conductor · composer
rory wainwright johnston
Rory Wainwright Johnston is a conductor and composer from Bradford-on-Avon, near Bath. His musical education was fostered at Bath Abbey as head chorister and then tenor under the direction of Dr. Peter King, whilst also studying piano with world-renowned harpsichordist Sophie Yates with whom he worked towards his dipABRSM Piano Diploma. Under her tutelage, Rory twice participated in piano master classes with Joanna MacGregor.
Rory read Music at the University of Manchester, graduating in 2016 with a first-class honours degree, specialising in conducting and composition. During this time he studied piano with Richard Casey, and conducting with Mark Heron (RNCM) and Justin Doyle (RIAS Kammerchor). He continued his compositional studies there on the Masters Composition course for two years under the tutelage of Camden Reeves and Nina Whiteman graduating with a Distinction in November 2018. From April 2020 to July 2022 Rory studied for a Masters in Conducting with Justin Doyle at the Hochschule für Musik 'Hanns Eisler' in Berlin, graduating with a 1.0.
Before moving to Berlin he worked with many choirs across the northwest, being Musical Director of Cantores Olicanae, Wigan Choral Society, The Brixi Singers, The Acapella Singers, and Manchester Renaissance Ensemble, he also worked as an Associate Conductor as part of the Halle's Choral Team. Previously, Rory has assisted Justin Doyle with RIAS Kammerchor's 2017 performance of Monteverdi's Vespers of 1610, and Matt Hamilton with the preparation of the Hallé Choir for the Hallé's performance of Schoenberg's Gurre-Lieder. Over the festive period of 2022 he will be assisting Justin Doyle with RIAS Kammerchor's New Years Concert and subsequent recording of Handel's Judas Maccabeaus. Rory is currently the conductor of consortium vocal berlin.
Rory is in demand as a workshop leader with Early Music fora across the country, and in July 2019 ran the Choral Workshop for the York Early Music Festival. In July 2022 he began a new relationship with Lacock Courses directing their Edinburgh Early Music Summer School and will lead a course in the South of France in August 2023.
As a composer, his music has been performed and workshopped by a variety of ensembles and artists from across the UK and Germany, including Psappha Ensemble, The Orchestra of Opera North, ORA Singers, Quatour Danel, Skipton Camerata, Kantos Chamber Choir, Chester Bach Singers, Ad Solem, and echo. In September 2019 he was chosen by Robert Hollingworth and Judith Weir as joint winner in echo's composition competition with his piece Summoning Dance, and in November of the same year he was chosen as one of 12 composers to be involved in ORA Singers' 'Christmas Gift' with his piece Hush! My dear, lie still and slumber.