Gregory Batsleer

Chorus Director

Batsleer, Gregory

"..... it was the performance of Gregory Batsleer's chorus that was the best thing in a Requiem that was profound and moving" -  ***** Herald, March 2015

Gregory Batsleer has held the position of Chorus Director with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra since 2009, winning widespread critical acclaim for his work.

Over the last six years Gregory has led the development of the Chorus, overseeing the growth of associate membership, vocal coaching and the SCO Chorus Scholarship programme. As well as preparing the Chorus for regular performances with the Orchestra, Gregory has directed their recent successful appearances at Edinburgh International Jazz Festival, East Neuk and St Andrews Voices Festivals, and at Greyfriars Kirk as part of the SCO Season. In December he conducts the Chorus at Greyfriars Kirk in an a capella concert featuring Britten's Ceremony of Carols.

Gregory is Artistic Director of the National Portrait Gallery Choir-in-Residence Programme in London, where he is Principal Conductor of its professional chamber choir, the Portrait Choir. Last season he acted as musical consultant on Nick Drake’s new play All the Angels: Handel and the First Messiah, featuring the Portrait Choir, at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse. Gregory directed the Portrait Choir in a cross-art performance at Latitude 2015 and will undertake a major recording project with them in 2016.

In 2015 Gregory became Chorus Director of the RSNO Chorus and in April 2017 will make his conducting debut with the RSNO and Chorus in a performance of Mozart Requiem.

As Guest Conductor, recent and forthcoming highlights include the modern-day premiere of Antigono with Ensemble Serse, to whom he returns in 2017 for Pergolesi’s L’Olimpiade; and performances with the Hallé, Academy of Ancient Music, Brandenburg Sinfonia, Royal College of Music Baroque Orchestra, members of Florilegium and the Rodolfus Choir. He has been Guest Chorusmaster for orchestras including Northern Sinfonia, English Chamber Orchestra, Houston Symphony Orchestra and BBC Philharmonic, working with leading international conductors including Sir Mark Elder, Markus Stenz, Adam Fischer, Louis Langrée, Sir Roger Norrington, Robin Ticciati, Emmanuel Krivine and Phillipe Herreweghe.

Outside the classical music sphere Gregory has worked as collaborator, musical supervisor and consultant on performance and recording projects with artists including Elbow, James, Tim Burgess, Damon Albarn and Clean Bandit. He has a close working relationship with composer Joe Duddell and has premiered works by composers including Colin Metters, Uri Caine and Ben Parry.

Previous posts include Director of Hallé Youth Choir (2008–2011) and Director of Choirs at Manchester University (2009–2013). Gregory currently teaches choral conducting at the University of Edinburgh and has recently worked as guest conductor with the University’s Chamber Orchestra and Choir. He maintains a close association with the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain.   

Between 2007–2012 Gregory held scholarships at Princeton University and the Royal College of Music. He is grateful for tuition and support from leading musicians including Baldur Brönnimann, Martyn Brabbins, Simon Carrington and Simon Halsey; he currently studies privately with Neil Ferris.

Gregory’s outstanding work as a choral director was recently recognised with the Arts Foundation’s first-ever Fellowship in Choral Conducting.