Graham Lea-Cox


Graham Lea-Cox was born in Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia) and began his musical career as a boy-chorister in the Choir of Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford, United Kingdom.  After completing High School in Zimbabwe he entered the Royal College of Music in London as an Exhibitioner, to study conducting (with Norman Del Mar, London), violoncello (Antonio Butler, RCM) and organ (Richard Popplewell, RCM and later André Marchal, France), before going on a scholarship to Oxford University.

On graduating from Oxford he was invited to the USA as an Associate Director to the California Boys Choir in Los Angeles, where he spent some years on the edge of the US Film Industry before taking up an appointment as Artistic Director of the Texas Boys' Choir (Fort Worth-Dallas, USA).  As Director and conductor of this major US secular Choir School and its professional Touring Choir he made five trans-national tours of the continental US, as well as tours to Japan and Hong Kong.  Whilst in the USA he prepared choruses for several major orchestras including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Dallas Symphony and the New York City Opera (in Los Angeles). 

In opera Graham trained as a repetiteur at the Royal College of Music and at the English National Opera, London. As Opera Coach, he has since coached several major opera singers in preparation for their operatic and concert engagements. For some years he worked closely with the renowned American mezzo-soprano, Kathleen Kuhlmann, to prepare for her operatic roles and engagements in major Opera Houses and Concert Halls around the globe. 

In the USA he has directed performances at many of the major concert halls and made his American Conducting debuts at Carnegie Hall and the San Antonio International Music Festival. His London orchestral debut, conducting the Orchestra of St. John's, Smith Square, was followed by an invitation to work as assistant to Arnold Östman in Italy and a subsequent operatic conducting debut in Sweden, with Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro. Studentships in Prague and at the Netherlands Opera in Amsterdam (Wagner, Die Walküre), led to an invitation from the Netherlands Opera as an assistant to Chief Conductor Hartmut Haenchen in Alban Berg’s Wozzeck. Graham was also Artistic Director of the first UK WARCHILD Festival (1993) at the Royal Festival Hall, London, co-hosted by actor John Thaw.

In the UK he directed the Hanover Band, one of the UK’s leading period instrument orchestras, in recordings and concert over several years.  Graham founded the English Performing Arts Ensemble (EPAE) with members of London’s leading orchestras, the London Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.   For many seasons Graham also directed the Elizabethan Singers of London, one of London’s longest established Chamber Choirs.  Together with the English Performing Arts Ensemble they performed frequently on London's South Bank (Royal Festival Hall and Queen Elizabeth Hall) and toured in Europe and the USA.   Graham and his musicians worked closely with Sam Wanamaker during the years of fund-raising to establish the Shakespeare Globe Theatre Trust and the rebuilding of Shakespeare's Globe theatre on London's South Bank, performing with Imelda Staunton, John Thaw, Jeremy Irons, and other leading British actors. 

Graham Lea-Cox has conducted and performed in recording, radio broadcast and concert in Europe, Scandinavia, North America, Mexico and Africa.  In Germany he has conducted the WDR (West German Radio) Symphony Orchestra (Köln) and broadcast with them live on German Radio; in the United Kingdom he has conducted the Hanover Band in five recordings (on Gaudeamus Universal Records/ Decca); in  Italy the Orchestra da Camara di Firenze and, in Sweden, the Goteborg Opera.  In South Africa he has conducted the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra over many seasons and recorded with them for broadcast on the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) and in Mexico, using newly edited performing editions by Miguel Almaguer, he conducted in 2011 a series of concerts celebrating the 20th century Mexican Symphonist Pablo Moncayo.  In London, UK, Graham has directed many events at the Royal Festival and Queen Elizabeth Halls in London, UK, as Artistic Director and Conductor.

As a scholar, he has become noted for his pioneering editions of works by 18th century British composers, made from original autographs and contemporary editions in the UK, the USA and Sweden.   In the late 1980s in Stockholm, Sweden, at the invitation of Conductor Arnold Ostman, he researched the Gustavian manuscripts in the Royal Opera archives for the cycle of Gluck operas at the Royal Drottningholm Theatre, thereafter going on to conduct a series of world-premiere recordings with the renowned UK based Period Instrument Orchestra, the Hanover Band.  For these recordings of 18th century British music, now released on Universal/Decca (formerly ASV/Sanctuary Classics), Graham uses new critical editions he has prepared from the original manuscirpts in London, Oxford and Washington D.C.  The recordings have received outstanding international acclaim and a nomination for a Classical Grammy Award in the USA.

