Looking forward…

We are delighted to welcome Matthew Owens as our Conductor and Music Director for the year 2024-25. Matthew will prepare, rehearse and direct us in our 2025 Concert to be held in Carlisle Cathedral on Saturday, 26th April.

Rehearsal Dates 2024-25

The full-day (10 am - 3.30 pm) rehearsals will be on the following Saturdays:

  • 14th September 2024
  • 16th November 2024
  • 8th February 2025
  • 29th March 2025

There will also be rehearsals on the Friday (25th April 2025) before the concert, and the afternoon of the concert, in the concert venue, Carlisle Cathedral. The Saturday afternoon rehearsal will be with orchestra.

Matthew Owens

Matthew Owens is in demand internationally as a conductor, composer, and organist. He is Founder and Music Director of the Ulster Consort, Northern Ireland’s newest professional vocal and instrumental ensemble; Conductor of the Belfast City Chorus; Professor of Vocals at the Royal Marines School of Music; and Associate Director of the Grand Rapids Choir of Men and Boys, in Michigan, USA.

Previously, he was the director of music at St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral, Edinburgh, and Wells Cathedral. Under his leadership, Wells Cathedral Choir was named by an international jury for Gramophone as the best choir in the world with children, and the sixth greatest overall. From 2019-2022, he was Director of Music of Belfast Cathedral, where he re-established the choir as a professional adult ensemble, winning international acclaim for its work: “it could well be the finest all-adult standing choir of its kind anywhere, with near-perfect vowel harmony, blend, enunciation, nuanced awareness of phrase and an exceptional, bright and pure soprano group.” (Gramophone).

He has guest conducted, among others, the London Mozart Players, Ulster Orchestra, English Symphony Orchestra, Scottish Ensemble, Nash Ensemble, and the Hungarian National Philharmonic Orchestra. As a conductor he has made over 30 CDs with major labels, and now records exclusively for the award-winning label, Resonus Classics.

He has directed choral workshops and summer schools throughout the UK and abroad – including Australia, China, Germany, Hong Kong, Kenya, Luxembourg, New Zealand, and the USA. As an organist, Matthew has given recitals in Australia, France, Ireland, New Zealand, Spain, Switzerland, the USA, and throughout the UK.

Matthew has championed new music, particularly of British composers, conducting over 200 world premieres, including works by leading composers ranging from Jools Holland to Sir James MacMillan. As a composer himself, Matthew is published by Oxford University Press and Novello.

A word from Matthew

This video (11.4 MB / 1 min 13 sec duration) may be downloaded here.

We are really looking forward to getting to know Matthew and benefit from his expertise and approach during the 2024-25 season.