Conductor with Winchester Chamber Orchestra and Conchord Singers. Freelance percussionist and Organist
Craig Lawton is a lively and enthusiastic conductor working in the South of England. Firmly believing in the power a musical experience can give someone, he tirelessly brings this passion to rehearsals, concerts and projects. Working with a diverse range and size of ensembles has allowed Craig to develop a large repertoire, none-more so than the concerto and solo repertoire. Empathising with the importance and difficulty in getting solo work with ensembles, Craig seeks to give musicians an opportunity where he can. This mission has, for four years developed with Mary Mehuin from the Kent International Piano Courses, given young people concerto opportunities with the Winchester Chamber Orchestra. Craig made his professional conducting debut in Europe with the Ostfold Symphony Orchestra in Norway. Continuing to enjoy podium time in France, Berlin, Bulgaria and Italy. Studying organ with Sarah Baldock at the University of Southampton, Craig has remained an active organist, appearing as organ soloist in Poulenc’s Concerto in G minor, and numerous performances of Saint-Saens’ Organ Symphony. He plays weekly services as Director of Music at Christ Church Freemantle and occasionally gives organ recitals. In conjunction with a busy conducting schedule, Craig makes time for charitable music projects, something incredibly important to him. In 2016 he was approached to spearhead the “Oncology Choir” a choir formed of staff from the University Hospital Southampton’s Oncology department to fundraise for the revolutionary new ‘Centre for Cancer Immunology’ in Southampton. The choir make its debut performance at a black-tie dinner this November. This passion for fundraising through music is shared and brought to fruition with friend and colleague Paul Ingram. Between them, the dynamic duo have undertaken three epic musical marathons for Comic Relief; Haydathon (2009) and Beethovathon (2015); performing all symphonies by the two heavyweight composers and Orchestral Decathlon (2017). Craig has continued to develop his skills with Jason Lai, and most recently, in Berlin with Prof. Colin Metters (RAM). He initially studied with Dr John Traill and later at the University of Southampton with Robin Browning. He currently holds positions with the Northwood String Orchestra, Winchester Chamber Orchestra, Conchord Singers, Charity Symphony Orchestra and Christ Church Freemantle. Off the podium, Craig is a member of CAMRA, an avid film fan and enjoys swimming and walking. When not rehearsing or performing, you can often find Craig in a local watering hole enjoying a good pint of real ale with friends.
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