Royal Leamington Spa bach Choir Musical Director
Photo: © jonesfotografie

Our Musical DirectorLee Dunleavy

Lee Dunleavy is a dynamic conductor, organ recitalist and composer. He read Music at Hertford College in the University of Oxford, as Organ Scholar and later Director of Chapel Music. As manager and member of the Oxford University Orchestra, he worked with such esteemed conductors as Douglas Boyd, Peter Stark, Garry Walker, and Sir Roger Norrington.

After working as Director of Music at Christ Church, Southgate, London, where he directed the choir in performances of works including Brahms Ein Deutsches Requiem, Handel Messiah, and Monteverdi Vespers, he was awarded the Organ Scholarship at York Minster. He holds both the Choral Directing Diploma and the Fellowship of the Royal College of Organists, and is a prize-winning holder of the Archbishops' Certificate in Church Music. He has given concert performances of the complete organ works of both Bach and Buxtehude, and is an acclaimed exponent of modern American organ music.

From 2006 to 2014 Lee held the position of Director of Music at the prominent church of All Saints Northampton, leading the one hundred members of their separate choirs of boys, girls and men, in seven choral services each week. In 2007 he was appointed Musical Director of the Northampton Bach Choir. With these choirs he has commissioned over seventy new works, including compositions by Sir Richard Rodney Bennett, Sir Stephen Cleobury, Jonathan Dove, Michael Finnissy, Stephen Hough, and Sir James MacMillan. The choirs also toured extensively, from Canada and the United States to Austria, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, and Italy. Since leaving All Saints he has taken up positions as Director of Music at St Mary's Church, Wellingborough, Chorus Master of the Huntingdonshire Philharmonic, and in 2020 was appointed Musical Director of the Royal Leamington Spa Bach Choir.

He is fêted for his cohesive and innovative programming, both as a solo performer, and also when directing his choruses, and has received particular acclaim for performances combining choral classics by composers including Fauré, Mozart, Rutter, and Vaughan Williams, with première performances of works by North American composers including Stephen Chatman, David Conte, Dan Forrest, and Craig Phillips. He also regularly collaborates on performances of works by composers with local connections, and his first recording with the Northampton Bach Choir includes first recordings of over twenty works by composers closely associated with Northamptonshire.

Lee has also made a number of commercial recordings, most recently Be Merry!, a joint recording of North American Christmas works with the Choirs of All Saints and the Northampton Bach Choir. With the Choirs of All Saints he also recorded Notre Père, Carol of Joy, and Omnes Sancti, and with the Northampton Bach Choir, Congaudeat, I was glad, and Requiem Reflections. He has conducted and performed on BBC Radio 3 and 4, and on BBC One, and has toured throughout Europe and North America.

He is also an active composer and his studies at university led to the award of a Britten-Pears Scholarship to study with the present Master of the Queen's Music, Judith Weir; this in turn led to the commissioning and performance of his first Piano Quintet at the Purcell Room at the South Bank Centre, London. An arrangement of the National Anthem was commissioned by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and first performed there in the presence of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

For more details of Lee's activities, please visit leedunleavy.co.uk

Royal Leamington Spa bach Choir Accompanist

AccompanistColin Druce

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