Who's who at CHOC

Artistic Director: Julian Perkins

Julian Perkins

As Artistic Director of CHOC, Julian Perkins values co-creating staged productions of operas by Handel and his contemporaries that aim for a meaningful integrity between what happens in the music and on stage.

Julian Perkins has performed at the Salzburg Festival, Edinburgh International Festival and BBC Proms, and conducted opera productions for organizations including the Buxton International Festival, Guildhall School of Music & Drama, Kings Place, Netherlands Opera Academy, New Chamber Opera, New Kent Opera and Snape Maltings. He has performed as a solo harpsichordist in productions for the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Welsh National Opera and Northern Ireland Opera, assisted on numerous productions, and worked with many leading period instrument ensembles and orchestras.

One of Julian’s longest associations is with the Southbank Sinfonia, for whom he conducts Baroque programmes at the Anghiari Festival in Italy. Their annual projects at the London Handel Festival see advanced string players learning about a wide range of Baroque music and performing it with Baroque bows and gut strings. This educational ethos will infuse CHOC’s orchestra, where leading period instrumentalists from Sounds Baroque will perform alongside advanced students.

Company Manager: Claire Bowdler

Claire Bowdler

Born in London and now living in rural Cambridgeshire, Claire Bowdler studied music at the University of Southampton. Since graduating Claire has had a varied career in arts management, with a particular focus on marketing and audience development: Britten Sinfonia, artsdepot, City of London Sinfonia and Norfolk & Norwich Festival are just some of the organisations she has worked for. Early in 2018 Claire decided to pursue a freelance career. Alongside her work with CHOC she currently works as Marketing Manager for Bloomsbury Festival and is advising on audience development for theatre company Notnow Collective, amongst other projects.

Planning Co-ordinator: Heather Swain

Heather Swain

A graduate in French and Spanish, Heather Swain lives in Dulwich and is a keen amateur singer with choirs that perform in the principal London venues and regularly tour in Europe. Her varied educational and business roles have ranged from ownership of the  Dulwich First Steps Montessori Day Nursery, of which she was Principal, to joint ownership and directorship of Le Chardon Brasserie Ltd.

A keen supporter of CHOC, Heather believes in the importance of the transformative ability of music education at all stages in life.

CHOC Board & Trustees:

Louise Soden (Chair)
Professor Peter Holman MBE (Vice Chair)
Michael Darvell
Amy Klohr
Professor David McKitterick
Dr Alan Morgan
Richard Perkins
Roy Swain


Dr Simon Bailey
Dr Alan Howard
Andrew Radley
Dr William Salaman
Dr Ruth Smith
Professor Tony Watts OBE

Artistic Advisor:

Dr Andrew Jones