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ABOUT PETER LEECH

Personal Profile

Peter is a professional choral and orchestral conductor (First Prize winner at the 2003 Mariele Ventre International Competition for Choral Conductors), lecturer, musicologist, composer, singer and keyboard player. He is a lecturer at Cardiff University School of Music. 

Peter is a specialist in English court instrumental and vocal music (1600-1750), music in the British Jesuit and broader European Catholic diaspora (1600-1800) and European sacred music (1550-1800) as well as sacred music in Rome associated with the court of Cardinal Henry Benedict Stuart (1725-1807) and sacred music at the Imperial Russian court from c.1700-1900. He has published substantial articles and reviews in Early Music (OUP), Music & Letters (OUP), The Consort (Dolmetsch Foundation), Eighteenth-century music (CUP), Tijdschrift van de Koninklijke Vereniging voor Nederlandse Muziekgeschiedenis (KVNM), Archivum Historicum Societatis Iesu (IHSI, Rome), Journal of Jesuit Studies (Brill) and the Newsletter of the Society For Eighteenth-Century Music (USA).

As a conductor he has recorded for the Nimbus Alliance, Tall Poppies and Toccata Classics labels. He is conductor of the Cardiff University Chamber Choir, as well as Cappella Fede, Harmonia Sacra, Costanzi Consort and Spectra Musica. With Harmonia Sacra he has released CDs of historical choral music, one of which - Cherubim & Seraphim - includes music from the court of Catherine the Great through to Nicholas II, and another - Princely Splendour - which features music by the greatly neglected Roman composers Sebastiano Bolis, Giovanni Battista Costanzi, maestri to Cardinal Henry Stuart.

With Cappella Fede he released a ground-breaking new CD in 2016, The Cardinal King (featuring first recordings of rediscovered eighteenth-century Roman sacred music by Sebastiano Bolis, Giovanni Battista Costanzi and others), to widespread critical acclaim. BBC Radio 3 Record Review (January 2017) described it as 'a moving disc' with 'consort singing second to none' (Elin Manahan-Thomas and Andrew McGregor).


His future projects will include a detailed study of eighteenth-century sacred music at San Lorenzo in Damaso (Rome), further research on British seventeenth and early eighteenth-century Jesuit musicians and a cultural biography of Cardinal Henry Benedict Stuart (1725-1807).

Harmonia Sacra released a CD in 2017 - Lux memoriaque - featuring first recordings of music by British Composers, including several of his latest choral compositions.

On 20 July 2018 his choral setting of Adam lay ybounden was premiered at St Paul's, Knightsbridge, London, by the BBC Singers conducted by Peter Foggitt. The work was broadcast on BBC Radio 3 in December 2018, and is also recorded on Harmonia Sacra's latest CD In dulci jubilo, released in Autumn 2019.