Gregory Batsleer

Chorus Director

“What can so often seem like an endurance was here a euphoric success from start to finish... most impressive was the extraordinary detail he demanded and received throughout from Gregory Batsleer’s expertly-trained chorus; needle-sharp diction capable of cutting through the orchestral largesse, and expressive range intensified by the superb homogeneity of the voices” The Scotsman (Beethoven Missa Solemnis, April 2017)

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 seven seasons Batsleer has led the development of the Chorus, overseeing the growth of associate membership, vocal coaching and the SCO Chorus Scholarship programme and the emergence of annual SCO Chorus Christmas Concerts. 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.

From 2013 - 2017 Batsleer was Artistic Director of the National Portrait Gallery’s Choir-in-Residence Programme in London and conductor of the Portrait Choir, the first in-house music programme and ensemble in any gallery or museum in the world. Their choral audio guide to the Gallery was released in 2016.

Since 2015, Batsleer has been Chorus Director of the RSNO Chorus and earlier this year made his conducting debut with the RSNO and Chorus in a performance of Mozart's Requiem. In January 2017 he took up the newly-created position of Choral Director with Huddersfield Choral Society. As well as taking overall artistic responsibility for the Society, he will conduct a number of concerts and recordings each season.  

As Guest Conductor, recent and forthcoming highlights include the modern-day premiere of Gluck's Antigono with Ensemble Serse, as well as performances with the Hallé, Academy of Ancient Music, Black Dyke Band, Aurora Orchestra, the Royal Northern Snfonia, RNCM Opera, Florilegium, the National Youth Choir, Toronto Mendelssohn Choir and the Rodolfus Choir.

He has been Guest Chorus Master for orchestras including Toronto Symphony, Houston Symphony, Orchestra of Opera North and BBC Philharmonic, working with leading conductors including Sir Mark Elder, Edward Gardner, Sir Andrew Davis, Louis Langrée, Sir Roger Norrington, Robin Ticciati, Emmanuel Krivine and Phillipe Herreweghe.

Outside the classical music sphere Batsleer has worked as collaborator on performances and recordings with artists including Elbow, James, Tim Burgess, Damon Albarn and Clean Bandit.  Last season he acted as musical consultant on Nick Drake’s new play All the Angels: Handel and the First Messiah at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse.  He has a close working relationship with composer Joe Duddell and has premiered works by David Lang, Colin Metters, Uri Caine and Ben Parry. This summer he will guest-curate multi-disciplinary performances at the Southbank Centre as well as the Latitude and Wilderness Festivals.

Between 2007–2012 Batsleer held scholarships at Princeton University and the Royal College of Music, as well as receiving tuition and mentorship from Simon Halsey, Martyn Brabbins and Baldur Brönnimann. He currently teaches choral conducting at the University of Edinburgh and has worked as guest conductor with the University Chamber Orchestra and Choir.   

Batsleer’s outstanding work as a choral director was recognised with the 2015 Arts Foundation’s first-ever Fellowship in Choral Conducting.

Parry’s masterly late Songs of Farewell, usually territory for young professional choristers but authoritatively shaped by the SCO Chorus under the obviously talented Gregory Batsleer” The Arts Desk (East Neuk Festival 2016)

"It was the performance of Gregory Batsleer's chorus that was the best thing in a Requiem that was profound and moving" Herald (Mozart Requiem, March 2015)