MA(Oxon) MMus ARCO Dip.CHD
Rufus Frowde read music at Oxford University (where he was Conductor of the Oxford University Philharmonia, Organ Scholar of Merton College and a tenor in Schola Cantorum, performing his Finals Recital as a violinist). He subsequently became Organ Scholar of Worcester Cathedral. In 2003, Rufus took up his current post as Organist and Assistant Director of Music at the Chapel Royal, Hampton Court Palace. He combined this with postgraduate study in Choral Direction and Church Music at the Royal Academy of Music, being awarded prizes in both disciplines.
Rufus appears as a conductor and organist on the Divine Art and Diversions labels and has participated in workshops with the BBC Singers, the National Youth Choir of Great Britain, the Royal Academy of Music Chamber Choir as well as conducting in the London Master Classes under Benjamin Zander. Current conducting appointments include Surrey Youth Choir, Mid Herts Youth Orchestra, North Herts & Stevenage Youth Orchestra, VIVAMUS (Chamber Choir), The Hardynge Choir and Dacorum Community Choir (founder), with whom he has recently conducted Jonathan Dove’s community opera ‘Tobias and the Angel’. Work as a guest conductor has recently included Hertfordshire Philharmonia and Hitchin Chamber Orchestra. He has also formed his own professional group, PAEAN.
Rufus is a passionate educator and is heavily involved in the work of Hertfordshire Music Service as an orchestral conductor and animateur (most notably as Artistic and Musical Director of the 2014, 2016 & 2018 Hertfordshire Galas at the Royal Albert Hall). He is also an Animateur for the Chorister Outreach Program at St Alban’s Cathedral. He has also worked as a choral director for Goldsmiths, University of London, collaborated with the Yehudi Menuhin School on a number of choral projects, and worked as a chorus master for a production with Australian Touring Opera. Rufus is a part-time member of the academic and peripatetic staff at the Princess Helena College, Hitchin.
Recent performances include numerous UK cathedrals, St Martin in the Fields, St John’s Smith Square (with Emma Johnson), the Spitalfields Festival, New Chamber Opera, La Madeleine (Paris), Kaunas Cathedral (Lithuania), St. Thomas’s (Leipzig), St. Paul’s Basilica (Rome), Cologne Cathedral, Haarlem Cathedral and Neresheim Abbey (Germany), as well as Dave Brubeck’s Cantata The Gates of Justice (European Premiere). He accompanied Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle in Rome under the direction of the late Sir David Willcocks. He has also accompanied a number of prominent musicians including the trumpeter Crispian Steele Perkins, Kiri Te Kanawa and José Carreras and played continuo on a UK tour with the acclaimed violinist Lara St John and the London Baroque Ensemble. Contemporary music also features highly in Rufus’s diary and he has conducted and played for numerous premieres including works by Judith Weir, Richard Allain, Ben Parry, Graham Ross, Sasha Johnson Manning, Richard Sisson and Will Todd. 2014 included his first organ recital at Westminster Abbey and the premiere of his carol ‘Adam lay bounden’ at the Annual Carol Service for the Royal Academy of Arts.
On the lighter side, Rufus is a regular deputy pianist in the Palm Court Quintet at the Ritz Hotel, London and has played the organ for a number of celebrity weddings as well as for Royalty. He was a regular contributor to Classical Recordings Quarterly and in 2012 Rufus was awarded Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee Medal.