Alan Tavener is a music graduate of the University of Oxford (where he was Heberden Organ Scholar at Brasenose College and when he gained diplomas in organ performance and teaching) and an educational research graduate of the University Strathclyde (where he focussed on the social, educational and health benefits of singing), where he was also Director of Music with responsibility for teaching, the promotion of a professional concerts series, and the direction of a wide range of student choirs, orchestras and ensembles, including Strathclyde University Chamber Choir which he continues to direct, and which has toured many times in Europe and further afield, has undertaken recorded and live radio broadcasts, and has released a CD of Romantic Scottish part-songs.
With Cappella Nova, Alan has made 13 CDs, all world premiere recordings, and directed the premieres of more than 60 commissioned pieces including major works by Sir John Tavener, James MacMillan, Roxanna Panufnik and Gabriel Jackson. As well as directing Cappella Nova on stage and leading singing workshops for established choirs and other organisations, he has a pivotal role in the Company’s popular public workshop series and community choirs, spearheading its burgeoning education and outreach programme of classes and choirs in collaboration with Strathclyde University’s Centre for Lifelong Learning, for whom he led a participative session at its 25th anniversary event ‘Celebrating Silver’, and leading the Scottish Plainsong Choir: a community project which explores liturgical music in historic venues and which regularly appears as a ‘backing group’ with Canty and Cappella Nova.
In recognition of his ground-breaking work in Scottish early choral music, in 2008 Alan was invited to direct a master-class for postgraduate choral conductors at the Moscow Conservatoire, since when he has mentored Apprentice Conductors for the Association of British Choral Directors, and led sessions at the Association’s annual Convention. In 2011 he presented a paper on the holistic benefits of group-singing activities at the annual Making Music Conference.
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