UNIVERSITY NEWS LAST UPDATED : 30 SEPTEMBER
RBC Visiting Tutor and choral and Early Music specialist Jeffrey Skidmore has been shortlisted in the conductor category of the Royal Philharmonic Society (RPS) Awards 2021.
This is the first time the RPS has shortlisted a conductor whose career has been dedicated to the choral genre. Typically, the list of past winners and nominees will include conductors distinguished in opera and with orchestras.
Jeffrey’s presence on the shortlist reflects his 50-year contribution to choral music. Since founding Ex Cathedra in his home city of Birmingham in 1969, he has developed an international reputation for nurturing young singers and developing the choral repertoire through research and commissioning.
The shortlisting also acknowledges Jeffrey’s energy and imagination during the last 18 months, while embracing the challenges and opportunities of the Covid-19 pandemic, developing ideas to ensure Ex Cathedra was able to reach new and existing audiences – online, hybrid and live – serve its communities, and provide as much work as possible for its freelance musicians.
Jeffrey’s work during the pandemic explored the range of his research and commissioning interests, from Donati (1570-1638) to music commissioned from composers Alec Roth and Liz Dilnot Johnson, presented in virtual choir concerts that reached more than 100,000 people worldwide.
Jeffrey’s next project is a reconstruction of Beethoven’s funeral procession with Ex Cathedra and The Concert Trombone Quartette, offering audiences at Symphony Hall Birmingham a rare chance to discover the music heard by 20,000 people as they lined the streets of Vienna in 1827.
Other forthcoming projects include ‘Unending Love Weekenders’ - exploring fusions of Indian Classical and choral music in collaboration with Milapfest, composers Alec Roth and Roxanna Panufnik, the Britten Sinfonia, Mark Padmore, Vayu Naidu, Debipriya Sircar and Ensemble Tempus Fugit.
Full details of forthcoming concerts given by Jeffrey Skidmore and Ex Cathedra can be found at www.excathedra.co.uk.
The full RPS Awards shortlist is available here.
The winners will be announced in a celebratory presentation at Wigmore Hall in London on Monday 1 November.