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The Art of Choir Training: Saturday, January 21st 2006 from 11 - 1 pm

Edward Higginbottom
Fellow, Tutor and Lecturer in Music, Organist and Choirmaster at New College
New College, Oxford

This was an event for organists, choir directors and adult singers. Edward Higginbottom talked about both the principles and specific details of training young singers, demonstrating his points with the trebles of New College Choir.

Edward Higginbottom has been Director of Music at New College, Oxford since 1976. His early music training was primarily as an organist, and before he left school he had already gained his Fellowship of the Royal College of Organists, winning the Harding and Read prizes for the most outstanding candidate of the year. There followed a long association with Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, beginning with an organ scholarship (winning the John Stewart of Rannoch university prize in Sacred Music), continuing with graduate work and a doctoral thesis on French baroque music, and ending with a research fellowship (1973-76). From 1970 to 1972 he worked in Paris. His contact with French culture has born fruit in entries on French music for The New Grove Dictionary of Music, editions of François Couperin's chamber music, and activities related to French musical policy.

Since his appointment to New College, Edward Higginbottom has brought the Choir of New College into international relief. The Choir has toured extensively in most major European countries, and has also visited Brazil and Australia. It has become increasingly known for its performances of Renaissance and Baroque music, and these interests have shaped a very extensive discography (some 60 recordings), including many of music hitherto not recorded, for which Dr Higginbottom has been responsible for the new editions used (Gibbons, Mondonville, Italian composers of the early 17th century, etc.).

Edward Higginbottom's work at Oxford also involves teaching in the Faculty of Music as a Lecturer. He has also been active in advising the French Ministry of Culture on its policy of reintroducing choir schools in France, for which work he has been honoured with the decoration of `Officier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres'. He has acted as jury president at various international music competitions and as consultant.

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