Peter Ellis, our Music Director
Peter Ellis is a native of Halifax, UK and read Music at the University of Birmingham, studying violin, organ and conducting. He was Music Director of the Birmingham University Chamber Choir and also a member of the renowned City of Birmingham Symphony Chorus, performing at BBC Proms, on BBC Radio and Channel 4 television and on the Gramophone award winning EMI recording of Syzmanowski’s King Roger. Peter qualified in Music Education from the University of London Institute of Education in 2000 and relocated to Australia in 2002. Peter has held a number of artistic positions including Music and Artistic Director of both the Newcastle University Choir and Eastern Sydney Chamber Orchestra and Music Director for Tenor Australis.
He has made regular guest conducting appearances for a number of leading vocal ensembles including Coro Innominata, Macquarie University Singers and the Choirs of Christ Church Cathedral, Newcastle and St. Andrew’s Cathedral, Sydney. Peter also enjoyed four years as pianist for the David Jones Christmas Choir. In addition, as a participant in the Symphony Australia conductor development program, Peter conducted the Tasmanian, Adelaide and Queensland Orchestras. Always heavily involved in church music, Peter was assistant organist/director of music at Sydney’s St. James’ Anglican Church, King Street from 2005-2009. He directed a number of orchestral masses and also recorded and broadcast with the choir and Australian Baroque Brass. He was latterly Director of Music at St. Luke’s, Mosman from 2009 to 2015.
Peter continues to make appearances as organist and harpsichord continuo player. Peter has been Director of Choral Programs at Sydney’s Barker College since 2012. As well as director of one of Australia’s largest school choral programs, Peter is conductor of the college’s renowned Chamber Choir. With Barker’s choirs he has performed in Boston, New York, Washington DC, Istanbul, Cannakale and Gallipoli, as well as giving the first performance outside the USA and the Boston and New York premieres of Eric Whitacre’s choral version of Goodnight Moon. He also directs a number of junior and alumni ensembles and teaches both middle and senior school classroom music. He is fanatically committed to music education and community outreach.
In August 2015 Peter became Music Director of Willoughby Symphony Choir. He has since conducted recordings, prepared them for performances of Beethoven 9, Christmas, Opera Gala and Promenade concerts as well as conducting 2016 Season performances of Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Faure’s Requiem and Gjeilo’s Sunrise Mass. 2017 conducting appearances include Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem with the WSC and WSO and Rossini’s Stabat Mater. Other conducting appearances this year include concerts with the Ku-ring-gai Philharmonic and NSW Lawyers Orchestras.