Members speak about NLC (click on name for video)

Paul Filmer - Author of programme notes

Marian Bunzl - Publicity

Photo by Guro Skår \\ An interview with one of our basses, David Loxley-Blount can be found here.

An interview with one of our tenors, Kamal Yusuf can be found here.

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Musical Director

Murray Hipkin

Murray Hipkin studied at York University, the Guildhall and the National Opera Studio before joining the Music Staff of English National Opera (1983–8) and then working for Opéra de Lyon, La Monnaie, Opera Factory, Scottish Opera (recording Street Scene) and Opera Brava (as Musical Director).

Since returning to ENO in 1995, he has appeared in Mahagonny, The Silver Tassie, Leoncavallo La bohème and The Rake’s Progress, and worked extensively as Senior Répétiteur (his productions have included Deborah Warner’s production of Death in Venice, Phyllida Lloyd’s Ring Cycle and Terry Gilliam’s The Damnation of Faust) and Assistant Conductor, including, most recently, The Passenger and The Death of Klinghoffer. He is currently working on The Flying Dutchman and Caligula.

He has conducted La bohème (Surrey Opera, Opera Box), Salieri’s Falstaff, Haydn La vera costanza, (Bampton Classical Opera), Mozart Apollo and Hyacinth and Gluck Le Cinesi (BCO at the 2009 Cheltenham Festival), and for ENO, The Pirates of Penzance, The Mikado, The Gondoliers and Kismet with Michael Ball. In July 2010 he was Associate Conductor of the ENO/Punchdrunk collaboration The Duchess of Malfi by Torsten Rasch, which won the 2011 RPS Award for audience development.

His freelance work as vocal coach, accompanist and chorus master includes assisting the composer John Adams and conducting on location for the award-winning Channel 4 film The Death of Klinghoffer, Pierrot Lunaire with Björk at the Verbier Festival, coaching with British Youth Opera as well as numerous community and education projects with ENO Baylis.

In February 2009 Murray completed an eight month sabbatical from ENO as Musical Director of The Sound of Music at the London Palladium, conducting over 170 performances.

In October 2010 he was appointed Musical Director of The Pink Singers. Future plans include Hand in Hand, a Choral Festival of LGBT choirs at the Troxy, Limehouse on 13 July.

At ENO, his next project is playing the solo piano in a revival of Britten’s Death in Venice (ENO/Amsterdam).

He has recently celebrated the 10th anniversary of his association with the North London Chorus, during which time he has conducted a wide range of choral works and received very positive recognition in the local press.


Catherine Borner

Catherine Borner studied piano and flute from the age of ten at the junior department of the Royal Academy of Music. After graduating from the University of York, she trained on the repetiteur courses at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Catherine has performed concertos with York University Chamber Orchestra and James Allen Community Orchestra and has appeared on BBC Radio 3 In Tune. She has also played Petrushka with Bromley Symphony Orchestra. Repetiteur work includes Aida (Kentish Opera), Anna Bolena (Tower of London Festival 2005), A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Cunning Little Vixen, Romeo et Juliette (British Youth Opera) as well as The Gondoliers, La Traviata and The Marriage of Figaro while trainee repetiteur at English National Opera. Catherine joined NLC as their accompanist in September 2005. She teaches piano privately and at the James Allen Saturday School for the Performing Arts. Her most recent performance with NLC was Petite Messe Solenelle in June 2011.


Janis Kelly

Janis Kelly studied at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music & Drama in her native Glasgow and at the Royal College of Music in London. She is recognised as an excellent actress with a wide-ranging repertoire across the fields of opera, operetta and the musical and is a regular guest with English National Opera, Opera North and Grange Park Opera in repertoire ranging from La Traviata and Der Rosenkavalier to Showboat''.

Janis has performed at the BBC Proms and with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, London Festival Orchestra, Hallé Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, The Sixteen and the London Sinfonietta.

Her extensive repertoire includes Britten Les Illuminations, Ravel Sheherazade, Canteloube Songs of the Auvergne, Strauss Four Last Songs and many major oratorios from the baroque, classical, romantic and 20th century periods.

