President – Stephen Cleobury
Stephen Cleobury has for over 30 years been associated with the choir of King’s College, Cambridge. His work there has brought him into fruitful relationships with many leading orchestras and soloists, among them the Academy of Ancient Music, the Philharmonia and Britten Sinfonia and he has worked with many artists – singers and instrumentalists – of international repute. At King’s, he has sought to maintain and enhance the reputation of the world-famous choir, considerably broadening the daily service repertoire, commissioning new music from leading composers, principally for the annual Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, and developing its activities in broadcasting, recording and touring. He has conceived and introduced the highly successful Easter at King’s festival, from which the BBC regularly broadcasts, and a series of high-profile performances throughout the year, Concerts at King’s, which brings to the chapel many world-class performers, including in recent years singers Bryn Terfel, Andreas Scholl, Gerald Finley, instrumentalists Alison Balsom, Jennifer Pike and Rachel Podger, and groups such as the Monteverdi Choir and the Vienna Boys’ Choir. One of his most exciting innovations was the first live simultaneous transmission of a concert (Handel’s Messiah) direct to cinemas across Europe and North America. Recently the choir has started its own record label.
Stephen’s influence has extended to many other choirs through the organ scholars he has trained: the choirs at Norwich Cathedral, St George’s Chapel, Windsor, Trinity College Cambridge, New College and Magdalen College Oxford, St Mary’s Cathedral, Limerick, and St Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney, are all run by former organ scholars of Stephen, while other choral and organ scholars who have passed through the choir during Stephen’s time now pursue careers as conductors and as eminent organ soloists.
Stephen was until 2008 a member of the Royal College of Organists, serving as a council member, Honorary Secretary, President and Vice-President. He has been Warden of the Solo Performers’ section of the Incorporated Society of Musicians and President of the Incorporated Association of Organists; he is currently Chairman of the IAO Benevolent Fund, which seeks to support organists and church musicians in need. He was appointed CBE in 2009 and became President of FCM in 2016.
Stephen remains active as an organist, and gives regular recitals at King’s, throughout the UK, and abroad.