Associate Hallé Choir Director
In 2011 Frances Cooke was appointed Hallé Choir Director. She had previously worked with the Choir on numerous projects, including critically acclaimed performances of Mahler’s Eighth Symphony, under the direction of Sir Mark Elder and Andris Nelsons. Forthcoming concerts this season, for which she will prepare the Choir, include Handel’s Messiah, the Hallé’s famous Carol Concerts, Holst’s Hymn of Jesus, Elgar’s Apostles and Beethoven’s ‘Choral’ Symphony, which draws the Hallé’s Beethoven cycle to a close in May.
As well as her role with the Hallé, Frances Cooke is Chorus Master for the St Endellion Festival in Cornwall, where she collaborated closely with the late Richard Hickox CBE on numerous choral works and operas, and Chorus Master for the Chester Festival Chorus, a post she has held for 20 years. She is a tutor for the Association of British Choral Directors and is much in demand nationally as a leader of choral workshops.
Frances Cooke read Music at Clare College, Cambridge, where she was a choral scholar under the then Director of Music, John Rutter. After graduating, she studied singing with Marjorie Thomas at the Royal Academy of Music and enjoyed a busy career performing and recording with all the UK’s leading chamber choirs, including the Richard Hickox Singers, the BBC Singers, the Choir of the Enlightenment, The Sixteen and the Tallis Scholars.