Iain coaches many young Academy singers and pianists in preparation for operatic and concert work, besides training and conducting choirs
Since its launch in January 2009 he has also directed the Royal Academy of Music/Kohn Foundation Bach Cantatas Series, taking the role that Bach himself fulfilled when these great works were first performed.
Iain was Organ Scholar at Queens’ College, Cambridge from 1973 to 1976 and subsequently studied piano, harpsichord and conducting at the Royal Academy of Music. He then worked extensively as a pianist and repetiteur broadcasting frequently on BBC Radio 3 as an accompanist for many singers and instrumentalists. In 1981 he joined the music staff of Glyndebourne Festival Opera and played harpsichord continuo in many productions there. As harpsichordist continuo player and choir trainer he has also worked with leading conductors including Sir Charles Mackerras, Trevor Pinnock, Sir Roger Norrington and Raymond Leppard.
In 1983 he founded the Amersham Festival of Music, a thriving annual event with an equally successful winter series of orchestra concerts given by the festival’s professional chamber orchestra. He has conducted them in a wide range of symphonic, choral and operatic works, as well as playing and directing many of Mozart’s Piano Concertos.
He has taught at the Academy since 1981 and in 1996 was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music. From 2000 to 2003 he was Director of Opera at the Academy, responsible for planning and overseeing the first two years of the Academy’s new opera course, Royal Academy Opera. During that time he conducted performances of Falstaff and Le nozze di Figaro as well as preparing students to work with distinguished guest conductors. In 2003 Iain returned to full-time work as a coach, pianist and conductor and in recent years has conducted performances for Royal Academy Opera of Haydn’s Il Mondo della Luna, and Mozart’s La Finta Giardiniera. In March 2009 he assisted Trevor Pinnock and conducted the final performance of Haydn’s La Fedeltà Premiata.