Ben Pinnow MA (RWCMD), MMus (Cardiff), BMus (Hons), Dip. ABRSM
Ben Pinnow is a South Wales based choral conductor, accompanist, singer, composer and musical educator. In 2013 he completed the Masters in Choral Conducting programme at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama (RWCMD) studying under Neil Ferris, Sarah Tenant-Flowers and Simon Halsey. During his time at college he received the Busenhart-Morgan-Evans Choral Conducting Bursary – awarded by the Worshipful Company of Singers.
Ben is the current musical director of Roath Community Chorus, City Voices Bristol and newly formed groups Opera in Situ and Seren Singers. He is also assistant musical director for Cwmbach Male Choir and Canton Chorus for whom he is also principal accompanist. He has performed in venues across the UK, and being a keen traveler his work has taken him to various places in Europe including Croatia, France, Spain, Poland and a cave in Gibraltar. He has conducted in masterclasses with Simon Halsey, Stephen Harris, Karen Grylls, Greg Beardsall and Alice Farnham. During his time at college Ben was assistant chorus master for the RWCMD Chamber Choir’s performance of Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle and the RWCMD Chorus and Orchestra’s performances of Prokofiev’s Alexander Nevsky in 2011 and in 2012, Verdi’s Requiem under maestro Carlo Rizzi. In 2013 he worked as conductor for Bute Park Opera’s debut performance, Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortileges and conducted the college’s Early Vocal Consort, preparing music for a concert with soprano Elin Manahan Thomas. With Opera Mint Wales, Ben was engaged as conductor for Eugene Onegin (2009), Dido and Aeneas (2010), Don Giovanni (2011), The Magic Flute (2012), Amahl and the Night Visitors (2013) and Venus and Adonis (2015) He was also engaged in 2012 to conduct a concert of opera scenes for the Wales International Academy of Voice. He also works as MD in the musical theatre world and has been engaged on a number of different productions, including Oklahoma (2013), Thoroughly Modern Millie (2014), Pirates of Penzance (2015), Kiss Me Kate (2016) and Guys and Dolls (2017). Ben is also a member of the BBC National Chorus of Wales with whom he has participated in many projects including performances at the BBC Proms in the Royal Albert Hall and a tour to Paris in 2009.
Originally from Dorset, Ben trained at Cardiff University where he studied piano with renowned concert pianist Richard Ormrod and completed a Masters in composition under tuition from Anthony Powers. While at university he took an active role in the music department’s choral activities, being co-founder of the University’s Purcell Singers. He has been performing as pianist and choral singer since an early age and holds the ABRSM Diploma in piano performance which he passed with Distinction in 2002.
As repetiteur and accompanist, Ben performs frequently alongside choirs, singers and instrumentalists, playing regularly for concerts organised by Lost Chord and Music in Hospitals. He has also worked extensively with Opera’r Ddraig and with Welsh National Opera’s education and outreach department. Recent engagements with Opera’r Ddraig include Hansel and Gretel (2014), The Beggar’s Opera (2015) and Die Fledermaus (2017) for which Ben is also assistant musical director.
He is currently on the Live Music Now scheme with whom he performs concerts for people with limited access to live music performances particularly those living with dementia and children with special educational needs and disabilities. Last year, Live Music Now were commissioned to create a musical response to the First World War Centenary, for which Ben was chosen to conduct. Stories and memories relating to the First World War were collected from residents in care homes and museums in and around Caernarfon and set to music by Stacey Blythe. The resulting piece was performed in Caernarfon Castle by a local school choir, adult choir and mezzo-soprano Olivia Gomez.