David Hansell became conductor of The Ripieno Choir in January 1996. He is a graduate of Durham University (first and research degrees), and also holds diplomas in organ playing and choral conducting. Although he freely admits to a particular enthusiasm for seventeenth- and eighteenth-century music, his repertoire is extremely wide-ranging, from Gregorian chant to new commissions.
He writes regularly for the online magazine Early Music Review and has prepared many editions of otherwise unavailable music, especially compositions by Marc-Antoine Charpentier. David is also the author of Discover Choral Music, a CD/book combination published by Naxos which was recently translated into Korean!
Now retired from school work, David is devoting himself anew to playing the organ and harpsichord, especially the works of JS Bach, and has hunted down an apparently lost work for four harpsichords by the virtuoso harpsichordist George Malcolm (1917-1997). He hopes to revive this in 2017 to mark the centenary of Malcolm’s birth. David is also an enthusiastic mountain biker (sometimes hazardously so!) but manages to avoid all but minor injuries.
Of David and his performances, journals ranging from the Washington Post to the Yorkshire Post have commented:
a poignant and timely reminder of the meaning of Christmas…incisive control…he must curb a distracting tendency to sway from foot to foot…beautifully balanced…something of an expert on JS Bach…liquid architecture…something of an expert on the music of the renaissance…the finest Messiah I have been privileged to hear in 17 years of reviewing…something of an expert on psalms…imagination and skill…intrepid…erudite…a rousing performance…extremely relaxing…masterly impact…an important recording…thrilling…memorably committed…a distinctive approach…
David retired from conducting The Ripieno Choir in June 2018. We wish him all the very best for his new endeavours, and thank him for everything he has done for the choir over his 22 year tenure. You can still read David’s blog.