Director of the Consort
Jeremy Summerly is founder-conductor of Oxford Camerata and Director of Music at the London church of St Luke’s, Chelsea. He plays harpsichord, recorders, and Baroque violin and viola. He has conducted local choirs and orchestras in locations as far afield as Melbourne, Cape Town, Tokyo, Helsinki, and San Francisco, and he has conducted Benjamin Britten’s Hymn to the Virgin across the River Jordan, with one choir in Jordan and the other in Israel.
He is a reviewer for BBC Radio 3’s Record Review and a contributor to BBC Radio 4’s daily arts programme Front Row, where he has talked about subjects as varied as the Christmas carol, appropriate music for Valentine’s Day, and the resonant frequency of 19th-century German bathrooms. He has written articles for the Cambridge History of Musical Performance and the Cambridge Encyclopedia of Historical Performance in Music. As a teenager he was a composer and he has supported the performance of contemporary music since his student days in the 1980s at Oxford University and King’s College, London. He founded the Edington Festival Consort in 1983, having sung at the Edington Festival for three years before that.
In the 1990s he conducted Ligeti for Ligeti, Tavener for Tavener, and Pärt for Pärt, and he is an Honorary Member of the Royal Academy of Music, where for over
thirty years he was variously Head of Academic Studies, Head of Undergraduate Programmes, and latterly Sterndale Bennett Visiting Lecturer in Music. He has conducted over 60 commercial recordings of music spanning a millennium and has produced an equal number with groups such as I Faggiolini, the Choirs of New College and Christ Church, Oxford, the Choir of Westminster Abbey, and Stile Antico (with whom he won a Gramophone Award for production in 2021).
Since 2012 he has been the conductor of Mayfield Festival Choir and Artistic Director of Mayfield Festival of Music and the Arts. He was Director of Music at St Peter’s College, Oxford from 2015 until 2019 and was elected a Fellow of the Royal School of Church Music in 2017. In 2019 he began a three-year tenure as Visiting Professor of Music at Gresham College in the City of London and he is now Director of Studies in Music at Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge, working alongside Matthew Martin who is Director of Music there.