Simon Halsey is one of the world’s leading conductors of choral repertoire, regularly conducting prestigious orchestras and choirs worldwide. Halsey holds the position of Chief Conductor of the Berlin Radio Choir, frequently collaborating with such conductors as Sir Simon Rattle, Claudio Abbado and Marek Janowski. He has been Chorus Director of the CBSO Chorus for over 25 years, and works closely there with the orchestra’s Music Director Andris Nelsons. In 2012 he was announced as Choral Director of the London Symphony Orchestra and London Symphony Chorus, working closely with LSO Principal Conductor Valery Gergiev and leading choral strategy across the LSO’s performance and education programmes. Simon Halsey also holds the positions of Artistic Director of the Berlin Philharmonic’s Youth Choral Programme and Director of the BBC Proms Youth Choir.
Recent projects for Halsey with the Berlin Radio Choir have included performances of Bizet’s Carmen at the Salzburg Easter Festival 2012 with the Berlin Philharmonic and Sir Simon Rattle. He furthermore prepared the choir for Tallis’ 40-part motet Spem in alium and Antonio Lotti’s Crucifixus, in a programme with Mahler’s Eighth Symphony which concluded Musikfest Berlin, as well as for Jonathan Harvey’s grand new work Weltethos.
Upcoming projects in the 2012/13 season with the London Symphony Orchestra and London Symphony Chorus include Szymanowski’s Stabat Mater and Song of the Night with Valery Gergiev, Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem, also with Gergiev, and Mozart’s Requiem with Sir Colin Davis. Highlights of Simon Halsey’s work in
Birmingham include Symphony Hall’s 21st- anniversary concerts in June where he will be conducting the CBSO and its Chorus in Elgar’s final, deeply personal masterpiece The Music Makers. His work in Birmingham is complemented by a new role as Professor and Director of Choral Activities at the University of Birmingham. Simon Halsey held the position of Chief Conductor of the Netherlands Radio Choir from 1997-2008, and the position of Principal Conductor, Choral Programme of the Northern Sinfonia from 2004-2012.
Halsey has worked on countless major recording projects, many of which have won major awards including several Gramophone Awards and Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik. In February 2011 Halsey received his third Grammy Award for Best Choral Performance for the recording of L’Amour de Loin by the Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho, having previously won a Grammy in both 2008 and 2009 for the Berlin Radio Choir’s recordings of works by Brahms and Stravinsky respectively.
In January 2011, Simon Halsey was presented with the prestigious Bundesverdienstkreuz 1. Klasse, Germany’s Order of Merit by State Cultural Secretary André Schmitz in Berlin. This is in recognition of outstanding services to choral music in Germany.