Patrick Russill

Patrick Russill – Head of Choral Conducting at the Royal Academy of Music, London

Patrick Russill is recognised as one of the leading figures in English church music, as performer, teacher, and scholar of wide sympathies.  He is Head of Choral Conducting at the Royal Academy of Music, London, and also Director of Music of the London Oratory. In addition, he is Visiting Professor of Choral Conducting at the Leipzig Hochschule für Musik und Theater ‘Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy’. 

Following studies at New College, Oxford Patrick was appointed Organist of the London Oratory in 1977.   In 1999 he was appointed Director of Music at the London Oratory, assuming overall responsibility for its choral tradition and especially for its professional Choir of the London Oratory, which is regarded as one of the world’s leading choirs in the Catholic tradition.   

In 1987 Patrick Russill was invited by the Royal Academy of Music to found Britain’s first conservatoire church music department.  This was further developed in 1997 to provide the UK’s first specialist postgraduate choral conducting course, which now attracts students from all over the world.  In addition he is in demand internationally as an adjudicator and for choral conducting masterclasses.

Prof. Russill is also a distinguished organist.  He has played all over the UK, at London’s major concert halls as well as in Europe and Asia.   His scholarly work includes articles ranging from early Tudor liturgical organ music to Howells’s Latin church music as well as editions of choral music by Sweelinck and Howells for Novello and Oxford University Press.  

Honours include Honorary Membership of the Royal Academy of Music and Fellowships ‘honoris causa’ of both the Royal School of Church Music and the Royal College of Organists.  In 2015 he was awarded the annual Chair’s Award of the Association of British Choral Directors for his outstanding contribution to choral conducting and choral pedagogy in Britain.