Director of the Elgar Chorale
Piers was appointed Director of Music of the Elgar Chorale in January 2015. Working with many choirs as conductor, assistant conductor and chorus master, during his career, while singing, organ playing, composing and teaching are a large part of his life too.
Piers began his musical career singing – as a boy chorister at St Paul’s Cathedral, London. An organist since his teens, he was Organ Scholar at his school, Christ’s Hospital. He continued to play during his time at Wells Cathedral and as a Choral Scholar at Clare College, Cambridge. After graduating, he continued his studies at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London.
In the field of opera, Piers has worked in European opera houses including Staatsoper Berlin, Le Théâtre des Champs Elysées Paris, and the Netherlands Nationale Reisopera. Chorus Master from 2002 to 2004 at Scottish Opera, Piers conducted La Bohème (Puccini) and Aida (Verdi). From September 2004 until 2009, he was Chorus Master at Le Théâtre Royal de La Monnaie in Brussels. There he worked on around 40 operas on stage and in concert.
From 1996 to 2012 Piers Maxim was Assistant Conductor to René Jacobs and worked on many Handel operas and oratorios. Piers made his USA debut conducting Die Zauberflöte (Mozart) in New York in April 2007. This same production toured South Africa in September 2007, where Piers received glowing critiques. In October 2010 Piers conducted the first performance of a staged baroque opera in China – Handel’s Semele.
Piers has conducted much of the choral repertoire while leading several choirs in England – Messiah and Saul (Handel), Mass in B minor (Bach), Mass in C minor (Mozart), The Dream of Gerontius (Elgar), Sea Symphony (Vaughan Williams), A Child of our Time (Tippett), to name but a few.
Piers has been composing music since he was 7 years old, having songs, carols and piano works published while at school. One of his composition highlights, And I said to the Man, sung at a millennium eve service of celebration at Southwark Cathedral, was in the presence of HM Queen Elizabeth II. In 2011 he was joint winner of the Longfellow Chorus Cantata Composition Competition in the USA. His oratorio The Musket Ball premiered in Greenwich, London, in March 2016. Piers composes and arranges many songs for the choirs he directs. He has recently compiled and co-edited an upper voices resource for the Royal School of Church Music – All Glorious Above – which includes many of his compositions.
Piers is currently Organist and Director of Music of Malvern Priory and Conductor of EC4 Orchestra based in London. He teaches piano and singing at schools in Worcestershire and Herefordshire.