Dulwich Choral Society


Registered Charity Number 264764

President Dame Emma Kirkby

Musical Director Aidan Oliver

Chairman Guy Collins

Membership Secretary Jane & Michael Palmer

Content © Dulwich Choral Society

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  Aidan Oliver    

Musical Director: Aidan Oliver


Aidan Oliver has been Musical Director of Dulwich Choral Society since 2006 and has recently secured the major international appointment of Chorus Director of the Edinburgh Festival Chorus from Autumn 2018. 


Aidan pursues a diverse career at the heart of London’s musical life, working variously as conductor, chorus master and music staff with organisations including the Philharmonia Orchestra, the Royal Opera House, English National Opera, and Westminster Abbey. A much sought-after choral conductor, he now works increasingly in the fields of opera and orchestral conducting.


For the Philharmonia Orchestra he directs Philharmonia Voices, an elite professional chorus which he founded and which collaborates with the orchestra on many of its most high-profile projects. Working particularly closely with the orchestra’s Principal Conductor, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Aidan has also collaborated with conductors including Ashkenazy, Maazel, Schiff, Dohnanyi and John Wilson. Aidan has worked as assistant conductor to Salonen on tours of Europe and the USA.


For the Royal Opera House, Aidan has worked as music staff on numerous productions, most recently as Assistant Conductor on Puccini Tosca, and as off-stage conductor and organist on productions including Peter Grimes, Il Trittico, Les Troyens and Robert le diable. For English National Opera, Aidan has prepared the Chorus for an acclaimed 2012 Proms performance of Peter Grimes, as well as productions of Fidelio and The Twilight of the Gods.


Aidan is the Associate Conductor of the St Endellion Summer Festival, where he has conducted performances ranging from Wagner Wesendonck Lieder with Rachel Nicholls (soprano) and Stravinsky L’Histoire du soldat with Rory Kinnear (narrator) to Brahms Ein Deutsches Requiem and Poulenc Gloria in Truro Cathedral. The Festival’s international status was established by Richard Hickox, whom Aidan assisted on numerous Chandos recordings and concert performances.


Aidan is one of the UK’s most respected choral conductors and choir trainers. He is Director of Music at St Margaret’s Church, Westminster Abbey, where the organist is Thomas Trotter and services include many high-profile occasions connected with Parliament. He has worked regularly with groups including the BBC Symphony Chorus, Exaudi, the New London Chamber Choir, and the BBC Singers, with whom he held a Conducting Fellowship.


Aidan Oliver began his musical career as a chorister at Westminster Cathedral, later studying at Eton College and at King’s College Cambridge. After graduating with a double First in Classics, he pursued further studies at Harvard University (as a Kennedy Scholar), the National Opera Studio and King’s College London. He was the recipient of a Churchill Fellowship to study sacred choral music in Russia.


Aidan lives in East Dulwich with his wife Lois and two children.