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; Baltic Exchange, choral music from the Baltic region; David Briggs’ Mass for Notre Dame; Handel’s Dettingen Te Deum; Handel’s Chandos Anthems; Britten's A Ceremony of Carols & St Nicolas; and new works by Polish composer Pawel Lukaszewski, all released on the Hyperion label. The latest release is Northern Lights, a recording of choral music of the Latvian composer Eriks Ešenvalds.
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 in 2012 tour concerts included sold-out performances at the American Guild of Organists National Convention and the Cathedrals of Atlanta and Memphis. In 2015, the Choir will tour the USA and in 2016 it returns to Australia.
All services from Trinity College Chapel are now webcast live and available to listen again on the Choir website: www.trinitycollegechoir.com. A searchable archive of nearly 2,000 musical tracks recorded live in services over the last few years is available on the website.
The conductor Stephen Layton is Director of Music at Trinity College Cambridge.
Trinity College Chapel
Trinity College Choir Association
Head of the Chapel and Music Office
Tel 01223 761528