By Chris Ruel
After a short illness, renowned choral conductor Terry Edwards has died at age 83.
Prior to using his arms and hands on the podium to bring out the best in choral music, the 6’9” maestro used the same when blocking opponents on the basketball court, where he represented Great Britain at the 1964 Olympics.
Edwards left basketball behind to become a professional singer. Early in his music career, the conductor led the John Alldis Choir and Richard Norrington’s Schütz Choir of London before forming the famed London Voices in 1973.
When he arrived at Covent Garden, it was at the behest of Sir Georg Solti, one of Edwards’ greatest influences. During his tenure in London, Edwards rehearsed the Royal Opera Chorus in over 100 operas and worked with 43 composers and nearly 70 conductors, including such greats as Abbado, Gatti, Gergiev, Haitink, Mehta, Pappano, Rattle, and Thielemann.
Edwards was a well-known figure in the film music industry, having worked with Ennio Morricone, conducted the choral sections for “Star Wars,” all three of “The Lord of the Rings” soundtracks, the “Harry Potter” franchise, “Hunger Games,” and “Grand Budapest Hotel,” which won an Oscar for Best Soundtrack.