George de Voil Music Director
Welcoming our new Musical Director, George de Voil.
Wokingham Choral Society has a history of appointing outstanding musicians to lead the choir, including the conductors Stephen Layton and Paul Daniel, and our President, Edward Gardner, currently Principal Conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra. And now, we are pleased to welcome George de Voil as our new Musical Director.
George de Voil’s reputation as a conductor took off in 2014 when he made the world première recording of Charles Villers Stanford’s Mass in G, Op. 46. The disc, on which he directed choral and orchestral forces, was praised by BBC Music Magazine and Gramophone, and led to George being named a Classic FM “Young Artist to Watch”. MusicWeb International praised his “stylish” direction, calling his recording of Parry’s Songs of Farewell “exciting and full of conviction”, while Martin Bird declared in the Elgar Society Journal, “George de Voil is something of a find… He may be young, but his innate musicianship, his feeling for line, for balance, for phrasing, for the placing of chords, is exciting…”. Choir & Organ remarked, “the fresh-voiced Exeter College Choir achieve a superb blend under their intelligent young conductor”.
George is a versatile conductor, working with a range of ensembles in and around London. As Director of Music at St James’s, Sussex Gardens, since 2015, he follows in the footsteps of Harold Darke and Sir George Thalben-Ball, overseeing the fine professional choir. Under his leadership, the distinguished musical tradition of this church has been revitalised, with a new organ scholarship, and a £450,000 rebuild by Mander Organs of the 1881 Hill & Son instrument. For six years, George was Director of Chapel & Choral Music at Wellington College, where he built the reputation of the Chapel Choir, leading them on tour to Spain, France, and Germany, and in collaborations with the choirs of Eton College, Royal Holloway, Guildford Cathedral, and Merton College, Oxford. He now directs the choir of Strawberry Hill House in London, which performs in Horace Walpole’s Eighteenth Century Gothic mansion. He is delighted to have been entrusted with the directorship of Wokingham Choral Society.
A prizewinning Fellow of the Royal College of Organists, with a first class degree from Oxford University, George has broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and Radio 4, and given organ concerts in Westminster Abbey and Westminster Cathedral, as well as across the UK and Europe. George is on the full-time teaching staff of King’s College School, Wimbledon, and in 2024 he will play solo recitals on the new Eule organ of Magdalen College, Oxford, and at Hexham Abbey.