F E A T U R E D R E V I E W S
Bristol Post, June 2022
Schubert Mass in A Flat: A Review ****
Bristol Choral Society
The choir was impressive throughout – excellent diction, smoothly controlled changes in colour and dynamics, and immaculate tuning. They seemed well attuned to the meaning of the text, from the gentle pleading of the opening Kyrie to the rousing Amens that closed the Gloria and Credo, and always responsive to the sensitive direction of Hilary Campbell who appeared to mould and sculpt the sound of every phrase and note.
Midlands Classical Music Making, June 2021
Symphony Hall ****
Associate Conductor Hilary Campbell eliciting a spell-binding pianissimo for the slow moving chordal accompaniment over which a beautiful two-part melody was woven.
MusicWeb International, October 2020
The music on this CD is full of interest; all three works exploit the resources of the choir – and of the supporting instruments – to excellent effect. Hilary Campbell and her choirs give vivid and very well-prepared performances; everything is put across with skill and commitment.
MusicWeb International, April 2020
Almost at once I was struck by the purity of sound and the clarity of lines that Blossom Street achieve … The many technical challenges have been triumphantly surmounted by Hilary Campbell and Blossom Street in assured and committed performances. As I’ve indicated, Rosner’s contrapuntal writing is often very complex but it’s a tribute to the singers’ proficiency – and to Rosner’s compositional skill – that the music never sounds congested. I should also congratulate the choir on the clarity of their diction, something which can’t have been easy to achieve in music such as this. … I count these masses are major discoveries and I congratulate Hilary Campbell and her singers on their enterprise and achievement.
BBC Music Magazine, March 2019
This selection of short choral pieces by a near-century of British composers who are female, performed entirely by women, is a veritable chocolate box album. The pieces are excellently chosen and programmed, representing a wide variety of styles. ... Blossom Street under Campbelll's direction gives committed performances, strong, flexible and sure-toned. ... With luck, this collection will be an effective springboard for listeners carrying on exploring the music of these splendid composers.
Bristol Post, December 2017
Seldom have I enjoyed a Christmas concert as much as this one. Bristol Choral Society were on terrific form - probably the best I have heard them. ... Conductor Hilary Campbell seemed able to communicate every nuance in the music's phrasing with immediate effect: the choir's range of dynamic expression was hugely impressive - especially the several pianissimo phrase endings. The programme worked at every level.
Seen and Heard International, June 2017
The Academy Symphony Chorus, again with so little of their lives lived, were magnificent and brought a very visceral frisson to that whispered word ‘Aufersteh’n’. They also made a notable contribution to Mahler’s concluding tsunami of sound. At this point I realised I was sitting next to their chorus master Hilary Campbell who was living every word and change in dynamics with them.
Bristol Post, March 2017
Music making of the highest order... Under their new conductor, Hilary Campbell, [Bristol] Choral Society seems to have found a new 'voice'. Their singing is committed and inspired, and projected with a sense of purpose and clarity which is utterly compelling and absorbing. Their control of dynamics is outstanding and the warmth of their tone quite beguiling.
Classical Source, July 2016
At the start of the evening The Marian Consort sang three a cappella Latin settings by Judith Weir, Matthew Martin and Hilary Campbell …Campbell’s Ave Maria is highly approachable in its luminous harmonies.
The Telegraph, March 2016
The BBC Symphony Chorus was trained here by Hilary Campbell and brought luminosity to Stravinsky’s ecstatic finale.
Arcana, March 2016
The Symphony of Psalms was more obviously outgoing but saved its greatest emotional impact for the quieter music, the closing pages of ‘Omnis spiritus laudet Dominum’ from the BBC Symphony Chorus given out with softly oscillating orchestral figures... Great credit should however go to chorus master Hilary Campbell... She is clearly popular with the singers, and helped secure that extra degree of accuracy and emotional involvement. One of Stravinsky’s most cinematic scores, it was in this performance a powerful statement of affirmation.
Church Times, July 2015
Three choirs took part, with brass ensemble and organ, conducted with authority and clarity by Hilary Campbell, one of the founders of the Voices of London Festival. Instruments were used sparingly but effectively, the organ primarily underpinning the voices, and the brass reflecting that Cornish tradition perhaps familiar from the more reflective of Malcolm Arnold’s Cornish Dances.
The Scotsman, June 2015
Hilary Campbell’s Ave Maria, commissioned by the Consort in 2012 and correspondingly well suited to them, was beautifully atmospheric and especially effective.
Booking for Helicon Arts 2023 summer choral weeks is now open! See you there!
Hilary was delighted to contribute to an article by Clare Stevens for BBC Music Magazine about John Rutter. More here.
This summer, Hilary looks forward to directing a choral week for Helicon Arts in Spain. Sign up for sun, singing and sangria here!
In November 2021, Bristol Choral Society and Hilary were thrilled to be awarded the RPS Inspiration Award. Read more here.
At the Making Music award ceremony, held in September 2021, Hilary was honoured to be awarded 'best vocal group music director'. Bristol Choral Society was similarly delighted to win 'best project with a focus on new music'. Read more here.
Bristol Choral Society and Hilary are enormously honoured to have been shortlisted for an RPS Inspiration Award, which will be decided by public vote. Read more about the award here, and please vote here!
Both Hilary and one of her choirs, Bristol Choral Society, have been shortlisted for Making Music Awards ('best vocal music director' and 'best project with a focus on new music'. Read more about it here.
Due to the tragic unfolding of Covid-19, choirs around the globe have, temporarily, had to cease their activities. To help singers continue their choral momentum, and to let them keep singing during these uncertain times, Hilary launches Stay and Sing, a come and sing project from the comfort of your settee! Read more here.
Hilary is delighted to be working as Associate Conductor of Ex Cathedra. Read more here.
Hilary was honoured to be made an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music (ARAM) last year.
With Blossom Street, Hilary recorded her third Naxos disc, released in January 2019.
Blossom Street, of which Hilary is founder and director, launched a crowdfunder campaign for their new Naxos disc, which celebrates the 100th anniversary of women gaining the vote. Read more here.
In early 2018, Hilary was thrilled to make her debut with the BBC Singers. The first broadcast as part of this project will be aired on Radio 3 on 6 February. Read more here.
In June 2017, Hilary was delighted to Chorus Master a performance of Mahler Symphony No. 2, conducted by Semyon Bychkov, who was directing the Royal Academy Symphony Orchestra and Chorus.
Hilary was proud to Chorus Master the BBC Symphony Chorus for Prom 46 2016, featuring Mozart's Mass in C Minor, conducted by Ilan Volkov. Read reviews of the performance here.
Hilary was appointed Musical Director of Bristol Choral Society in 2016. Her first concert with the group was a performance of Rachmaninov's Vespers at Bristol Cathedral on Saturday 11 June 2016. Read the choir's press release here.