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 both performer and scholar, his scholarship consistently informing his performances.  Through his extensive work as a choral director, he has brought to the concert hall and recording studio substantial repertories of magnificent Renaissance and Baroque music, including many previously unknown or little-known works from Spain and Portugal. His interpretations of these repertories have been acclaimed as ‘rare examples of scholarship and musicianship combining to result in performances that are both impressive and immediately attractive to the listener’, and he has been described as ‘one of the most energetic and persuasive voices’ in this field.  

He has conducted at festivals worldwide, and is increasingly busy as a leader of workshops on performance of Renaissance polyphony. He has broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and 4, and on Portuguese, Spanish, and Norwegian radio. He has released CD recordings on the Hyperion, Signum, and Avie labels to consistently high critical acclaim and his work has 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 2017