The Brandenburg Team
Robert (Bob) Porter began studying the bassoon aged 11 and at 14 was accepted as a Junior Exhibitioner at the Royal Academy of Music. Two years later, after playing with the National Youth Orchestra, he decided to give up all thoughts of a future in maths and instead, began a career which now encompasses musician, conductor, teacher, concert promoter and artistic director.
After studying at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama Bob worked as a musician and teacher, returning to Guildhall to teach in the Junior Department from its inception and becoming Head of Wind and Percussion in 1985 – a position he still holds today. As a performer he plays regularly with the London Mozart Players and has worked with every major professional orchestra in London.
In the early 1980s Bob founded the Brandenburg Sinfonia, the first of a group of orchestras under his artistic direction, which now also includes the Brandenburg Brass and Brandenburg Baroque Soloists. Playing regularly both in this country and abroad, one residency, at St Martin-in-the-Fields, gave him the idea for a Choral Festival based around some of the most beautiful churches in London. Starting in 2009 with six concerts at St Martins, the Brandenburg Choral Festival is now one of the largest and most significant Choral Festivals in the country. This year the Festival boasts over 100 choirs and concerts, covering the standard masterpieces of the choral repertoire along with jazz, barbershop and gospel, also making it one of the most varied and inclusive choral festivals.
In 1991 Bob was made a Freeman of the City of London for services to music – an honour which allows him to drive a flock of sheep over London Bridge - something he fully intends to do one of these days. In his spare time he is passionate about cricket, red wine and jazz, although not necessarily in that order!
Will Todd’s music is sung and loved all over the world. A composer of great fluency, his work encompasses choral works large and small, opera, musical theatre and orchestral pieces, as well as jazz compositions and chamber works. His 2003 mass setting Mass in Blue has been performed extensively worldwide; many times with the Will Todd Trio and Will at the piano.
Will Todd’s music is valued for its melodic intensity and harmonic skill, often incorporating jazz colours, and his choral music is much in demand from amateur as well as professional performers. He has worked extensively with community choirs, children’s choirs, youth choirs and church choirs, writing a large body of approachable liturgical music and directing regular workshops in the UK and internationally.
As this year's Artistic Patron, Will Todd said:
“The Brandenburg Choral Festival of London goes from strength to strength, and this year’s programme is a varied feast of music making.
I am so thrilled to be this year’s Artistic Patron and wish everyone involved in the Festival the very best for another series of fantastic concerts.”
Associate Music Director
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The Festival has been privileged to have benefitted from the support, enthusiasm and approbation of a number of major musicians active in the choral world, both here in the UK and internationally. We are most grateful to:
Associate Music Directors