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Terry Edwards (Choral Conductor)

Born: May 25, 1939 - North London, England

The English choral conductor, Terry Edwards, was educated at Trinity College of Music. He taught music and played basketball for the Great Britain team but changed direction after the Olympic Games of 1964 to become a professional singer.

Terry Edwards soon became the Manager of firstly the ground-breaking John Alldis Choir and then Roger Norrington's Schütz Choir of London. In 1973 he formed London Voices and also became the first manager and the sound engineer of Swingle 2 moving on in 1977 to form the pioneering avant-guarde vocal consort Electric Phoenix.

It was with the Swingles and Electric Phoenix that his long association with Luciano Berio began which has lead to over one hundred performances and four recordings of Sinfonia with many of the worlds leading symphony orchestras. Terry Edwards became Director of London Sinfonietta Voices and Chorus in 1980 and this, plus his continuing association with Electric Phoenix, brought him into contact with many of the most famous late 20th century composers including Adams, (Luciano Berio), Harrison Birtwistle, Pierre Boulez, Cage, Holliger, Ligeti, Peter Maxwell Davies, Messiaen and Pousseur. He gave first performances and made recordings of several of their compositions and was also instrumental in commissioning over 50 other new works.

Sir Georg Solti was hugely influential in the development of Terry Edwards as a Chorus Master, offering him many opportunities with London Voices in Europe and also inviting him to Chicago as guest chorus master with the much acclaimed Chicago Symphony Chorus. It was Sir Georg Solti who also invited Terry Edwards to act as Guest Chorus Master at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in November 1991 and he completes 12 years as permanent Chorus Director there in the Summer of 2004.

During those years Terry Edwards has prepared the Royal Opera Chorus for productions of 111 operas by 43 composers with 68 conductors including Claudio Abbado, Christoph von Dohnányi, Gatti, Gergiev, Bernard Haitink, Charles Mackerras, Zubin Mehta, Pappano, Simon Rattle, Esa-Pekka Salonen and Thielemann. As a conductor he has recorded albums by Benjamin Britten, Ligeti and Messiaen and directed concert cycles of all the madrigals by Wilbye and Marenzio and all the a capella music by B. Britten and Francis Poulenc. He conducted a BBC Promenade Concert performance of Carmina Burana with one thousand singers drawn from choirs from all over Great Britain.

Terry Edwards has given concerts and made recordings and worked with radio choirs, choral societies and choruses the world over. In 1988 season he performed with the BBC Singers and Choral Society at the Festival Hall, J.S. Bach's B minor Mass (BWV 232) at Glasgow; Concerts with the London Sinfonietta, in the Promenades and festival appearances in Berlin, Geneva and Turin; Chorus Master for Georg Solti in three Verdi concerts in Chicago. In 1980 he directed the chorus at the Michael Vyner Memorial at Covent Garden. Other repertoire includes the Polotsvian Dances, Symphony of Psalms and B. Britten's Cantata Misericordiam, AMDC, Hymn to St Cecilia and A Boy was Born. In 1991 he appeared in concerts with the Danish Radio Choir and works by Erik Bergmann in Finland. He has received invitations as Guest Chorus Master in three continents:- In Chicago - USA with both the Chicago Symphony Chorus and with the Grant Park Festival; in Europe with the Radio Choruses of Denmark, France and Holland; and in Australia with the Chorus of the Sydney Opera House.

Terry Edwards has completed recordings with the BBC Singers and also the Radio Choirs of Denmark and Holland and he conducted all the choral sections of the three film soundtracks of Lord of the Rings. Other recordings include Messiaen’s Cinq Rechants, Sergei Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky Vespers, B. Britten‘s Cantata Misericordiam (Virgin Classics); Verdi Choruses (Decca).

Source: London Voices Website; International Who's Who in Music & Musicians' Directory (13th Edition, 1992/93); The Artist (February 2013)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (November 2010)

Recordings of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works




Raymond Leppard

Chorus Master

BWV 52, BWV 80, BWV 140 [w/ London Voices]

Links to other Sites

Biography - Terry Edwards (London Voices)


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