Updated 14 December 2019
New Director of Music : Simon Walton
The Committee is delighted to announce the appointment of Simon Walton as the new Conductor and Musical Director for the Camerata, following the departure of Sam Laughton at the end of the 2018-19 season.
Simon Walton is a multi-talented musician who enjoys a highly successful and varied career as a conductor/director, performer, teacher, and coach. He is perhaps unusual in having appeared as a conductor, singer and flautist on BBC Radio 3. He began conducting at an early age, and was selected to take part in a conducting masterclass with the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, with whom he was principal flute. At university, he founded the Manchester University Mozart players and conducted the New Music Ensemble.
As well as the being the Musical Director for the Hampstead Chorus, he is currently the conductor and artistic director of the Amici Orchestra (London). Simon is committed to performing new music and is a founder member and regular conductor of the Vocal Constructivists.
Simon is a senior coach for the Grittleton summer residential adult chamber music courses, covering a wide repertoire from the western canon to contemporary music, specialising in music for mixed ensembles due to his experience as a multi-instrumentalist.
Simon is also active as a singer. He made his operatic debut in the role of Luigi (Il Tabarro) in 1996. Specialising in ‘lyrico spinto’ repertoire, other principal roles have included Turrido (Cavalleria Rusticana), Edgardo (Lucia di Lammermoor), Macduff (Macbeth), Loge (Das Rheingold), Samson (Samson et Dalilah) and Florestan (Fidelio). He has appeared and recorded with Kent Nagano and the Opéra de Lyon, Claudio Abbado and the Berliner Philharmoniker and the choirs of the London Oratory and Westminster Abbey.
Are you a string player? There are currently opportunities for string players to join the Chiltern Camerata. We are particularly keen to find bassists who are available to play regularly.
If you are interested in playing with the orchestra, please contact our fixer, Louise Daghlian on 07813 885274 or firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
We have a core of members and they, plus additional players, are selected on a concert by concert basis. Although we have no formal auditions for members, players should be able to play to at least Grade 7 level and preferably above – though nobody will be asking to see your certificate! For obvious reasons, attendance at all rehearsals is a pre-condition for playing at concerts!
We rehearse at Holmer Green Baptist Church on five or six Tuesdays – either weekly or fortnightly – in the run up to each concert (see “Rehearsals” tab for more details). Members pay a termly subscription of £30.
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The Annual General Meeting for 2019-20 season was held at 7.30pm towards at the orchestra rehearsal on 22nd October 2019.
Thanks to the Orchestra from Sam Laughton, Outgoing Director of Music
“Please would you pass on these very belated but heartfelt thanks for the incredibly generous gifts from the players of the Chiltern Camerata on my departure after wonderful 10 years. I was only delaying so that I could actually spend the extra money on suitable companion gifts, which I have now done: on two recent biographies of Wagner and MacMillan, nicely complementing the scores by those composers, along with the beautifully made baton case.
If anybody wants to see or hear me make use of some of the above, they are more than welcome at Pigotts at about 3.00 pm on Sunday 20 September 2020 where I shall be conducting Acts 1 and 2 of Die Meistersinger with full forces!
Please do convey my very best wishes to the orchestra for the future, and I look forward to hearing of, and hopefully hearing, great things. Sam”