoniker; Handel's Solomon and Theodora in Darmstadt and Frankfurt, and concerts in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Shizuoka, Japan. Recent engagements have included Beethoven's Mass in C in Bergen; Frederic, Pirates of Penzance in Buxton and Cheltenham, Bach's St John Passion in Buxton, Handel's Solomon and Theodora in Darmstadt and Frankfurt, and concerts in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Shizuoka, Japan. He has performed regularly with the Newbury Chamber Choir and the Hogarth Singers. He sings Evensong at Hampstead Parish Church as a member of the choir.
Website


Altos

Jess Dandy Jess Dandy

Jess Dandy, winner of the London Bach Society Bach Singers Prize 2017, is a graduate with distinction of Guildhall School of Music & Drama and Trinity College, Cambridge. She was a Britten-Pears Young Artist, and has performed at 22 Mansfield Street, Oxford Lieder Festival, Wigmore Hall and Barbican Hall.

This year Jess is looking forward to joining The Grange Festival Opera Chorus, presenting recitals with Martin Roscoe and Anthony Hewitt, performing in a Rising Stars concert at St George’s Bristol and participating in Thomas Hampson’s Lied Akademie at the Boulez Saal, Berlin and Heidelberger Frühling. She is also competing in the final of The Oxford Lieder Young Artist Platform, semi-finals of The Royal Overseas League Competition, The Kathleen Ferrier Award and The London Handel Competition. Opera highlights include a Datta/Maxwell ROH workshopping, Venables 4.48 Psychosis ROH/Lyric Hammersmith, Ensemble and Cover Messenger Monteverdi Orfeo ROH/The Roundhouse and Into The Little Hill Shadwell Opera. Concert credits include Mozart Requiem St Martin-in-the-Fields, Berlioz Roméo et Juliette Barbican and Salle Pleyel LSO dir. Valery Gergiev, Andriessen De Staat Queen Elizabeth Hall dir. Simon Wills and Steve Reich Music for a Large Ensemble BBC Proms Multi-Story dir. Chris Stark.

Jess is also a keen ensemble singer with the Monteverdi Choir, Gabrieli Consort, Polyphony, Philharmonia Voices, Le Concert d’Astrée, Sonoro, Philharmonia Chorus Professional Scheme and Florilegium. She currently studies with Gary Coward.



Catherine Backhouse Catherine Backhouse
Mezzo-soprano Catherine Backhouse grew up in Edinburgh and began singing as a chorister in St Mary's Episcopal Cathedral. She graduated with an honours degree in music from The University of Durham and completed the prestigious Opera Studies and Artist Diploma programmes at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama with distinction. She was a Scottish Opera Emerging Artist for the 2017/2018 Season and won the Sunday Herald Cutlure Award for Best Musical Artist for her performances there which included Annina in La Traviata, Opera Highlights tour and the world première of Grace Notes by Samuel Bordoli. Since then she has played Concepción in L’heure Espagnole with Mid-Wales Opera, Suzuki Madama Butterfly with West Green House Opera and Jan in Jan Tait and the Bear by Emily Doolittle in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival at Summerhall. This Summer she will be playing Isabella in L’Italiana in Algeri with Diva Opera. Previous roles include Third Lady The Magic Flute (Mid-Wales Opera), Léonor in Donizetti’s La Favorite (UCOpera), Philomen in Gluck Philomen and Baucis (Bampton Classical Opera), Idamante (cover) Idomeneo (Garsington Opera) Dryad Ariadne auf Naxos (West Green House), L’Enfant in Ravel's L'Enfant et les Sortilèges (Barbican), Cherubino Le Nozze di Figaro (GSMD). Catherine is a Britten‐Pears Young Artist and performed Kate Julian in Owen Wingrave at the 2014 Aldeburgh and Edinburgh International Festivals. Concerts include Alexander Nevsky (Barbican), Wagner Wesendonk Lieder (Milton Court), Handel’s Messiah (Dunedin Consort), Schumann Frauenliebe und Leben (The Forge). A new music enthusiast, Catherine has performed Kurtág Messages of the Late R.V.Troussova, Mezzo Actor in Judith Weir’s A Night at the Chinese Opera, Mariko in Tokaido Road by Nicola LeFanu. Website


Sopranos

Elspeth Piggott Elspeth Piggott

Elspeth Piggott graduated with a BA in music from the University of York in 2014, and is currently studying with Veronica Veysey Campbell. As well as passionately pursuing a career as a soloist, she also sings with a number of professional choirs including I Fagiolini, The Marian Consort, Polyphony, Contrapunctus and the Britten Sinfonia Voices. Recent highlights of her solo work include Mozart’s Litaniae Lauretanae at St John’s Smith Square with the European Union Chamber Orchestra, Handel’s Messiah at Snape Maltings Concert Hall, Haydn’s Creation Mass at the Sheldonian Theatre, and MacMillan’s Seven Last Words from the Cross at the Barbican with the Britten Sinfonia.

Cultivating her love of opera, Elspeth has appeared in masterclasses with Andreas Scholl, Katie Mitchell, Elaine Kidd, Tom Guthrie, and Kitty Whately. Her opera roles have included Susanna in Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro, Eurydice in Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld, Belinda in Purcell's Dido and Aeneas, and Miss Wordsworth in Britten’s opera Albert Herring.



Christine Buras Christine Buras

American soprano Christine Buras is a graduate of the Royal Academy of Music's postgraduate Vocal Studies course, where she studied with Julie Kennard and James Baillieu and received the DipRAM award for an exemplary final recital. Her operatic roles include Suor Dolcina and La Prima Sorella Cercatrice (Puccini's Suor Angelica ) for Royal Academy Opera, Hélène (Chabrier's Une Éducation Manquée ) for Pop-Up Opera, Lucy (Menotti's The Telephone ) for Salon Opera, Princess Almond (Danyal Dhondy's Shahrazad ) for Opera Vera, Theodora (Handel's Theodora ) for Benslow Opera, and Belinda (Purcell's Dido and Aeneas ) for Indiana University. As an ensemble singer she has worked for conductors including Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Masaaki Suzuki, Laurence Cummings, and Marin Alsop. She is a founding member of the contemporary music group Ensemble x.y, who are making their debuts at St. John Smith Square and St. Martin-in-the-Fields later this year. In her free time she enjoys cooking dinner parties and hillwalking in Scotland.