Robin Osterley has been involved in music-making all his life. His early musical activities encompassed playing percussion, piano and an enormous amount of singing. Whilst at Oxford, he claims to have been involved in just about every orchestra the University had to offer and put on several concerts under the auspices of the St. Edmund Hall Music Society.
On leaving college the need to eat became too great, and Robin started his working life selling photocopiers! Many, many years later, as a senior marketing manager with computing company ICL, he took a golden voluntary redundancy opportunity and went into the arts.
Robin’s first job in the arts was with the Orchestra of St John’s, Smith Square, where he completed a six-month marketing contract, moving to run a small classical record company, Cala Records, before its move to the USA. Until recently he worked as Chief Executive of Making Music, the National Federation of Music Societies, the UK’s leading association for amateur musical organisations.
During all this frenzied activity Robin has always been involved in music at some level. As a conductor, he has been Music Director of a ladies chamber choir in North London, and of Stevenage Choral Society since 2001. As a choral singer, he has many years of experience, having sung with the Philharmonia Chorus and the London Symphony Chorus under such conductors as Giulini, Abbado, Previn, Svetlanov, Davis, and many, many more. His repertoire ranges from Bach to Britten and beyond, and he is particularly pleased to have been able to conduct three world premieres with Stevenage. His musical experience also encompasses playing percussion in amateur orchestras, teaching piano, singing to his two young sons and arguing with his two older daughters over their musical tastes.
Robin firmly believes that musical participation should be for everyone, not just the lucky few, and is keen to involve the choir in community and outreach work, as well as ensuring that it is as open as possible to new members.