David Hill to conduct the BBC Singers 90th Anniversary celebrations

17 September 2014

As their chief conductor, David Hill will lead the upcoming BBC Singers 90th celebrations that culminate with a concert at the Barbican next week. Joining the BBC Singers is the South African soprano Pumeza Matshikiza in the world premiere of a new choral piece to mark the BBC Singers’ birthday by compatriot composer Kevin Volans. Hill also joins Andrew Litton to conduct (on and off stage) the BBC Singers and the BBC Symphony Orchestra in Charles Ives Symphony No 4. Details of this concert can be found on the BBC Singers website and the Barbican website.

This follows on from the success of his mid-August prom, in which he conducted the BBC Singers and the chamber ensemble Endymion in The Desert Music by Steve Reich which received high praise from critics:

“Accuracy and stamina…the BBC Singers and Endymion were expertly marshalled by David Hill”
Tim Ashley, The Guardian****

“it is Hill who deserves the highest praise; his direction communicated the vitality and fragility at the heart of the piece – a thrilling sense of life on the edge.”
Laura Battle, Financial Times****

“the lion’s share of the credit for this performance should go to David Hill, whose knowledge of and clear love for the score kept the chorus on the front foot, rhythmically tight and vocally expressive.”
Ben Hogwood, ClassicalSource

Earlier in 2014, the BBC Singers released a triumphant recording of Harrison Birtwistle‘s The Moth Requiem for Signum Classics. Conducted by Nicholas Kok, the disc received critical acclaim:

“Terrific stuff, with already the feel of a classic, and admirably served by the BBC singers plus alto flute and three harps, and the conductor Nicholas Kok.”
Stephen Plaistow, Gramophone Magazine

“We expect virtuosity from the BBC Singers, but this performance leaves one gaping in admiration… It is impossible to imagine a more favourable way of experiencing this enthralling music than by listening to this superbly engineered and presented release.”
William Hedley, International Record Review

David Hill then crosses the pond to continue in his role as the Principal Conductor of Yale University’s Schola Cantorum and later in September returns to St George’s Bristol for a sumptuous evening of Brahms with the BBC Singers. This BBC Radio 3 Live in Concert event will feature Brahms’ Geistliches Lied Op. 30, Haydn Variations Op. 56 and A German Requiem Op. 45. Details of this concert can be found on the BBC Singers website and the St George’s, Bristol website.

As Musical Director of the Bach Choir and Associate Guest Conductor of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Hill is praised for his latest recording of works by Howells which brings these two ensembles together. Released at the start of September the recording is a fine addition to the Naxos English Choral Music series.

“David Hill uses a score marked up by Howells with several radical tempi changes that he discovered by chance just a month before recording. The result is a fine reading.”
Stephen Pritchard, The Guardian****

More information about this CD can be found on the Naxos website.

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