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John Rutter

The Cambridge Singers are a general repertoire mixed-voice choir, one of the best known in the compact disc era, who were formed in 1981 by John Rutter. Rutter, born in 1945, has spent his life in choral music. He was a chorister (boy singer) in Highgate School, and was a choral scholar at Clare College, Cambridge. (Choral scholars are students of the given college who receive a scholarship after winning an audition for the college's chapel choir. While the student may be pursuing a degree in any subject, they receive a strong music education as part of it, and are granted the degree in return for participating in daily services at the college chapel during the school term.) Rutter went on to become Director of Music at Clare College from 1975 to 1979. While still a student he had begun composing, and it was to allow time for composition that he resigned his position at the College.

In 1981 he founded the Cambridge Singers expressly as a professional chamber choir for recording sessions. The initial nucleus of the group comprised seven former members of the Clare College Choir. All additional members had also been choral scholars in British colleges.

In 1984 Rutter founded the Collegium Records label for the express purpose of recording the Cambridge Singers. This was at the very beginning of the compact disc era, and the Cambridge Singers had one of the first major successes for a small independent label in their recording of the original orchestration of Gabriel Fauré's Requiem, and other music by Fauré. The choir's beauty of tone and the exemplary recording established both the label and the choir as top representatives of their type. Soon Collegium released the Singers in a recording of John Rutter's own Requiem, a work much in the vein of the Fauré work, consolidating the reputation of the choir and the label, and arousing world-wide interest in Rutter's choral compositions, many of which are now frequently performed by choirs around the world.

The Cambridge Singers are still primarily a recording ensemble, but they do make concert and church appearances. "Cambridge Singers" is also the name of a well-regarded concert choir in the Los Angeles, California area, based in the city of Pasadena. ~ Joseph Stevenson, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: John Rutter Collection

Title: For The Beauty Of The Earth, For Chorus & Orchestra
Title: The Lord Is My Shepherd For Chorus & Orchestra
Title: All Things Bright And Beautiful For Chorus & Orchestra
Title: Shepherd's Pipe Carol
Title: The Lord Bless You And Keep You, For Chorus & Orchestra
Title: Open Thou Mine Eyes For Chorus
Title: Birthday Madrigals, For Choir, Double Bass & Piano
Title: Magnificat For Soprano, Chorus & Orchestra
Title: Requiem For Chorus & Orchestra
Title: What Sweeter Music
Title: A Choral Fanfare
Title: A Prayer Of St. Patrick For Chorus
Title: O Be Joyful In The Lord For Chorus & Orchestra
Title: Behold, The Tabernacle Of God For Chorus & Orchestra
Title: O Praise The Lord Of Heaven For Chorus & Orchestra
Title: A Gaelic Blessing ("Deep Peace"), For Chorus & Orchestra
Title: Angels' Carol
Title: Childhood Lyrics (5) For Unaccompanied Choir
Title: Go Forth Into The World In Peace For Chorus & Orchestra

