BBC Proms Youth Choir

The BBC Proms Youth Choir was founded in 2012 and serves to promote young talent. Scheduled to last several years, this project assembles the finest young singers from all over Great Britain to offer the opportunity to rehearse major choral works at the highest level and then perform them with professional symphony orchestras during the BBC Proms. To this end the Choir’s director Simon Hal-sey annually arranges an intensive period of work in Birmingham preceding the concerts. Three years ago, during its first summer, the BBC Proms Youth Choir performed Michael Tippett’s oratorio A Child of Our Time with the BBC Symphony Orchestra under David Robertson. In 2013 followed a performance of Ralph Vaughan Williams’ A Sea Symphony, which was conducted by Sakari Oramo; and in 2014, to mark the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War, they took part in Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra under Andris Nelsons. The young singers for 2015 are drawn from the CBSO Youth Chorus, the University of Birmingham Voices, both the Ulster and Hallé Youth Choirs, the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama Chamber Choir, and Quay Voices. Choir Director Simon Halsey, who was born in 1958 in London, received his training at New College, Oxford; King’s College, Oxford; and the Royal College in London. Since 1983 he has helmed the CBSO Chorus in Birmingham; from 2002 to 2008 Halsey also served as Conductor of the Netherlands Radio Choir in Hilversum, and from 2001 to 2015 he was Artistic Director of the Rundfunkchor Berlin. In 2011 he published a book on choral conducting as part of the series Schott Master Class.

August 2015