Richard Laing is one of the nation's foremost choral directors. He is Music Director of Nottingham Harmonic Choir, Leicester Bach Choir, Cambridgeshire Choral Society, Leicestershire Schools Symphony Orchestra, Leamington Chamber Orchestra and the Bach Camerata, Principal Guest Conductor of Birmingham Philharmonic Orchestra and Hallam Sinfonia, and Associate Conductor of Chandos Symphony Orchestra. He began his career as Conducting Scholar at Birmingham Conservatoire, where after nine months of study he was awarded his Masters Degree, a Postgraduate Diploma, and the Postgraduate Prize for the most outstanding contribution to the musical life of the college. Shortly thereafter he was appointed to the post of Associate Conductor with the virtuoso young ensemble Sinfonia Cymru.
As a Chorus Master Richard frequently prepares choirs for Britain's top orchestras. For the Hallé he has prepared The Music Makers and The Planets for Sir Mark Elder and Александр Невский for Cristian Mandeal; for the BBC Symphony Orchestra he has prepared Carmina Burana for Gergely Madaras. The 2016-17 season includes choral preparation of Belshazzar's Feast for the Hallé with Rory Macdonald.
In his limited spare time Richard pursues a wide range of academic interests. His undergraduate work in Manchester on John F. Kennedy's policy in Vietnam won him the Kaiser Award for American History. He has presented papers on subjects as diverse as apocalyptic cinema, M.C. Escher and reality TV at the International Conferences on Film and Literature at Florida State University, and on Wagner's Ring cycle at the International Wagner Symposium at the University of Adelaide. Among his proudest achievements are being appointed Vice President of the University of Illinois Triathlon Club and having articles published in the iconic games magazine White Dwarf.
Richard is married to the singer and psychologist Karen Wise, Research Fellow at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. They live in Huntingdon with their seven year-old daughter Elsa.
Link to Richard's own web page