Leslie Olive is also an outstanding choral conductor and deeply committed to voluntary music-making. In Suffolk, he has been conductor of Stowmarket Chorale for more than fifteen years, during which time the Chorale has performed at John Peel’s memorial service, appeared on Look East, and toured Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius, giving only the second ever performance in the highly prestigious Smetana hall in the heart of the city of Prague, as well as providing regular opportunities to sing and to hear fine performances in and around the town.
For ten years, Leslie has also been conductor of the highly-regarded Eye Bach Choir, where the enthusiastic membership is currently growing rapidly and threatens to exceed the space available for the performers in Eye’s magnificent church.
For a much longer time, Leslie Olive has conducted the Surrey-based English Arts Chorale, which he founded, and which has sung at The Barbican Concert Hall, the Queen Elizabeth Hall, St Martin in the Fields, and in many cathedrals around the country as well as broadcasting for Radio 4 and touring in Europe. The composer John Rutter paid English Arts Chorale an expert’s compliment when he recently described their distinctive sound as “translucent.”
In other work, Leslie Olive founded and directed the nearly-100-strong boys choir of Colchester Royal Grammar School, taking them on European tours and performing alongside the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the choir of Trinity College Cambridge. He has conducted the London Philharmonic Choir, the Choir of Royal Holloway University of London, the Philharmonia Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the English Chamber Orchestra, London Mozart Players, Opera Brava and London Opera Players. For four years he was a music director for BBC radio. In February 2017 he also became, for the time being at least, Music Director of Wattisham Military Wives Choir.