Comments

Doing Mass of the Children in two weeks with the State Boychoir and Girlchoir, so excited!!
Don, great bio. Thanks so much.
ryandrz14
Great Composer! My Honors Choir premiered Magnificat at Carnegie Hall, NYC USA. His music flows so well! I still listen to him just to relax! In my opinion he is the greatest living composer!
I hope Don doesn't mind my commenting on his web-site, just kidding...I have sung bass with five choirs now and the composers who really resonate with me are Rutter and Lauridsen. They seem to go together...
Love John Rutter! And LOVE this song. Truly a Masterpiece.
skater20
Soothes body, mind and soul.
from a review in the London Evening Standard (25/09/2005) : For the infectiousne s s of his melodic invention and consummate craftsmanshi p , Rutter has few peers.
Rutter's music is very popular, particularly in the USA (NBC's Today Show called him the world's greatest living composer and conductor of choral music). In the UK it receives a more mixed reception: while one conservative British composer, David Arditti, does not regard him as a sufficiently serious composer.
In a 2009 interview, Rutter discussed his understandin g of genius and its unique ability to transform lives - whether that genius is communicated in the form of music or other mediums. He likened the purity of music to that of mathematics, and even connected the two with a reference to the discoveries of the early Greeks that frequencies of harmonic pitches are related by whole-number ratios.
The 60 Minutes program, which aired a week before Christmas 2003, focused on Rutter's popularity with choral groups in the United States, Britain and other parts of the world, and on his composition, Mass of the Children, composed after the sudden death of his son Christopher while a student at Clare College, Cambridge (where Rutter himself had studied).
Despite composing and conducting much religious music, Rutter told the US television program 60 Minutes in 2003 that he was not particularly a religious man, yet still deeply spiritual and inspired by the spirituality of sacred verses and prayers.
In addition to the standard piano/organ accompanimen t , has a subsequent orchestral accompanimen t as well, utilizing various different instrumentat i o n s , such as strings only, strings and woodwinds, or full orchestra with brass and percussion, among others.
Rutter's music is eclectic, showing the influences of the French and English choral traditions of the early 20th century, as well as of light music and American classic songwriting. Almost every choral anthem and hymn that he writes.
Rutter's work is published principally by Oxford University Press in England and by Hinshaw Music in the US. He has been recorded by many choirs, but conducts his own recordings principally on his Collegium label.
He has also written an opera for young people called Bang!
The world premiere of Rutter's Requiem (1985), and of his authoritativ e edition of Faure's Requiem, took place with the Fox Valley Festival Chorus, in Illinois. In 2002 his setting of Psalm 150, commissioned for the Queen's Golden Jubilee, was performed at the Jubilee thanksgiving service in St Paul's Cathedral, London. Similarly, he was commissioned to write a new anthem, This is the day which the Lord hath made for the Wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton in 2011, performed at W
Rutter's compositions are chiefly choral, and include Christmas carols, anthems and extended works such as a Gloria, a Magnificat, and a Requiem
Rutter also works as an arranger and editor, most notably (in his youth) of the extraordinar i l y successful Carols for Choirs anthology series in collaboratio n with Sir David Willcocks.

He was inducted as a National Patron of Delta Omicron, an internationa l professional music fraternity in 1985
From 1985 to 1992 Rutter suffered severely from myalgic encephalomye l i t i s (ME; or Chronic fatigue syndrome), which restricted his output; after 1985 he stopped writing music on commission, as he was unable to guarantee meeting deadlines.
In 1980 he was made an honorary Fellow of Westminster Choir College, Princeton, and in 1988 a Fellow of the Guild of Church Musicians. In 1996 the Archbishop of Canterbury conferred a Lambeth Doctorate of Music upon him in recognition of his contribution to church music. In 2008, he was made an honorary Bencher of the Middle Temple while playing a significant role in the 2008 Temple Festival.
...in 1974, Rutter visited the United States at the invitation of choral musician Melvin (Mel) Olson and conducted the premiere of his cantata Gloria in Omaha, Nebraska, in the Witherspoon Hall of Joslyn Art Museum. The composition, commissioned by Olson's Voices of Mel Olson chorale, has become a much-perform e d favourite over the years.
Here is a bit more biography from Wikipedia: Born in London, Rutter was educated at Highgate School, where a fellow pupil was John Tavener.<1> He read music at Clare College, Cambridge, where he was a member of the choir. He served as director of music at Clare College from 1975 to 1979 and led the choir to internationa l prominence.

In 1974, Rutter visited the United States at the invitation of choral musician Melvin (Mel) Olson and conducted the premiere of his cantata Gloria in Omaha, Nebra
absolutely mesmerizing! Heavenly chords for the weary soul.The most beautiful lullabies to relax and sooth the savage beast.What a gift of peace and tranquility. This choir is the best I've ever had the joy to hear. Check it out!

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