read music at the University of Oxford
was awarded the Heberden Organ Scholarship to Brasenose College
studied organ with Nicholas Danby, gaining ARCM and ARCO diplomas, and conducting with Roderick Bryden and George Hurst.
He is Director of Music at the University of Strathclyde, where he combines teaching and the promotion of a professional concert series with the direction of a wide range of student choirs, orchestras and ensembles, including Strathclyde University Chamber Choir which has toured many times in Europe, and has recently released its debut CD of Romantic Scottish partsongs: Sae fresh and fair.
In 1982 Alan founded Cappella Nova, the first fully professional vocal ensemble in Scotland to specialise in early and contemporary music.
With them he
has made eleven CDs, all world premiere recordings, and directed the premieres of more than 60 commissioned pieces including major works by Sir John Tavener, James MacMillan, Roxanna Panufnik and Gabriel Jackson.
Full details are on the Cappella Nova
In 2008, in recognition of Alan's ground-breaking work in Scottish early choral music, he
was invited to direct a master-class for postgraduate choral conductors at the Moscow Conservatoire.
As well as directing Cappella Nova on stage, Alan has a pivotal role in the Company's popular public workshop series and community choirs, including The Scottish Plainsong Choir which regularly appears as a 'backing group' with Canty and Cappella Nova.
is currently engaged in academic research into the impact of singing on society, both in terms of health benefits and social cohesion.