Benjamin Wolf

 

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MUSICAL DIRECTORS

 

The Zemel Choir’s Musical Director-Benjamin Wolf

 

Benjamin Wolf  works as a conductor, pianist, composer, singer and academic. Heis Musical Director of the Zemel Choir, the Wallace Ensemble and the Royal FreeMusic Society, Choirmaster of Belsize Square Synagogue and a regular conductor of the Quorum Chamber Choir. Performances with the Zemel Choir have included Holocaust memorial services for the Mayor of London, concerts at theSouth Bank and St John’s Smith Square, a broadcast for the BBC’s Songs of Praise and tours to Europe, Israel and the USA. Activities with the Wallace Ensemble have included performances at the Queen Elizabeth Hall and Purcell Room, while the professional choir of Belsize Square Synagogue has been featured on documentaries for BBC radio and television. Recent performances include a Kristallnacht commemoration service at Westminster Abbey and a visitto the 2013 International Louis Lewandowski Festival in Berlin with the Belsize Square Choirs. As composer, he has written music for the concert hall and the stage, including works using the texts and modes of Ancient Greek (performed in London and Oxford), a piano concerto (performed in 2003) and a cello concerto commissioned for the 70th anniversary of Belsize Square synagogue. He has written a number of pieces for the Zemel Choir. He performed his latest originalwork, Cocaine Overture, at the Chichester Festival in June 2013, and new orchestrationsof Lewandowski’s concert music at Belsize Square in October 2013. Aspianist, he works as both accompanist and solo recitalist, while his singing is primarily focussed on performances with his own Jewish barbershop quartet, bOYbershop, for which he has written a number of arrangements and original compositions, including comic songs The Only Jewish Cowgirl and Fifty Shades of Hay. Following the award of a PhD in 2010, he has worked as a visiting lecturerat Royal Holloway and Bristol University. In 2011 he was appointed as Lecturer in Music at Regent’s University, London, where he teaches both academic courses and runs the newly formed choirs of the Regent’s School of Drama, Film and Media. He has given conference papers in the UK and America, and was on the organising team for a conference at the IMR in January2013 (focussing on music in twentieth-century Britain). In 2014 he will be visiting the conference of the North American British Music Studies Association in Las Vegas. He has also worked as a researcher on a Royal Holloway project investigatingthe use of music to accompany silent films, while an article based on his PhD research appeared in The Musical Times in December 2013.

 

 

The Zemel Choir’s Assistant Musical Director-Maureen Creese


Maureen Creese studied at The Royal College of Music where she gained the GRSM Degree. She found herself much in demand accompanist and now divides her time between teaching and performing. As well as choral training, one of Maureen’s main interests is Opera. She has been associated with the Harrow Opera Workshop for a number of years.

Maureen joined The Zemel Choir in 1976, initially as its accompanist and has now worked with six of the Choir’s Musical Directors. In 1979 she was appointed Assistant Musical Director, has toured extensively with the Choir,and has appeared at all its major concerts both in England and abroad.

During the 1993-1994 season, Maureen successfully stepped in as Acting Musical Director while the Choir sought a new permanent appointment. She conducted a number of concerts during this time, including the Commonwealth Day Observance at Westminster Abbey, where she was honoured by being presented to H.M. The Queen. .

Again in 1998/99 Maureen fulfilled the position of Acting Musical Director, after the resignation of Robert Max and before the appointment of Vivienne Bellos as Musical Director. She continues to give loyal support as Assistant Musical Director to the Choir’s current Musical Director Benjamin Wolf, and as its regular accompanist.