The English baritone, conductor, compooser, arranger and producer, Ben (Benjamin) Parry, was born and raised in Ipswich, Suffolk, where his father was an organist and music teacher. He studied at Ipswich School and St Catharines College of the University of Cambridge, where he was a choral scholar. He was founder of the Swingin Chickens Jazz Group.He sang in the King's College Choir Cambridge, performed in musicals and cabarets, and toured with a group on English "fringe" circuit
Early in his career, from 1987 to 1992, Ben Parry was a singer, music director and arranger with The Swingle Singers (Director: Ward Swingle). With the group, he toured the world and worked with musicians including Pierre Boulez, Luciano Berio and Stephane Grapelli. He wrote over 50 arrangements and compositions for the group and co-produced their recordings for EMI and Virgin Classics.
In 1994, Ben Parry was in the original London production of Cy Coleman's City of Angels at the Prince of Wales Theatre in the West End. In 1995, he and his family moved to Scotland. There, he co-founded the distinguished vocal ensemble, Dunedin Consort (Director: John Butt), and directed performances at festivals in the UK, Spain, Belgium, France and Canada. He was chorusmaster of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra Chorus and director of choral music at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (now the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland) in Glasgow. He directed five productions for Haddo House Opera.
From 2003 to 2008, Ben Parry was director of music at St Paul's School, London. He subsequently moved to Suffolk and took up the post of director at Junior Academy in London, combined with his freelance career. He is co-director with Terry Edwards of the professional choir, London Voices, who have been at the forefront of choral singing in the UK for over 30 years. The choir has performed on the soundtracks of major films, including The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, the Harry Potter series, The Mission, The Golden Compass and The Iron Lady. The choir has performed and recorded with major artists, including Sir Paul McCartney, Dave Brubeck, Bryn Terfel, Angela Gheorghiu and Renée Fleming. He took up the post of Assistant Director of Music at King's College, Cambridge, in 2013, in which rôle he directs King's Voices in choral evensong on Mondays.
Ben Parry has composed everything from comedy revue to sacred choral music. He composed a significant amount of choral music, published by Peters Edition. He collaborates regularly with author and lyricist Garth Bardsley, and together they have had works premiered by the BBC Singers, Sheffield Cathedral, Aldeburgh Voices, St Andrew's University, Chelmsford Cathedral, National Youth Choirs of Great Britain and London Voices.
As a conductor, Ben Parry has worked with the London Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Royal Seville Symphony Orchestra, Scottish Ensemble, National Youth Orchestra of Wales, Cumbria Youth Orchestra and the Vancouver Youth Symphony. He has sung with the Taverner Consort (Director: Andrew Parrott), Gabrieli Consort (Director: Paul McCreesh), Schutz Choir of London and Tenebrae (Director: Nigel Short). Parry is a director of the Eton Choral Courses and has conducted the National Youth Choir of Wales. He conducts Aldeburgh Voices, the resident choir for the Aldeburgh Festival in Snape Maltings, Suffolk. In October 2012 he was appointed director of the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain.
Parry has made over 70 recordings for EMI, Decca, Collegium, Virgin, Linn and Signum. He is married to violinist Kathryn Parry[ and they have three children: Freya Parry, Imogen (Midge) Parry, and George Parry.