John Rutter CBE

Legendary composer, choral conductor and musical scholar John Rutter CBE is a Director for Sydney inSpires.

He is the world’s most prolific composer of Christmas carols, starting over 40 years ago by writing one of Queen Elizabeth’s favourites: ‘The Shepherd’s Pipe Carol,’ a piece which was observed to get the most regal foot tapping!

Mr Rutter is among the most successful and well-known musicians in the world, last month being voted the 68th best-ever composer in the world, by over 127,000 ABC Classic FM listeners.

Classic FM wrote that, “John Rutter is one of the most successful of all living composers. His rare melodic gift and captivating harmonic flair have combined in a series of unforgettable choral gems that have touched the hearts of millions around the globe.”

He is also the genius behind the world’s most famous and definitive musical source for Christmas: Carols for Choirs, with his close friend Sir David Wilcocks, the famed Director of Music of King’s College Cambridge.

John Rutter was born in London and studied music at Clare College, Cambridge. He first came to notice as a composer during his student years; much of his early work consisted of church music and other choral pieces including Christmas carols. From 1975–79 he was Director of Music at his alma mater, Clare College, and directed the college chapel choir in various recordings and broadcasts.

Since 1979 he has divided his time between composition and conducting. Today his compositions, including such concert-length works as Requiem, Magnificat, Mass of the Children, The Gift of Life, and Visions are performed around the world. His music has featured in a number of British royal occasions, including the two most recent royal weddings. He edits the Oxford Choral Classics series, and, with Sir David Willcocks, co-edited four volumes of Carols for Choirs.

In 1983 he formed his own choir, the Cambridge Singers, with whom he has made numerous recordings, and he appears regularly in several countries as guest conductor and choral ambassador. He holds a Lambeth Doctorate in Music, and in 2007 was awarded a CBE for services to music.

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