Neil Ferris was appointed Chorus Director of the BBC Symphony Chorus in 2017. He is also Artistic Director of the professional chamber choir Sonoro and Music Director of Wimbledon Choral Society. He makes his BBC Proms conducting debut in August, celebrating the 90th Anniversary season of the BBC Symphony Chorus with the premiere of Jonathan Dove’s specially commissioned piece We are one fire.
With Sonoro, Neil has appeared at the St Magnus International Festival, the Wimbledon International Music Festival and at King’s Place in London. In demand as guest conductor at some of the finest choirs in the UK, Neil has worked with London Symphony Chorus, Choir of the Age of Enlightenment, BBC Singers and the National Youth Choir of Wales and has prepared choirs for conductors including Marin Alsop, Sir Andrew Davis, Edward Gardner, Valery Gergiev, Bernard Haitink, Sakari Oramo and Sir Simon Rattle.
Orchestras that Neil has conducted include London Symphony Orchestra, the Philharmonia, Welsh National Opera, London Mozart Players and Orchestra of the Swan. He made his Royal Opera House conducting debut in a production of Will Tuckett’s ballet The Wind in the Willows. Later this year he will conduct the opening concert of the Derry International Choral Festival with the Ulster Orchestra, and will be a member of the international jury for the competition.
Formerly Director of Choral Studies at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Neil is recognised as one of the country’s leading teachers of choral conducting and has led masterclasses in the UK, USA, Ireland, Denmark and later this year in China and Singapore. In the UK he has been invited to lead masterclasses at the Royal College of Music, Royal Academy of Music and the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.
Recordings include an album of the choral music of Jonathan Dove (Naxos), Fauré Requiem (Convivium), and a regular programme of recordings with Sonoro on the Resonus label. Their album Christmas with Sonoro was Christmas album of choice in the BBC Music Magazine, and followed on from their critically acclaimed debut album Passion and Polyphony featuring works of James MacMillan and Frank Martin. This year sees two releases, Choral Inspirations and an album of the choral music of Martin Bussey. Next year will see the world premiere recording of Cecilia McDowall’s Da Vinci Requiem with the Philharmonia and Wimbledon Choral Society.