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John Rutter

John Rutter is one of England's best-known composers of the late 20th century, as well as a widely respected choral conductor and music scholar and editor. While his choral works, both small and large -- including the Gloria (1974), Magnificat (1990), Requiem (1985), Psalmfest (1993), and Mass of the Children (2003) -- are the most familiar, he has written instrumental works, including a piano concerto; two children's operas; and music for television. Rutter also composed specially for such groups as the Philip Jones Brass Ensemble and the King's Singers.

He began his musical career as a member of the Highgate School chorus, continued to study organ, and went on to Cambridge University, where he studied at Clare College. At the age of 30, in 1975, he returned to Clare, where he served as director of music. In 1979, however, he left the position in order to give more attention to composing and to conducting. He still contributed to the study of choral music, acting as an editor on the Carols for Choirs series along with Sir David Willcocks and on the Opera Choruses (1995) and European Sacred Music (1996) volumes of the Oxford Choral Classics series. He formed the Cambridge Singers in 1981, primarily to record his and others' music, and again he left off leadership of the group in order to concentrate on composing and conducting. He was made an honorary fellow by Westminster Choir College, Princeton in 1980, and a fellow of the Guild of Church Musicians in 1988. In 1996, he was awarded a Lambeth Doctorate of Music by the Archbishop of Canterbury, for his services to church music. In addition to all of these activities, he manages the CD label, Collegium Records, largely devoted to his own music. He continues to guest conduct and lecture around the world. He was awarded a CBE for his services to music in the 2007 Queen's New Year Honours List.

Musically his works show very distinct influences from the past. He has a strong sense of the English musical traditions, and some of the more significant English musical influences on his work include Ralph Vaughn Williams, William Walton, and Benjamin Britten. Non-English influences include Fauré, Gregorian chant, and Bach. His Suite Antique is a direct tribute to the Brandenburg Concerto No. 5, written for the same instruments and in the same style. His music's immediate accessibility, being both tuneful and expressive, and its wide general appeal, have earned him a place in the English musical tradition, and while he is most popular in England and the United States, his music is performed worldwide, particularly by church choirs. ~ Rovi Staff
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

4. Shepherd's Pipe Carol: 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

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Magnificient Catrin and John!! God bless you for such beauty!!
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florianach
Heard Panis Angelicus last evening but not certain as to the CD. Saw Songs of Praise but am not certain if that is it. Would like to purchase it.

Huczek Floriana
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Like waves on the sea shore----- Fnatastic
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Doing Mass of the Children in two weeks with the State Boychoir and Girlchoir, so excited!!
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Don, great bio. Thanks so much.
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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!
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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...
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Love John Rutter! And LOVE this song. Truly a Masterpiece.
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skater20
Soothes body, mind and soul.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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).
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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He has also written an opera for young people called Bang!
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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
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Rutter's compositions are chiefly choral, and include Christmas carols, anthems and extended works such as a Gloria, a Magnificat, and a Requiem
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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
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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.
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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.
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...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.
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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
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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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