B i o g r a p h y
A thoughtful and creative practitioner of choral music, Cole Bendall's work as a conductor and vocal coach has been lauded across the United Kingdom. He directs the Reid Consort, a pre-professional vocal ensemble based in Scotland, the Surrey County Youth Choir, and a number of choral societies across the South of England.
His cross-disciplinary work with the Reid Consort has been commended in press including projects such as PATCHWORK REQUIEM - a semi-staged pastiche work combining movements from Requiem masses - and Nordic Landscapes, building upon his research interests in Northern European choral music and identity. With the Reid Consort, he has appeared at the St Andrews Voices festival and conducted performances of contemporary works including Arvo Part’s Passio, Scottish premieres of Kerry Andrew, Jean Sibelius and Veljo Tormis and major repertoire works by Bernstein, Rachmaninov and Duruflé. The ensemble has recorded music for the National Libraries of Scotland and, in 2017, recorded a CD of music by Chris Hutchings, co-funded by Creative Scotland and the Hope Scott Trust.
Recent career highlights include conducting the Transylvanian State Philharmonic Choir in the Dima International Choral Conductors Competition (2018, Top 16), assisting Gregory Batsleer with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra Chorus, masterclasses with Gijs Leenaars, Simon Carrington, Jonathon Heyward and others. In 2020, he conducts Devlet Çoksesli Korosu (the Turkish State Choir) in masterclasses and a concert at the CSO Concert Hall, Ankara, Turkey. He has also worked in masterclass settings with Sonoro Choir (UK, Neil Ferris) and the Rundfunkchor Berlin (conducting Verdi Te Deum in concert).
In recent years, Cole has worked with Byre Opera, Le Petit Verre Opera, North London Chorus, Hanover Choir (London), Covent Garden Sinfonia, the British Sinfonietta, Hallé Youth Orchestra, the Universities of Scotland Symphony Orchestra, St Andrews Chamber Orchestra and university ensembles in St Andrews, Aberdeen and Edinburgh. In 2017, he was awarded the Andrew Potter Bursary for emerging conductors by the Association of British Choral Directors. In addition to his conducting work, Cole is a Teaching Fellow at the Centre for Open Learning at the University of Edinburgh, coaching musicianship, music history and performance. He is in demand as a workshop leader for both young and adult singers. In response to international healthcare challenges in 2020, Cole has also hosted online "Click and Sing" events, raising money for charities including the Trussell Trust.
Cole studied at the University of Aberdeen and the University of Edinburgh where he is nearing completion of his PhD thesis on the choral music of the Estonian composer, Veljo Tormis. In 2018, Cole was awarded support from the Help Musicians UK TRANSMISSION Fund. He studies conducting with Neil Ferris.