Simon Halsey advises the world’s finest conductors, orchestras and choruses and has been instrumental in raising the standard of choral singing throughout Europe. As a musical ambassador, he has made singing a central part of leading cultural institutions, including as artistic director of the Vocal Heroes, the children’s and youth choral programme of the Berliner Philharmoniker.
Simon Halsey, who completed his conducting studies at the Royal College of Music in London, sang in the choirs of New College, Oxford, and King's College, Cambridge. In 1987, he founded the City of Birmingham Touring Opera with Graham Vick. In 1982, Sir Simon Rattle invited him to take over the direction of the City of Birmingham Symphony Chorus, a post he still holds today. Here he established an exemplary youth choir programme, which has been followed by many others. Halsey became guest conductor and then principal conductor of the Netherlands Radio Choir. From 2001 to 2015, he led the Rundfunkchor Berlin, with which he was involved in countless concerts of the Berliner Philharmoniker and with which he is still associated today as an honorary conductor. Since 2012, Halsey has served as choral director of the London Symphony Orchestra and London Symphony Chorus and as director of the BBC Proms Youth Choir. At the beginning of the 2016/17 season, he took over the direction of the Orfeó Català choir and the associated position of artistic adviser at the Palau de la Música Catalana in Barcelona. Halsey is creative director of the WDR Rundfunkchor, holds a professorship at the University of Birmingham and is a guest lecturer at Princeton and Yale, among others. Among numerous other awards, he has received the Queen’s Medal for Music, was appointed Commander of the British Empire and was awarded the German Federal Cross of Merit.