Benjamin Nicholas appointed as Principal Conductor

The Oxford Bach Choir is delighted to announce that it has appointed Benjamin Nicholas, Director of Music, Merton College, Oxford as their Principal Conductor with effect from October 2018.

Ben has worked with the choir several times in the past, most recently last term when he rehearsed and conducted them in an exhilarating performance of Vaughan Williams’ A Sea Symphony with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.

Peter Gilliver, Chairman of the Oxford Bach Choir said, “I’m delighted that the Oxford Bach Choir has appointed Ben Nicholas as its new Principal Conductor. He is a fantastic musician, who brings both passion and expertise to the music he conducts; the Choir already has first-hand experience of what an enormous pleasure he is to work with, and the marvellous music-making that he can produce with us.”

Of his appointment, Benjamin says “I am thrilled to have been appointed Principal Conductor of the Oxford Bach Choir. I enjoyed working with them last year and look forward to my appointment starting in the autumn. I have long been aware of the important role the choir plays in Oxford’s musical life and it is very exciting to be part of the choir’s future.”

Benjamin was a chorister in the Choir of Norwich Cathedral before holding organ scholarships at Lincoln College, Oxford and St Paul’s Cathedral. As an undergraduate he was Conductor of The Oxford Chamber Choir, and in 2000 held the post of Director of Music of St Luke’s Church, Chelsea.

At the age of twenty-three he became Director of the choir of men and boys at Tewkesbury Abbey where he remained until 2012. From 2011-2016 he served the Edington Music Festival, firstly as conductor of the Schola and then as Festival Director.

As Director of Music of Merton College, Oxford, Ben’s work with the choir has been acclaimed through recordings on the Delphian label and broadcasts on the BBC, the most recent of which was a broadcast on Radio 3 from St Peter’s Basilica, The Vatican.

He has directed the choir on tour in the USA, Sweden, Italy and France, and in world premieres of music by Birtwistle, Chilcott, Dove, Jackson, MacMillan, Tabakova and Weir. As an organist, he has appeared with The Tallis Scholars, and his most recent recording, of Elgar’s organ works, was described by The Sunday Times as ‘a musical achievement… captivating”.

More information:

Benjamin Nicholas brings considerable experience to this new role, having worked with numerous choirs and orchestras including the City of London Sinfonia, BBC Singers, Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra, CBSO, The Trondheim Soloists and The Holst Singers in works such as Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius, Verdi’s Requiem, Holst’s Savitri and Berlioz’s Te Deum.