Music Director 2021 - Benjamin Kirk
After conducting The Cecilian Singers for more than 30 years, Jeremy Jackman will be leaving at the end of 2020. Jeremy's shoes will be difficult to fill, but we are delighted to announce that Benjamin Kirk has accepted our invitation to continue as Music Director from the beginning of 2021.
The son of missionary parents, Benjamin Theophilus Kirk was born in Beverley, East Yorkshire to an English mother and American-Brazilian father. He lived with his family in Porto Alegre, Brazil until 2008. After completing his A-levels at Christ's Hospital School in 2011, Benjamin moved to Estonia to study Choral Conducting with Tõnu Kaljuste at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre, in Tallinn where he was Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of Tallinn Chamber Choir between 2017 - 2019.
He has conducted the French and Swedish Radio Choirs, the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir and the Estonian National Male Choir in a budding international career. He won 3rd Prize in the World Choral Conducting Competition in Hong Kong in July 2019, and was a semi-finalist in the 9th InternationalCompetition for Choral Conductors in Versailles in November 2019.
Benjamin has also conducted in masterclasses with Berlin Sinfonietta , the Slovenian Philharmonic Choir , Berlin Radio Choir , and the BBC Singers, and has prepared numerous choruses for Tõnu Kaljuste , Kristjan Järvi, Risto Joost , and Stephen Layton.
Benjamin is Principal Conductor of the Old Blues Chamber Orchestra , set up in 2017, performing in venues across London raising money for the Gabriel's Friends charity, which provides music therapy to former military personnel. He is a graduate of the Royal Academy of Music in London and recently completed his third Master’s degree in Orchestral Conducting under Paul Mägi. He is currently a Bass Lay Clerk at Peterborough Cathedral.
In his spare time, Benjamin is an avid football fan, and supports both Gremio (Brazil) and Manchester United. We look forward to working with him in 2021.