Current Repertoire and future projects:

With broad experience conducting the Symphonic and orchestral output of Europe, the Americas and South Africa, Graham Lea-Cox has a diverse repertoire of twentieth century works by Shostakovitch, Sergei Prokofiev, Britten, Tippett, Takemitsu, Janáček, Finzi, Dallapiccola, Bartok, Revueltas, Moncayo, Ives, Copeland, Schoenberg, Webern, Debussy, Ravel, Faure, Delius, Dukas, Elgar, Vaughan Williams, Walton and Janacek, as well as works from preceding centuries - Glazunov, Rossini, Schumann, Mendelssohn, Dvorak, Brahms, Beethoven, Schubert, Mozart, Haydn and his own critical editions of  Eighteenth Century British Symphonies and works for orchestra and chorus by Handel, Arne, Boyce, Clementi, SS Wesley and William Sterndale Bennett.

In South Africa he has conducted and recorded for broadcast with the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra and the SABC, notably the South African premières of major orchestral works by leading contemporary South African composer Hendrik Hofmeyr.  He has also edited and directed orchestral sound track recordings for several feature length and short South African films, with music by the South African-Swiss German composer, Geo Hoehn.

Graham has been a British Council Artist to Sweden, the Czech Republic and Zimbabwe and, in addition to his international engagements, he has worked pro bono for several years to promote music in the developing world.  With colleagues, he is developing two personal initiatives, the 'Academy of Future Music' and 'Creative Beetroot', to encourage and develop international collaboration between professionals from all parts of the Music, Film music and other Creative industries.

From 2017, while continuing his international engagements, Graham Lea-Cox has been appointed by the University of South Africa (UNISA) to a Visiting Lectureship and an Industry Consultant in Film Music.  With colleagues in the Film Industry and UNISA, he will direct an international project to develop a real-time, internet based co-production platform, to facilitate collaboration and exchange between the film and music industries of South Africa and Mexico.  Graham is a Guest Lecturer at AFDA, the South African School of Motion Picture Medium and Live Performance. At the invitation of AFDA, he presented two papers on Film Music to the 2012 International Congress of Film Schools (CILECT) in Cape Town.

He has given master classes and lectured on Performance Practice and Contemporary Music internationally - at the University of Southern Africa (UNISA), the University of Pretoria, the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, at Rhodes University, Grahamstown and as a keynote speaker at the South African Music Teachers Conference.  In Mexico he has lectured at the University of Monterrey and the Universty of Saltillo as well as the Escuela Superior de Musica y Danza de Monterrey.

Educational Work:

Encouraging young people in their study and appreciation of music is expressed through his work as often as possible.  In the UK Graham directed a 5 year Educational project with the English Performing Arts Ensemble in partnership with the London Music Conservatoires.  From this work a national UK charity was established, the English Performing Arts Educational Trust, dedicated to assisting young people, professionals and the public at large towards a greater common appreciation of the Performing Arts. He has since directed similar projects internationally in the USA and for the British Council in Zimbabwe. 

April 2017




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El músico Graham Lea-Cox fue formado en la escuela clásica. Su experiencia y gustos eclécticos lo llevaron desde la dirección de repertorios de orquesta y ópera, a trabajar con teatros musicales, música popular independiente y músicas del mundo. Ha dirigido e interpretado ampliamente en América, Europa y Escandinavia, Norteamérica, México y Africa en grabaciones, radio-difusión y conciertos. Ha trabajado en la industria cinematográfica y televisiva en los Estados Unidos y en Sudáfrica. 

Graham Lea-Cox ha realizado giras nacionales en los Estados Unidos e internacionales a China y a Japón con Columbia Artists (Nueva York), como Director Artístico y Director de conjuntos musicales y músico-teatrales asentados en California y en Texas. Más recientemente, profundizó su carrera internacional con base en Europa y en Africa como director de orquesta, especialista y compositor.