Recent appearances include Pat Nixon (Nixon in China) for ENO and Athens, Mrs Naidoo (Satyagraha), Kuma (The Enchantress) and Elisabetta (Maria Stuarda) at Grange Park Opera, Romilda (Xerxes) and Iris (Semele) at both ENO and Vlaamse Opera. She also appeared as Liu (Turandot), in the Hollywood movie The Life of David Gale and in the series Kombat Opera by Richard Thomas (Jerry Springer, the Opera) for BBC TV, which was broadcast in March 2007. She is ‘The Voice’ in the award-winning Inspector Morse TV series and albums.

Recordings include Tchaikovsky Incidental Music to Hamlet' with the London Philharmonic Orchestra (Chandos), Street Scene, A Little Night Music, Showboat and Brigadoon (TER), four award-winning albums for the Inspector Morse television soundtracks on Virgin Records and The Maid of the Mountains on Hyperion. Janis has recently released her own CD, The Moment.

NLC Patron since 2005, her most recent appearance with the choir was in our June 2011 concert.

Read Nikki Lloyd's interview with Janis Kelly

Laurence Cummings Photo Sheila Rock

Laurence Cummings is one of Britain's most exciting and versatile exponents of historical performance both as a conductor and a harpsichord player. He was an organ scholar at Christ Church Oxford where he graduated with first class honours. Until 2012 he was Head of Historical Performance at the Royal Academy of Music which led to both baroque and classical orchestras forming part of the established curriculum. He is now the William Crotch Professor of Historical Performance. He is a trustee of Handel House London and was also Musical Director of the Tilford Bach Society. Since 1999 he has been Music Director of the London Handel Festival where performances have included productions of Deborah, Athalia, Esther, Agrippina, Sorsame, Alexander Balus, Hercules, Samson, Ezio, Riccardo Primo and Tolomeo, and he has just completed his inaugural year as the Music Director of the Internationale Händel-Festpiele Göttingen. He is also a regular guest at Casa da Musica in Porto where he conducts Orquestra Barroca Casa da Música.
Other opera productions he has conducted include Radamisto,'' L’Incoronazione di Poppea, Semele, Messiah and Orfeo for English National Opera, Giulio Cesare'' and The Fairy Queen for Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Giulio Cesare and Alcina at Gothenburg Opera, Vivaldi’s L’Incoronazione di Dario and La Verita in Cimento for Garsington Opera, Ariodante and Tolomeo for English Touring Opera, Rodelinda for Opera Theatre Company in the UK, Ireland and New York, Alceste at the Linbury Theatre Covent Garden as part of the London Bach Festival, Caverlieri’s ''Rappresentatione di Anima e di Corpo, Eccle’s The Judgement of Paris and King Arthur'' in Croatia, Francisco António de Almeida’s La Spinalba and La Guiditta in Porto, L’Incoronazione di Poppea and Dardanus at the Royal Academy of Music and a new operatic work SALE in Zurich. He made his US debut conducting Orfeo with the Handel and Haydn Society in Boston.
He regularly conducts the English Concert and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, both in the UK and on tour. He also works with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Ulster Orchestra, Hallé Orchestra at the Bridgewater Hall, Irish Baroque Orchestra, Britten Sinfonia and Royal Academy of Music Baroque Orchestra. His numerous recordings include the first recording of Handel’s newly discovered Gloria with Emma Kirkby and the Royal Academy of Music on BIS and recital discs of solo harpsichord music (including music by Louis and Francois Couperin) for Naxos. A solo disc of Handel arias with Angelika Kirschlager and the Basel Chamber Orchestra on Sony BMG was followed up by a recording of duets with Lawrence Zazzo and Nuria Rial, also with the Basel Chamber Orchestra, on Deutsche Harmonia Mundi. He conducts the English Concert and recorder player Maurice Steger in a disc of Corelli concertos for Harmonia Mundi. Current engagements include commitments at the London and Göttingen Handel Festivals, collaborations with the London Handel Players, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Royal Scottish National Orchestra and further engagements at Casa da Musica in Porto, Zurich Opera House, Gothenburg Opera and Opera North.

Read Nikki Lloyd's interview with Laurence Cummings

The Committee

Dan NewmanChair
Shantini CoorayVice-Chair
Joan ReardonSecretary
Chris Siva PrakasamTreasurer
Marcus Bartlett 
Marian Bunzl 
Gary Bilkus 
Shaun Davies 
Hélène Gordon 
Tony Shelton