Manchester’s internationally renowned Hallé Choir have welcomed a new choral director to lead the historic ensemble.
Matthew Hamilton took up the post in October and has been busy preparing his 160-stong choir for their performance of Poulenc’s Gloria on November 26.
Having studied at Oxford University and in the orchestra’s home town of Manchester, Matthew is no stranger to large choirs and even larger symphonies.
He has previously worked with BBC Singers, London Symphony Chorus, and BBC Symphony Chorus and directed his own choirs across the North West.
Matthew enthused about his upcoming work with the Halle, saying: “Coming to be choral director at the Hallé feels like being given a new and well-made instrument to play.
“I’m so excited to start the work of learning how to make it sound to its full potential, and putting it at the service of some thrilling music.
“The Hallé increasingly are putting choral music at the very heart of musical life here in Manchester, and it’s hugely exciting to be a part of that.”
Sir Charles Hallé founded the Hallé Choir alongside the Orchestra in 1858.
The choir gives around 15 concerts a year with the Hallé at The Bridgewater Hall and other venues across the UK.
It appears with internationally renowned conductors and soloists in concerts and recordings, performing an exciting and varied programme of major choral and operatic works.
Since 2003 the Hallé Choir has featured regularly on the Hallé’s own CD label which has won numerous awards, including the 2009, 2011 and 2013 Gramophone Choral Awards and the 2010 Gramophone Opera Award.
Matthew will prepare the Hallé Choir for all major choral events in the forthcoming seasons, including Handel’s Messiah and the Hallé Christmas Carol concerts in 2015.
“The choir is a very happy and enthusiastic group of singers so it is a really exciting time to be coming and working here,” he told MM.
The new choral director is passionate about sharing the music of the Halle with the people of Manchester.
“It seems to be increasingly necessary not only to bring people into concerts but to show people that whatever level they sing or listen at there is something for them in classical music,” he said.
“The Halle are providing opportunities for anyone who wants to sing in Greater Manchester.”
Image courtesy of Alan Stanton, with thanks.