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Simon Joly

Simon Joly

Simon Joly was Associate Conductor of the BBC Singers from 1981 to 1988 and their Principal Conductor from 1989 to 1995. He conducted an enormous repertoire with them, specialising in contemporary repertoire. He conducted premieres of works by Luciano Berio, John Tavener, Peter Maxwell Davies, David Bedford, and Oliver Knussen among many others. Performances with the BBC Singers at the Proms included Stravinsky’s Les Noces, Steve Reich’s The Desert Music and Giles Swayne’s Cry; other performances included Brahms’ Fest und Gedenksprüche, Schoenberg’s Friede auf Erden and Richard Strauss’s Der Abend.

Other major 20th-century works performed include Messiaen’s Cinq Rechants, Birtwistle’s ...agm... and Henze’s The Raft of the Medusa with the BBC Singers and BBC Symphony Orchestra. He conducted Berio’s Coro with the BBC Singers and London Sinfonietta at La Scala, Milan in 1996. Concert performances with the BBC Singers included concerts at the Aldeburgh Festival, as well as Cologne, Frankfurt, Helsinki and Warsaw. Simon Joly conducted many premieres, including Iannis Xenakis’s Sea Nymphs, written for the BBC Singers’ 70th anniversary concert in September 1994. His recordings with the BBC Singers include a disc for Collins Classics of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies’ choral works, IKONS, a CD of Sir John Tavener’s choral works, and he has recorded both of Bantock’s Choral Symphonies with the BBC Singers.

He has conducted BBC performances of several operatic rarities, including Max Brand’s Maschinist Hopkins and Weber’s early work Peter Schmoll.

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