Roy Wales received his first conducting lessons as an undergraduate at Trinity College of Music, London, where he studied French Horn and Voice and conducted the student choir.
After forming and directing the London Academic Orchestra he won a Gulbenkian Foundation Postgraduate Conducting Scholarship to the Guildhall School of Music, where he studied orchestral and opera conducting. While at the Guildhall, he won the School Conducting Prize and the Kapsalis Memorial Cup for Conducting.
On leaving the Guildhall School of Music he formed and conducted the London Student Symphony Orchestra, taking them on tours to France and Greece. He later gained an Italian Government Scholarship to study orchestral conducting with Franco Ferrari in Venice.
In 1970 he formed the English Concert Orchestra which made its début in the Royal Albert Hall with the London Chorale in a highly acclaimed performance of Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem. The Daily Telegraph critic stated “The English Concert Orchestra and the London Chorale’s performance of Benjamin Britten’s ‘War Requiem’ in the Royal Albert Hall’ was assured and committed enough to challenge comparison with the best of past interpretations.”
As a guest conductor Roy Wales has appeared with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, London Mozart Players, BBC Philharmonic, Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra, Hungarian MAV and Hungarian Mendelssohn Chamber Orchestras, Szczecin Philharmonic Orchestra in Poland, Leipzig Bach Orchestra, Israel Camerata, Bloemfontein Symphony Orchestra in South Africa, and the Queensland, West Australian and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras in Australia for the ABC. He has also undertaken a number of orchestral and educational projects with the Ghana National Symphony Orchestra. While living in Australia he founded and directed the Brisbane Philharmonic Orchestra.
Roy Wales has directed many student and youth orchestras including the Royal Academy of Music Symphony Orchestra, Royal College of Music Wind Ensemble, Guildhall School of Music Symphony Orchestra, Karlsruhe Hochschule Chamber Orchestra, Franz Liszt Academy Orchestra (Budapest), Veszprém Conservatoire Symphony Orchestra (Hungary), Conservatorium Orchestras in Queensland and Adelaide (Australia) and Birmingham Conservatoire and the Warwick University Symphony Orchestra. For five years he was Director of Music for the County Borough of Southend-on-Sea where he formed the Southend Festival Orchestra and the Youth Orchestra, taking them on tours to France, Switzerland and the Channel Islands.
Roy Wales has conducted much of the opera repertoire and is currently Music Director of English Studio Opera. He has a fine reputation as a choir director and has won 1st prize at a number of International Choir Competitions in Switzerland, Eire, Wales, Belgium and for the BBC in the ‘Let the Peoples Sing’ Radio Competition.
For many years he was the Director of the international prizewinning London Chorale and since 1990 the English Concert Singers and English Concert Chorus.
Dr. Wales has been a guest director of the BBC Singers, the Béla Bartók and Monteverdi Choirs in Budapest, the Franz Liszt Choir in Veszprém, Hungary, the University of Washington Chamber Choir and the ABC West Australian Radio Choir. In 1983 he formed the Brisbane Chorale and was their director when they represented Australia in the Prix Italia Radio Prize. He also directed the Queensland Conservatorium Singers on their overseas tours to Japan, Hong Kong, Austria, Hungary, France and Switzerland.