It was in 1992 that I first found myself in the producer's chair. I had been circulating around the freelance singing circuit for some years by then, had notched up a few dozen discs as a performer, and was curious about the role of this often faceless individual sitting somewhere else whose job was to bring everything together to their, and theoretically the conductor's satisfaction. At those sessions it was a revelation to discover the joy of listening, constructively and critically, to music I might not have previously known, being performed to the highest standard, and then to be asked for comments and ideas for improvement. Four hundred or more discs later I am now enjoying working with some of the greatest artists around, particularly in the field of choral music, in which I am pleased to count many of the finest ensembles as clients.
I see my role principally as that of an enabler. It is always a refreshing challenge to come together at the beginning of a new set of sessions in the knowledge that the assembled musicians have a common purpose - that of giving of their best. In the slightly contrived circumstances of recording sessions, sometimes made against unlikely odds of time, venue and other distractions, this challenge is never the same twice. My satisfaction is in overcoming all of this, managing the session time shrewdly, and sending musicians away feeling that they have at least given of their best, on some occasions better than they had hoped for, and occasionally even more then they believed possible. It is a subtle mix of encouragement, observation and communication.
Adrian Peacock is an award-winning, Grammy nominated Audio Producer and an internationally acclaimed bass choral singer and soloist.
Since the early 1990's Adrian has been a freelance record producer, specialising in choral groups, with over two hundred and fifty CD’s in the catalogue. Record labels include Decca, Deutsche Grammophon, EMI, Hyperion and Signum Classics; his list of recording artists comprises The King’s Singers, Polyphony, Tenebrae, Gabrieli Consort, Trinity College Cambridge, Magdalen College Oxford, Holst Singers, Westminster Abbey Choir, Vasari Singers, Ex Cathedra, Westminster Cathedral Choir, Arcangelo, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra. Discs of solo singers include Sarah Connolly, Andrew Kennedy, Iestyn Davies, Chris Purves, Carolyn Sampson, Christiane Karg and Alastair Miles. Orchestras recorded comprise the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, The Britten Sinfonia, The Academy of Ancient Music, The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, City of London Sinfonia and Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra. Conductor collaborations include Stephen Layton, Bob Chilcott, Paul McCreesh and Jonathan Cohen.
In 2011 Adrian was, with sound engineer David Hinitt, the winner of the 2011 BBC Music Magazine Award for Technical Excellence. He has also produced two Gramophone Award winning CD's, including Eric Whitacre's 'Cloudburst' which was also nominated for a Grammy in the US. 'A French Baroque Diva' won a Gramophone Award for the Recital category in the 2015 awards. In 2017 at the BBC Music Magazine Awards the disc 'CPE Bach Cello Concertos' with Nicolas Altstaedt and Arcangelo received the Concerto Award.
Adrian began his musical training at Lichfield Cathedral as a chorister, from where he won a music scholarship to Wellington College to pursue studies at the piano, organ and bassoon. He then continued his education at the University of Surrey, studying singing with Jean Bush and receiving conducting tuition from Vernon Handley, whilst also a choral scholar at nearby Guildford Cathedral.
From 1998 he sang as a Lay Clerk at Westminster Cathedral and was a member of Pro Cantione Antiqua, acting as their Music Director from 2000 onwards. For a decade from 2003 he was part of the BBC Singers, Britain's only full-time chamber choir. He sang with Solistes de Collegium Vocale Gent and was a frequent freelance performer with The Tallis Scholars, The Gabrieli Consort, The Scholars Baroque Ensemble, Monteverdi Choir, The English Concert, The King's Consort and others. He has also performed in a comprehensive collection of performances as a oratorio singer in the UK and in Europe, as a soloist in several contemporary classical works and on many commercial recordings, covering repertoire from medieval monophony to blockbuster film scores.
During his university years and after graduation Adrian conducted Thames Voyces and Yateley Choral Society. Over the years he has also acted a freelance chorus master to The Bach Choir, Guildford Philharmonic Choir and the BBC Symphony Chorus; smaller groups include the BBC Singers, the chamber choir Tenebrae and the Solistes de Collegium Vocale Gent. From 1992-2003 he was Director of Music at St James's Church, Piccadilly in London. More recently he has presented a number of projects conducting the BBC Singers in masterclasses in the UK and abroad, in rehearsals and in broadcast concerts.