About us

Our Choir

The Esterhazy Singers is an amateur choir of about 50 people that aims at professional standards. We also support music students by providing them bursaries to sing with us and learn to lead an experienced choir. Based in the City of London at St. Margaret Pattens Church, the choir is named after Haydn’s patrons, the Princes Nicholas and Paul Anton Esterhazy. The music of Haydn is central to the choir’s repertoire but it also tackles a wide range of styles, from Renaissance polyphony to ambitious contemporary choral music. The choir welcomes new members in all voice parts. We are a friendly and sociable group who aim for a balanced membership of about 50 singers. While we are an amateur choir who love singing as a leisure activity, we rehearse and perform to high standards.

Three of our concerts each year take place in London churches but we also perform summer concerts in country churches or abroad. We have performed works by Haydn, as befits the Esterhazy name, but we sing the music of many periods and composers, from ancient to contemporary. We have also sung specially commissioned works.

We always welcome new members to join our thriving choir. If you are interested, you can find details on our Join us page.

Choral Scholar Program

Since 2014, the Esterhazy Singers has offered a scholarship scheme to young singers training to become professional musicians. A scholarship gives singers a chance to practise with us as soloists and occasionally to take part of a rehearsal as a conductor.

So far the scholarships have been funded by donations from choir members. We provide 4 bursaries a year, one in each of the SATB voices. Please support our activities by getting in touch to make a donation and by attending our concerts.

Our Musical Director

The Esterhazy Singers are pleased to welcome David Halstead as our new Musical Director from October 2021. David has taken over leadership of the choir from Andrea Brown, who has stepped down to pursue other musical opportunities after five successful years.

David Halstead works as a freelance Choral Conductor in London. David read Music at Christ’s College, Cambridge, where he sang in the Chapel Choir, as well as occasionally conducting and playing the organ for services. He initially trained as a secondary music teacher, and worked in the classroom for six years, eventually completing a Master of Education (MEd) degree at the University of Cambridge and later studying for the MMus Choral Conducting at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, working with Paul Spicer and Simon Halsey amongst other teachers: he finished both courses with Distinction. David founded the Beaufort Chorale in 2015, a chamber choir made up principally of fellow alumni of Christ’s College, with whom he has directed regular tours around the country and abroad. Since December 2018, David has been Director of Music for SAINT, working across many parishes in East London, and he directs the Watford Palace Theatre Community Choir.

Our Accompanist

Jan RautioOur accompanist is Jan Rautio

Born in Russia into a professional musical family, Jan started studying music in the renowned Gnesin School in Moscow and continued his education in London where he was a prize-winning scholar at both the Royal College and Royal Academy of Music.

As a soloist, chamber musician and conductor, he has performed across the UK, Europe, Russia and the USA, with highlights ranging from Wigmore Hall to Steinway Hall. He has given numerous live broadcasts on BBC Radio3. He is Music Director of the “Diversity” chamber choir. He premiered as a composer in 2013 with “La Petite Messe” scored for strings and piano and his most recent premiere was “Honor, Laus et Gloria” commissioned by the Esterhazy Singers and memorably performed by them in March 2018.