Bach choir pass the baton to Wallfisch for start of 60th year

The Croydon Bach Choir go into 2020 with a new music director.

New challenge: Simon Wallfisch

Simon Wallfisch takes over the baton from Tim Horton, who had led the choir since 2001.

Born in Croydon, Wallfisch, 37, is a versatile musician. In addition to his conducting experience, he is an acclaimed baritone and cellist.

Wallfisch was born into a family of celebrated musicians. His father is the renowned cellist, Raphael Wallfisch, his mother Elizabeth a baroque violinist, his brother Benjamin is a Hollywood film composer and his sister Joanna a songwriter and vocalist. Simon Wallfisch’s grandparents are cellist Anita Lasker-Wallfisch and the late Peter Wallfisch, a distinguished pianist. His great-grandfather was Albert Coates, the music director of St Petersburg’s Mariinsky Theatre at the time of the Russian Revolution.

Wallfisch is married to baroque musician, Kathleen Ross, and they live in Croydon with their two children. He is very excited to have been appointed as Music Director of the Croydon Bach Choir and says he is “deliriously happy to be working close to home for once!”

Wallfisch’s grandmother, Anita Lasker-Wallfisch, now 94, is a Holocaust survivor. Having been a member of the women’s orchestra in Auschwitz, she has always maintained that the cello saved her life. It is hardly surprising, given this painful legacy, that Wallfisch is an active campaigner against anti-Semitism and all forms of prejudice. He regularly gives educational workshops and talks with young people.

Speaking on behalf of the Croydon Bach Choir, Linda Volti commented, “Simon takes over as our music director at an exciting time for the choir.

“We are in our 60th anniversary year and we are very proud of our past, but we are equally determined to continue to bring the joy of choral music to Croydon for many years to come. We are thrilled that Simon shares Croydon Bach Choir’s enthusiasm for the choral tradition, as well as our ambition to build on our long-established reputation as one of the finest choirs in the area. We are confident that with Simon at the helm the Croydon Bach Choir will continue to go from strength to strength.”

Anyone interested in becoming a member of the Croydon Bach Choir should contact membership@croydonbachchoir.org or apply via the Join Us page of the choir’s website. Rehearsals are held on Wednesdays from 8pm to 10pm at St Matthew’s Church and will re-commence on January 8.

Prospective members are invited to attend the first rehearsal of the new term, when the choir will start preparing for their next concert, a performance of Bach’s St John Passion to be held on March 28. This was the first work ever performed by the choir back in 1960.

To receive updates regarding Croydon Bach Choir’s programme of events, please contact mailinglist@croydonbachchoir.org.

A full list of events and choir news can be accessed at croydonbachchoir.org.


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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email inside.croydon@btinternet.com
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