Patrick Larley was born in Frodsham, Cheshire in 1951. He studied piano and organ whilst a chorister, and from the age of 15, gained considerable choral conducting experience as organist and choirmaster at two parish churches in the Cheshire area.

After studying organ and singing at the Royal Manchester College of Music and gaining the Fellowship of the Royal College of Organists, Patrick began a professional career centred around cathedral music; as a singer in Wells Cathedral, Somerset, an organist at St. Asaph Cathedral in North Wales and St. James Church in Great Grimsby, Lincolnshire, and then as Director of Music at Ellesmere College, in Shropshire. In 1990 he relinquished this post to concentrate on his freelance work as a composer, conductor, harpsichordist and organist. Patrick is Music Director of Birmingham Festival Choral Society and Ludlow Choral
Society
, founder and director of the professional vocal group Chudleigh's Company, and the early music group, The Gallery Players.

Patrick works from the peaceful setting of his home – a converted 18th century malt house in a small farming village in North Wales, where he lives with his wife Gill.

 


Patrick Larley’s music has been described as ‘listener accessable and performer possible’. With a background steeped in sacred music, it is not surprising that a strong influence of plainchant and early polyphony can be discerned in his choral works, together with the simpler, folk-like idiom of the Celtic tradition inspired by his many visits to the Hebridean island of Mull, in Scotland, overlooking Iona. In contrast there are clusters of harmony hovering above spacious melody, a sub-concious plagiarism of the sounds of the French monastic liturgy, firmly implanted in Patrick’s soul through his love of the sacred hill-top town of Vezelay in Burgundy, and its magnificent Basilica dedicated to St. Mary Magdalen. Patrick Larley weaves these somewhat opposing strands of influence together, with his firm grounding in harmony, counterpoint and form, into the most beautiful musical structures which are, on the surface, uncomplicated, yet have great inner depth.