Simon Johnson was the choir’s founding Music Director. The following is a brief extract from the Independent obituary after he died at the early age of 59. We were incredibly lucky to have such an illustrious and talented founder.
Johnson’s gifts as an educationalist and communicator were evident early in his career, during the period as Director of Music at King’s School, Macclesfield, and subsequently at Reading University. He was a horn player and a pianist of considerable accomplishment, but it was his great love of choral singing which came to the fore at this time and shaped his subsequent career. As founder and conductor of the Reading Bach Choir in 1966-72, through his years with the Philharmonia Chorus as Assistant Chorus Master, from 1975 to 1980, and then as Musical Director of the Orfeo Catala of Barcelona, he directed virtually all the great works of the choral repertoire. He had an unsurpassed knowledge of this music and was devoted to it. A committed Christian, he brought to music a purity of vision and a profound spirituality which touched all who came into contact with him.