Katy Wright

Deputy Editor, Classical Music

Stephen Cleobury to retire from King’s

2:33, 29th January 2018

Stephen Cleobury is to retire as director of music at King’s College Cambridge at the end of September 2019.

The College paid tribute to Cleobury’s ‘outstanding service’ and said that during his 37-year tenure ‘he has not only maintained but significantly enhanced King’s world famous choral tradition.’

Cleobury will leave as a legacy numerous recordings, numerous new works commissioned for the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols (the centenary of which he will mark on Christmas Eve 2018), and two new performance ventures: the ​Easter at King’s festival and the Concerts at King’s series.

While at King’s, Cleobury has trained many organ scholars: the choirs at Norwich Cathedral, St George’s Chapel, Windsor, Trinity College, Cambridge, New College, Oxford, St Mary’s Cathedral, Limerick and St Thomas 5th Avenue, New York are all run by those who have trained under him, while other choral and organ scholars who have passed through the choir are now leading conductors or organ soloists.

The Provost, Professor Michael Proctor, said: ‘The College owes a huge debt of gratitude to Stephen Cleobury for his distinguished service and tireless efforts and we shall be celebrating his unique contribution in due course. We are seeking someone of the highest calibre as his replacement, and look forward to seeing the music and Choir of King’s thrive long into the future.’

The Dean, the Revd Dr Stephen Cherry commented: ‘Choral musicians around the world look to King’s for example and inspiration, and the pressures of the post are considerable. The Choir has developed its repertoire, and the extent of its touring and recording activity, very considerably in recent decades but the core of its life is the choral worship in Chapel that takes place every day in term. As we look to the future, the continued integrity and excellence of the music in Chapel will be a major priority.’

King’s is beginning the search for a replacement immediately. Applications for the post of director of music close on 12 March.

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