The Philharmonie de Paris has appointed Richard Wilberforce as conductor of the Orchestre de Paris Choir, conducted to date by the duo Marc Korovitch and Ingrid Roose, the institution said in a press release.
It is a chance for a choral conductor to work in an orchestra that places choral singing at the heart of its programming, and demonstrates the confidence placed in its extraordinary singers, of all ages," enthuses Richard Wilberforce.
Currently conducting the Cambridge University Symphony Choir, the British-born conductor underlines his keen interest in conducting youth choirs. "In line with my predecessors to my compatriot Arthur Oldham, I am now extremely motivated to engage in collaborative work with associate conductors and thus help deliver passionate choral excellence to our audience," he said.
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Tuesday, May 30, the chef from across the Channel took his first steps. Its Cambridgian choir and its future singers of the Philharmonie have united to vibrate the walls of the great Pierre Boulez hall. Klaus Mäkela, music director of the Orchestre de Paris, successfully brought William Walton's tedious oratorio Belshazzar's feast. A successful baptism for the new chef, appreciated by the Finnish director.
I met Richard Wilberforce for the first time two years ago in Paris when we worked together "Le Soleil des eaux" by Pierre Boulez, testifies Klaus Mäkela. I discovered a passionate, open and very musical man. He brings a lot to our magnificent choir, and I look forward to working on Rachmaninoff's "The Bells" with him next September.»
At the end of his studies in opera singing at the Royal College of Music, Richard Wilberforce was destined for a career as a countertenor that led him to sing on the greatest European stages such as the Staatsoper unter den Linden in Berlin, the Théâtre du Capitole or the Grand Théâtre de Provence. Also a graduate of the University of Cambridge in choral conducting, he co-directs the Jeune Chœur de Paris with Marc Korovitch -antechamber of the ensemble Accentus founded by Laurence Equilbey- as well as the Ensemble vocal de la Maîtrise de Paris.
He is regularly invited by various French ensembles such as Accentus, Ensemble Pygmalion, the Radio France Choir, Les Métaboles and the Lyon Opera Choir. In the UK he has worked with the London Philharmonic Choir, the BBC Symphony Chorus and the National Youth Choir of Great Britain.
Starting in September, he will conduct the 350 passionate amateurs of the triple symphonic, youth and children's choir of the Philharmonic, founded in 1976 by Daniel Barenboim. Marc Korovitch, also head of Swedish radio and music director of the Colonne Orchestra, took over his conducting in January 2022. Together with Estonian Deputy Choral Conductor Ingrid Roose, they successfully revived the exquisite productions forcibly cancelled in the face of the pandemic.
They continued the work of Lionel Sow, who left for Radio France after ten years in this great musical family. The latter had created the Academy in 2012, a nursery of young talents aged 18 to 25 who are mostly destined for an operatic career.