RECENT: Find out about composers from unusual places, including Gerard Schurmann, Giya Kancheli, Nazib Zhiganov and Nodar Gabunia, about singing in cars, and meet Jim Hutton from the RLPO and some of our regular contributors in this eighty-minute February 2021 video.
English organist and music director Stephen Cleobury was born in Bromley on 31 December 1948. He was a chorister at Worcester Cathedral whilst studying at King's School Worcester, then organ scholar at St John's College Cambridge.
A series of jobs - sub-organist at Westminster Abbey, master of music at Westminster Cathedral. the first Anglican in that Catholic position, and head of music at St Matthew's Church, Northampton and Northampton Grammar School - led him eventually back to Cambridge and his long-term appointment (1982-2019) as director of music at King's College, where he began commissioning modern works, including the tradition of a new carol composition for the annual Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols on Christmas Eve. Contributing composers included Thomas Adès, Harrison Birtwistle, John Tavener, Mark-Anthony Turnage and Judith Weir. He also established an Easter festival and a concert series throughout the year at King's College.
During this time he was also conductor of Cambridge University Musical Society (1983-2009), president of the Royal College of Organists (1990-92), chief conductor of the BBC Singers (1995-2007) and a visiting fellow at Louisiana State University School of Music (2013-14).
Stephen Cleobury died in York on St Cecilia's Day, 22 November 2019, aged seventy, following a long battle with cancer.
Ensemble. Centres of Excellence - Roderic Dunnett looks back to the 2017 Three Choirs Festival at Worcester, and forward to 2018 in Hereford
CD Spotlight. Imitative Textures - Choral music by Giaches de Wert, heard by Robert Anderson. 'The singing is of the standard King's College effortlessly produces.'
Ensemble. Thought-provoking - Music by Harle and Maxwell Davies, heard by Malcolm Miller
CD Spotlight. Striking Beauty - Rachmaninov's Vespers, enjoyed by Howard Smith. '... marvellous tonal exactitude, pellucid control, superb diction ...'