Choral Conducting - Shortlisted 2015
After working as Music Director of the London Symphony Orchestra Youth Choirs between 2010 and 2013, Lee Reynolds served as Chorus Master for Glyndebourne’s production of their community opera Imago composed by Orlando Gough, developing non-professional singers to perform this challenging score. The performance was lauded by the Royal Philharmonic Society where it won the 2014 Learning and Participation Award, and singled out the achievements of the chorus for particular merit. This led to his appointment as Assistant Conductor on Glyndebourne's festival production of Don Giovanni in 2014.
Along with leading singing seminars for music teachers through The Prince's Teaching Institute, Lee has also developed a choral outreach programme, going into some of the most challenging secondary schools in Hackney and Islington to engage the young people in singing workshops and to further the opportunities for those who developed an interest in performing. He insists that a key element of a choir is creating a relaxed and focused environment, explaining, “with an orchestra, manufacturing high-tension and high-risk situations can sometimes result in electrifying performances, but that cannot work with singers; bodily tension can do a lot of damage”. He aims always to make his working style engaging and swift in order to avoid any sense of a "jaded slog", and to break down barriers between conductor and singers, fostering a collegiate relationship, and taking care of how positive the experience of the musicians involved should be.