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He began his musical career as a chorister at Westminster Abbey. He was later a member of King's College Choir, Cambridge, and a founder member of professional vocal ensemble The Scholars. In 1979 he became director of music at Clare College, Cambridge.
His work with Clare College Choir and with his professional chorus English Voices has earned him an international reputation, renowned both for his attention to technical detail and for the breadth of his musical interpretations. With Clare Choir he toured extensively and made many CDs, including acclaimed recordings of the Carol Sequence Ex Maria Virgine by Sir J. Tavener and the sacred choral music of R. Vaughan Williams. He is much in demand as a chorus master and has worked on a number of opera projects with R. Jacobs and I. Bolton. In 2008 and 2011 he assisted René Jacobs in a production of Händel's Belshazzar, and was chorus master for Cavalli’s Ercole Amante, conducted by I. Bolton.
In 2010 he prepared English Voices for productions of Gluck's Alceste and Mozart's Don Giovanni in the Aix festival. He has a keen interest in working with amateur singers and is a regular atelier leader in singing weeks, including Europa Cantat and Zimriyas. In 2010 he resigned as Director of Music at Clare College to pursue a freelance career. In 2011 he formed the Zürcher Sing-Akademie, a professional choir in Zürich, to work with the Tonhalle Orchestra in addition to giving its own concerts under his direction.