Conductor Celebrates Thirty Years With Chiswick Choir

Special performance of Haydn's Creation to mark the occasion


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Composer and conductor Alistair Jones will shortly celebrate his 30th Anniversary as Conductor of the Chiswick Choir. To celebrate, a number of old friends will attend a special performance of Haydn's The Creation, at St Michael and All Angels, Bedford Park on March 29 at 7.30 pm.

The President of the choir, David Wilson-Johnson will be one of three soloists for the performance.

Since joining in 1984, Alistair is credited with extending and developing the choir’s repertoire, concentrating particularly on the Baroque period and the 20th Century. Under his leadership, the choir has more than doubled in size.

Alistair studied at the Royal Academy of Music with C.H. Trevor and later at Cambridge University, where, as Organ Scholar of Trinity Hall, he was a pupil of Sir David Willcocks. He joined the music staff of Wellington College in 1967 and later became Director of Music of Bristol Cathedral School. While in Bristol he conducted the Bristol Bach Choir, Bristol Intimate Opera and the Bristol Concert Orchestra.

As a composer he has written mostly for the voice; amongst his works are five song cycles and the cantata Dies Irae, dedicated to the Chiswick Choir who gave the premiere in 1990. His oratorio, Carmen Paschale (The Song of Easter), was first performed in March 1997 by the Chiswick Choir. Alistair then completed a new Stabat Mater - incorporating the ancient Latin text and contemporary poems. Set for Mezzo Soprano, chorus and orchestra, it was successfully premiered by the Choir in the 2005/2006 season.

Alistair’s Silver Jubilee season was celebrated with a performance of A Sea Symphony by Vaughan Williams and his new Oratorio, A Prodigal Son, written in collaboration with Sally Floyer, was premiered on March 24th 2012. For his 30th anniversary, Chiswick Choir will celebrate by performing Creation by Haydn on Saturday, 29th March, at St Michael and All Angels at 7.30pm.

The chairman of the Chiswick Choir, James Dalglish said: "Under Alistair Jone's inspirational leadership the choir has more than doubled in size in 30 years and has performed most of the main works in the choral repertoire and discovered other gems as well. Notable among these was a performance in 2011 of an almost forgotten work by Cyril Rootham of the famous Binyon poem 'For The Fallen'. The Elgar version is much better known. To celebrate and honour Alistair's time with the choir, its distinguished President, David Wilson-Johnson is singing the bass solo in Haydn's The Creation.

The Creation - Haydn

•Lesley Jane Rogers - Soprano
•Deryck Webb - Tenor
•David Wilson-Johnson - Baritone 

Haydn completed his oratorio in 1798 and The Creation was premiered with resounding success in Vienna the following year. Set for 3 soloists, chorus and an unusually large orchestra that includes a contra bassoon, The Creation is considered by many to be Haydn’s masterpiece. During his visits to London Haydn had heard the oratorios of Handel and the large scale festival performances made a lasting impression on the composer. Haydn was offered an English libretto for an oratorio based Milton’s Paradise Lost. This was translated by Baron van Swieten for Haydn’s use. The music is totally engaging, starting with the daring and visionary Representation of Chaos, an orchestral prelude that anticipates harmonic language of the future. The writing for solo voices and the chorus overflows with melody and imagination.

Admission by programme £15 (concessions £ 12 ). For more details visit

March 12, 2014

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