Will Dawes is the Conductor of Bath Choral Society, Conductor of the Orlando Chamber Choir, Director of Ensemble 45, Chorusmaster for Ludus Baroque, Director of Music at the church of St Mary Magdalen, Oxford, and a member of Stile Antico.
Will’s musical career started as a chorister at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, and as a member of the Berkshire Young Musicians Trust. He studied Music at the University of Edinburgh and then Choral Conducting and Voice at the Royal Academy of Music under the direction of Patrick Russill, Paul Brough and David Lowe. There, he frequently conducted in the opera department and took part in master-classes with conductors such as David Hill, Timo Nuorane and Stephen Layton. On graduating, he was awarded the Thomas Armstrong Prize for Choral Direction.
Will’s work with his various choirs has seen performances of works ranging from Bach St John Passion, Scarlatti Stabat Mater and Haydn The Seasons to Britten The Company of Heaven and MacMillan Seven Last words from the Cross, the latter, with Bath Choral Society, being hailed as “A quite remarkable musical experience which had emotional intensity and depth of feeling”. His work with Ensemble 45 has included national premières of works by Pärt, Penderecki, Rautavaara and Whitacre alongside music by Brahms, Carver, Britten and Gabriel Jackson. A recent highlight was directing the Eric Whitacre Singers in a recording of Fly to Paradise – the track for Virtual Choir 4, which reached no.1 in the iTunes classical chart in the UK, US, and Canada.
Aside from his career as a conductor, Will is active as a consort singer and is a member of the internationally acclaimed and multiple-Grammy-nominated vocal ensemble Stile Antico. The group performs all over the globe, so far including concerts at the Wigmore Hall, Cadogan Hall (BBC Proms), 30 different venues in the USA, as well as Mexico, Portugal, Estonia and Canada. He is a former Lay Clerk of Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford, and has also appeared as part of the Gabrieli Consort, Collegium Vocale Gent and Polyphony. As a soloist, Will has sung works such as Orff Carmina Burana, Mahler Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen, and Adams The Wound Dresser as well as more canonic works by JS Bach and Handel. His one and only operatic role to date is that of Mr Gedge in Britten Albert Herring. He studies with Giles Underwood.