Conductor biography

Patrick Gundry-White

After studying French horn, composition and conducting at London’s Royal Academy of
Music, Patrick conducted concerts at the Thaxted Festival Orchestra and the Holborn
Chamber Orchestra, as well as freelancing on the London music scene. He then joined a
contemporary folk group called Kitsyke Will (yes, playing folk music on the French
horn!). The trio performed original compositions and arrangements of folk tunes, giving
broadcasts up and down the country, touring the UK and Europe and made an album
(“The Devil’s Ride”) in 1982. Next Patrick explored improvisation in various jazz
ensembles, recording for radio 3 with Mike Mower’s 13-piece contemporary jazz
ensemble “Hiatus” which he also composed for.
He then took off in another direction, training to be a teacher of the Alexander
Technique, qualifying in 1990.
Shortly after that he moved to the High Peak and began working with musicians of all
levels, working with members of the Halle Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic, students at the
Royal Northern College of Music and with the Halle’s current music director Sir Mark
Elder. He has also worked with younger conductors, many of whom are now well
established on the European music scene. Since 2014 Patrick has been a member of staff
at Chetham’s school of Music in Manchester.
A regular conductor of the HPO since 2016, Patrick is also to be found at the back of the
orchestra leading it’s horn section and has played in many other local orchestras. He is a
keen chamber musician, a member of the Marsyas Wind quintet and a founder member of
the conductorless Musica Nova chamber orchestra.
In 2001 the High Peak Orchestra gave the world premiere of his orchestral work;
“Escaping Processions”, which was completed under the shadow of 9/11. The orchestra
gave a very successful second revised performance of the work 20 years later.
In 2009 Patrick formed Whaley Choir, for which he composes original works and makes
arrangements across a wide range of styles. They have gained a formidable reputation for
exciting, adventurous programming and their performances have been greeted with much
enthusiastic acclaim.
He lives in Whaley Bridge with his wife, Dale who plays in the Halle, and two rather
demanding cats. He has also become rather adept at baking sourdough bread which he
started in lockdown.