Ian Smith – Conductor

Ian is one of the leading conductors in the Bedford and Milton Keynes area.

Educated at York University and Queens’ College Cambridge, he moved to Milton Keynes in 1975 and to Bedford in 1981. Ian is musical director and principal conductor of Bedford Choral Society and the Danesborough Chorus.

His wide-ranging repertoire of choral performances has included Rachmaninov Vespers, Vaughan Williams Sea Symphony and Dona Nobis Pacem, Verdi Requiem, Bach Christmas Oratorio and Mass in B minor, Dankworth The Diamond and the Goose, Elgar The Dream of Gerontius, Vivaldi Gloria, Karl Jenkins Requiem and The Armed Man, Handel Judas Maccabeus and Messiah and Monteverdi Vespers.

Ian’s long career includes radio recordings and television appearances for BBC and ITV. His breadth of musical experience and enthusiasm has resulted in Ian being invited to conduct a number of orchestras, including Milton Keynes City Orchestra and Bedfordshire Symphony Orchestra. He was also conductor of the Bedfordshire County Youth Second Orchestra for 23 years. As a violinist, he is leader of the Beverley String Quartet.

As a freelance musician Ian has worked for the Professional Development department of the ABRSM and has delivered courses to teachers in England, Hong Kong and Singapore. He is a Trustee of The Wavendon Allmusic Plan where he is also an active member of the Theatre Board. Until his retirement from full-time teaching Ian was Director of Music, Head of Expressive Arts and Assistant Headteacher at Wootton Upper School, near Bedford. Prior to that he was Head of Bedfordshire County Music Service. He continues to be actively involved in practical music-making throughout the area. and continues to take a keen interest in the work of the Bedfordshire Music Trust, the organisation which runs orchestra and band courses for the young people of Bedfordshire and the surrounding area.