Owen Rees

Contrapunctus is an early-music vocal ensemble directed by Owen Rees and dedicated to passionate interpretations informed by authoritative insight and understanding.

Owen Rees - Director


Owen Rees is Professor of Music at the University of Oxford, and Fellow in Music and Organist (Director of Music) at The Queen’s College. He directs the Choir of The Queen’s College and Contrapunctus. His work as a conductor has taken him to the Far East, the USA, and across Europe, and he is increasingly busy as a leader of choral workshops. He has broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and 4, and in several other countries. His CD recordings with Queen’s and other choirs – on the Hyperion, Signum and Avie labels – encompass a wide variety of choral repertory, and have attracted consistently high critical acclaim: BBC Music Magazine recently described his interpretations as ‘revelatory and even visionary’. Owen Rees has brought to the concert hall and recording studio substantial repertories of magnificent Renaissance music, particularly from Portugal, Spain, and England, including many previously unknown or little-known works, and he has been described as ‘one of the most energetic and persuasive voices’ in this field. His work has three times been shortlisted for the Gramophone Early Music Award.

Owen Rees began his academic and conducting career as Organ Scholar at St Catharine’s College, Cambridge, studying with Peter le Huray and Iain Fenlon. After a period as College Lecturer in Music at St Peter’s College and St Edmund Hall, Oxford, he joined the Music Department at the University of Surrey, where he was promoted to the post of Reader. In 1997 he returned to Oxford, where—in addition to his posts of Fellow in Music at The Queen’s College and Director of Music of the Choir of The Queen's College—he is Senior Research Fellow at Somerville College and a Professor in the Faculty of Music. His numerous published studies include work on the Spanish composers Cristóbal de Morales and Francisco Guerrero and the English composer William Byrd.

Background image by Fr Lawrence Lew O.P.
© Contrapunctus 2018