Brian Kay (16 November)
Brian Kay has been Principal Conductor of The Really Big Chorus since 2010, having stepped into the voluminous shoes of the late Sir David Willcocks. In this capacity he regularly conducts the major Royal Albert Hall concerts in London as well as singing cruises, the annual residential summer school and trips to exotic parts of the world, including China, Russia, America, South Africa and many parts of Europe.
He was for many years Chorus Master of the Huddersfield Choral Society and conductor of the Cheltenham Bach Choir, the Cecilian Singers of Leicester, the Mary Wakefield Westmorland Festival, the Bradford Festival Choral Society and Vaughan Williams’s Leith Hill Musical Festival.
He was the original bass in the world-renowned vocal group The King’s Singers, performing over 2000 concerts worldwide and for twenty-five years wrote and presented thousands of programmes for BBC Radios 2, 3 and 4 and the World Service. For television he presented the Cardiff Singer of the World, the Choir of the Year Competition and, for fifteen years, the much-loved New Year’s Day concert of the Vienna Philharmonic. He has twice won the Sony Radio Award as Music Presenter of the Year, including the coveted Gold Award in 1996.
Brian Kay has twice appeared at the Royal Variety Show – with the King’s Singers in 1978 and conducting the Huddersfield Choral Society with Dame Vera Lynn in 1987. He sang the role of Papageno in the Hollywood movie Amadeus, was the lowest frog on Paul McCartney single We all stand together, one of the six wives to Harry Secombe’s Henry V111th and a member of the backing group for Pink Floyd!
In his spare time, Brian enjoys reading biographies, history and classic novels, and driving for pleasure in his open-top sports car (an ideal pastime in lockdown!).