Philip Barnes, Director of Music

Recognized by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch as ‘Best Choral Conductor’, Philip has established an enviable reputation for choir training and programming through his work with the Saint Louis Chamber Chorus. He has conducted this professional ensemble since 1989, and has earned numerous plaudits locally, nationally and internationally for his direction. He is also known for his championing of women composers, and for the numerous premieres he has conducted. His work may be heard on fourteen compact discs, most recently on the Regent (UK) label. His commentary may be heard on Re-Choired Listening, a selection of great choral and vocal music, broadcast weekly on Classic 107.3 FM (and online). As a singer he appeared on many commercial recordings in both the USA and England, where he spent his formative years as a boy chorister and later adult member of various cathedral and chapel choirs.

He has sung, conducted, and lectured on a wide range of subjects in Europe and North America; for example, in January 2019 he flew to Moscow to address the Orthodox Patriarch’s “Christmas Readings” conference. Many of these presentations have examined the intersection of music and classical literature, which reflects his training not only as a musician but also as a classicist; the latter he employs as a member of the Latin & Greek Department at John Burroughs School, where he was the first holder of the Johnston Endowed Chair in Classics. For many summers he has also taught at the Chautauqua Institution (NY).

Philip holds degrees and postgraduate certificates from the universities of Bristol and Manchester (UK), and King’s College, London. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and in May 2019 was awarded an honorary doctorate of ‘humane letters’ by The Aquinas Institute, at St. Louis University. For the spring of 2022 he has been awarded a Bogliasco Fellowship to study in Genoa, Italy.

He is married to a lifelong member of Third Baptist, Rachael, with whom he has two children, Eliot & Sylvia.