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Ben Parry (born 1965) is a British musician, composer, conductor, singer, arranger and producer in both classical and light music fields. He is the co-director of London Voices, Assistant Director of Music at King's College, Cambridge, director of the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain.
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- Early life
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Parry was born and raised in Ipswich, Suffolk, where his father was an organist and music teacher. He studied at Ipswich School and St Catharine’s College of the University of Cambridge, where he was a choral scholar. He sang in the King’s College Choir and performed in musicals and cabarets.
Early in his career, he was a singer, music director and arranger with The Swingle Singers. With the group, he toured the world and worked with musicians including Pierre Boulez, Luciano Berio and Stephane Grapelli. He wrote over 50 arrangements and compositions for the group and co-produced their recordings for EMI and Virgin Classics.
In 1994, Parry was in the original London production of Cy Coleman's City of Angels at the Prince of Wales Theatre in the West End. In 1995, he and his family moved to Scotland. There, he co-founded the distinguished vocal ensemble, Dunedin Consort, and directed performances at festivals in the UK, Spain, Belgium, France and Canada. He was chorusmaster of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra Chorus and director of choral music at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (now the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland) in Glasgow. He directed five productions for Haddo House Opera.
From 2003 to 2008, Parry was director of music at St Paul's School, London. He subsequently moved to Suffolk and took up the post of director at Junior Academy in London, combined with his freelance career. He is co-director with Terry Edwards of the professional choir, London Voices, who have been at the forefront of choral singing in the UK for over 30 years. The choir has performed on the soundtracks of major films, including "The Hobbit", The Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, the Harry Potter series, The Mission, The Golden Compass and The Iron Lady. The choir has performed and recorded with major artists, including Sir Paul McCartney, Dave Brubeck, Bryn Terfel, Angela Gheorghiu and Renée Fleming.
He took up the post of Assistant Director of Music at King's College, Cambridge, in 2013, in which rôle he directs King's Voices in choral evensong on Mondays.
Parry composed a significant amount of choral music, published by Peters Edition. He collaborates regularly with author and lyricist Garth Bardsley, and together they have had works premiered by the BBC Singers, Sheffield Cathedral, Aldeburgh Voices, St Andrew's University, Chelmsford Cathedral, National Youth Choirs of Great Britain and London Voices.
As a conductor, Parry has worked with the London Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Royal Seville Symphony Orchestra, Scottish Ensemble, National Youth Orchestra of Wales, Cumbria Youth Orchestra and the Vancouver Youth Symphony. He has sung with the Taverner Consort, Gabrieli Consort, Schutz Choir of London and Tenebrae. Parry is a director of the Eton Choral Courses and has conducted the National Youth Choir of Wales. He conducts Aldeburgh Voices, the resident choir for the Aldeburgh Festival in Snape Maltings, Suffolk.
In October 2012 Parry was appointed director of the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain.
Parry has made over 70 recordings for EMI, Decca, Collegium, Virgin, Linn and Signum. He is married to violinist Kathryn Parry and they have three children: Freya Parry, Imogen (Midge) Parry, and George Parry.