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Iain Ledingham (Conductor, Piano, Harpsichord)

Born: Sheffield, England

The English conductor, pianist, harpsichordist and music pedagogue, Iain Ledingham, gained a degree in music at Queens' College, Cambridge, where he was Organ Scholar from 1973 to 1976. He subsequently studied piano, harpsichord and conducting at the Royal Academy of Music.

After his studies, Iain Ledingham has broadcast frequently on BBC Radio 3 as an accompanist for singers and instrumentalists and has accompanied many recitals for music clubs both here and abroad. Artists he has accompanied in recitals and broadcasts include: the singers Alison Hargan, Faith Wilson, Annabel Hunt, Patricia Rozario, David James, Maldwyn Davies, Jacek Strauch and Mark Wildman, flautist Richard Dobson, oboist Keith Marshall and violinist Paul Manley.

In 1981 Iain Ledingham joined the music staff of Glyndebourne Festival Opera and has played harpsichord continuo for a number of productions there with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, including W.A. Mozart's Marriage of Figaro in Glyndebourneís 50th anniversary season. As harpsichordist continuo player and choir trainer he has also worked with leading conductors including Sir Charles Mackerras, Trevor Pinnock, Sir Roger Norrington and Raymond Leppard. In 1984 he made his Queen Elizabeth Hall debut in harpsichord concertos by J.S. Bach.

Iain Ledingham formed the South Bucks Choral Society in 1980 and has performed many major choral works with that society and with the Thames Chamber Orchestra. In 1983 he founded the Amersham Festival of Music, a thriving annual event with an equally successful winter series of orchestra concerts given by the festivalís professional chamber orchestra. He has conducted them in a wide range of symphonic, choral and operatic works, as well as playing and directing many of W.A. Mozart's Piano Concertos. With the Amersham Festival Chamber Orchestra, hec performed J. Haydn's The Creation, Felix Mendelssohn's Elijah, George Frideric Handel's Messiah, J.S. Bach's St Matthew Passion (BWV 244) and Verdi's Requiem.

Iain Ledingham was appointed a Professor of Piano at the Royal Academy of Music in 1981 and was awarded a Fellowship for the academic year 1983-1984. In 1996 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music From 2000 to 2003 he was Director of Opera at the Royal Academy of Music, responsible for planning and overseeing the first two years of the Academy's new opera course, Royal Academy Opera. The course rapidly achieved an excellent reputation, attracting outstandingly talented young singers from far and wide. During that time he conducted performances of Falstaff (at the RAM) and W.A. Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro (in the 2002 Amersham Festival of Music) with singers from Royal Academy Opera as well as preparing students to work with distinguished guest conductors including Sir Charles Mackerras. Iain coaches many young Academy singers and pianists in preparation for operatic and concert work, besides training and conducting choirs there. In 2003 he returned to full-time work as a coach, pianist and conductor, and is greatly enjoying working with many young singers and accompanists at the RAM. In November 2003 he conducted performances of Haydnís delightful comedy Il Mondo della Luna and more recently in November 2005 W.A. Mozart's remarkable early opera La Finta Giardiniera both for Royal Academy Opera. He is now a professor in piano, vocal and opera faculties at RAM. In March 2009 he assisted Trevor Pinnock and conducted the final performance of Haydnís La Fedeltà Premiata.

Since its launch in January 2009, Iain Ledingham has also directed the Kohn Foundation Bach Cantata Series at the Royal Academy of Music, taking the role that J.S. Bach himself fulfilled when these great works were first performed.

 

Source: Royal Academy of Music Website; The Cantate Choir Website (March 2011)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (November 2015)

Iain Ledingham: Short Biography | Academy Baroque Orchestra | Recordings of Vocal Works | Royal Academy of Music - J.S. Bach: The Cantatas

Links to other Sites

Staff - Iain Ledingham (Royal Academy of Music)

Iain Ledingham (The Cantate Choir)


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