Trinity College Choir Stephen Layton
Voted the fifth best choir in the world in Gramophone magazine's "20 Greatest Choirs", The Choir of Trinity College Cambridge comprises around thirty Choral Scholars and two Organ Scholars, all of whom are ordinarily undergraduates of the College.
The College’s choral tradition dates back to the all-male choir of the fourteenth century, when former Chapel Royal choristers studied in King’s Hall, which later became part of Trinity College. Directors of Music have included Charles Villiers Stanford, Alan Gray, Raymond Leppard and Richard Marlow. Female voices were introduced in the 1980s by Richard Marlow, in a new departure for Cambridge choral music. Stephen Layton has been Director of Music since 2006.
During term, the Choir’s main focus is the singing of the liturgy in the College Chapel, exploring a repertoire drawn from both Catholic and Protestant traditions. Outside term, the Choir’s programme of performances and recordings recently included BBC broadcasts of Bach’s B Minor Mass and Christmas Oratorio with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment in London, Haydn’s Nelson Mass with the City of London Sinfonia in Aldeburgh and Cambridge, Poulenc’s Gloria with Britten Sinfonia in Norwich Cathedral, and Handel’s Dettingen Te Deum with the Academy of Ancient Music in London and Cambridge.
Recent additions to the Choir’s extensive discography include Howells’ Requiem & other works, which won a Gramophone Award in 2012; Beyond All Mortal Dreams, settings of contemporary American a cappella music, which was nominated for a US Grammy Award in 2012; Northern Lights, a recording of the choral music of the Latvian composer Eriks Esenvalds; Baltic Exchange, choral music from the Baltic region; David Briggs’ Mass for Notre Dame; Bach’s Christmas Oratorio; Handel’s Dettingen Te Deum; Handel’s Chandos Anthems; Britten’s A Ceremony of Carols & St Nicolas; new works by Polish composer Pawel Lukaszewski; and Yulefest!, a selection of sacred and secular Christmas music, all released on the Hyperion label. Two 2015 releases - Northern Lights, a recording of the choral music of the Latvian composer Eriks Esenvalds, and Kenneth Leighton’s Crucifixus & other works - were nominated for a Gramophone Award. The latest release is Howell's Collegium Regale.
The CD of Bach's Christmas Oratorio was described by the Daily Telegraph as a "telling, affecting and inspiring experience"; Classic FM called Beyond All Mortal Dreams a "glorious album ...that will repay repeated listening for years to come"; and the Briggs disc was described by Gramophone as "one of the finest CDs of sacred choral and organ music you'll ever hear".
Its ambitious programme of tours has taken the Choir to destinations in Europe, the USA, Canada, South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Peru. In 2010, the Choir spent a month touring Australia and will return this summer to perform a diverse programme to include Frank Martin's Messe. Recent concerts in North America include sold-out performances at the National Conventions of the American Guild of Organists and the Royal Canadian College of Organists, and a concert in New York to commemorate the anniversary of 9/11.
All services from Trinity College Chapel are now webcast live and available to listen again on the Choir website. A searchable archive of over 2,500 musical tracks recorded live in services over the last few years is also available on the website.
Director of Music - Stephen Layton
The conductor Stephen Layton is Director of Music at Trinity College Cambridge.
Head of the Chapel and Music Office
Tel 01223 761528