En Europa dirigió la Orquesta Sinfónica (Köln) de la WDR (Radio de Alemania Occidental) durante vios ciclos de conciertos, la Banda de Hanover en el Reino Unido (cinco grabaciones en Universal Records), la Orquesta de Cámara de Florarencia en Italia, la Opera de Goteborg en Suecia y en Sudáfrica la Orquesta Filarmónica del Cabo, con la que también grabó para difusión en la SABC. 

Nacido en Zimbabue, , sus becas en el Colegio Real de Música de Londres (RCM) y luego en la Universidad de Oxford, donde estudió violoncello, teclado y dirección (con Norman Del Mar) fueron seguidas por sus estudios de repetidor en el RCM y en la Opera Nacional Inglesa. 

Durante el transcurso de muchos años Graham Lea-Cox ha preparado a varios cantantes de ópera de renombre en anticipación a sus presentaciones operísticas y conciertos en los principales Teatros de Opera de Europa y de América d≈el Norte. 

Al dirigir a la Banda de Hanover, una de las orquestas instrumentales de época más destacadas en el Reino Unido, sus grabaciones en ASV (actualmente Universal) recibieron aclamación mundial y una nominación para los Premios Grammy Clásicos en los E.E.U.U. Como académico, se ha destacado en el Reino Unido y en los Estados Unidos por sus ediciones vanguardistas de obras de compositores británicos del siglo XVIII basadas en manuscritos. En Suecia, invitado por el Director Arnold Ostman, Graham investigó manuscritos de la Opera Real de las obras de Gluck para el Teatro Real Drottningholm en Estocolmo. 

Ha impartido clases con frecuencia en universidades de Sudáfrica y de México y se encuentra actualmente desarrollando un proyecto de colaboración e intercambio entre las industrias de la cinematografía y de la música de Sudáfrica y México. Graham Lea-Cox ha editado y dirigido varias partituras orquestales para cinematografía con música del compositor suizo-sudafricano Geo Hoehn 

Graham Lea-Cox ha sido artista representante del Consejo Británico en Suecia, la República de Checoslovaquia y Zimbabue. Además de sus compromisos internacionales, ha trabajado durante muchos años para promover la música en el mundo. Para ello y con miras al desarrollo de la colaboración profesional internacional ha establecido dos inicitivas personales, la 'Academia de Música del Futuro' y el vehículo de colaboración llamado 'Creative Beetroot' ('Betabel Creativo').

Graham ha sido designado por la Universidad de Sudáfrica (UNISA) como profesor visitante y como consultor de bandas sonoras junto a colegas de la industria cinematográfica. Juntos con sus colegas de la industria cinematográfica y UNISA, dirigirá un proyecto internacional para desarrollar una plataforma de coproducción en tiempo real, basada en Internet, para facilitar la colaboración y el intercambio entre las industrias cinematográfica y musical de Sudáfrica y México.  Graham es profesor visitante en la AFDA, Escuela Sudafricana para la Cinematografía y las Artes Escénicas y en 2012 presentó dos estudios sobre música cinematográfica al Congreso Internacional de Escuelas de Cine (CILECT) en Ciudad del Cabo. 

La promoción del estudio y de la apreciación musical por parte de la juventud es expresada a través de su obra con la mayor frecuencia posible. En el Reino Unido dirigió un proyecto educativo de 5 años con el Conjunto de Artes Escénicas de Inglaterra en asociación con los Conservatorios de Música de Londres. 

Abril 2017


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Der in Rhodesien (heute Zimbabwe) geborene Dirigent studierte am Royal College of Music in London sowie an der Oxford University Dirigieren, Violoncello und Orgel. Startschuss seiner internationalen Karriere waren sein Debüt in der Carnegie Hall, beim San Antonio International Music Festival und sein Auftritt als Dirigent des Orchestra of St. John’s, Smith Square. Tourneen und Projekte in den USA, Europa und Afrika schlossen sich an. Eng verbunden fühlt sich Graham Lea-Cox der Hanover Band, einem Ensemble, das sich der historischen Aufführungspraxis verschrieben hat. Vor allem die Aufnahmen, die Lea-Cox zusammen mit der Hanover Band unter Rückgriff auf kritisch edierte Partituren bei »Universal Records« eingespielt hat, wurden mit großem Zuspruch von der internationalen Kritik aufgenommen.


© Graham Lea-Cox 2017