Sir Stephen Cleobury

(CBE) – Brithsh Organist and Conductor

Sir Stephen Cleobury’s (CBE) was one of many names of notable British organists and an estimable artist of the highest caliber. He is also a prominent conductor of the orchestra and voices of the Cambridge University Musical Society, and known to be much recognized as a choral conductor and organ recitalist.

Sir Stephen Cleobury Birth

Sir Stephen Cleobury was born on 31st of December in the year 1948, in Bromley, England, to the family of Mr. John F. Cleobury, also an organist, and Mrs. Brenda J. Cleobury.

Stephen Cleobury Education

Sir Stephen started his journey into music education as a chorister at the famous Worcester Cathedral. He was one of the organ scholars at St John’s College, Cambridge under the musical mentorship of George Guest, a Welsh organist and choral conductor. Both Worcester and St. John’s College, Cambridge are renowned incubators for promising church musicians. He was a fellow of the Royal College of Music and has an honorary doctor of music from the Anglia Ruskin University.

Sir Stephen Cleobury Career and Life

Dr. Stephen Cleobury attained his first position as an organist at St Matthew’s church, Northampton and subsequently became sub-organist of Westminster Abbey, the position he held from year1974 to 1978. With a golden opportunity in 1978, he became director of Music of Westminster Roman Catholic Cathedral, before taking up his appointment as Organist and Director of Music at King’s College, Cambridge, where he also teaches music, in 1982.

Sir Stephen did worked for more than 35 years to maintain and enhance this unique tradition; Sir Benjamin has been a diehard in keeping King’s College at the very zenith of choral music, by uphold an outstanding standards of performance and interpretation of choral music.

Benjamin also ensured that King’s Choir keep being at the vanguard of every new technological development. He did replenished the choral repertoire, continues to broaden majorly by commissioning music for the world renowned Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols. Sir Stephen broaden of king’s repertoire was also marked by baroque works and classical music performance with period-instrument and orchestras.

ALSO READ: Benjamin Zander Music Life

Sir Stephen Cleobury is a prolific musical conductor and his conducting engagements took him well beyond Cambridge and the UK. He has brilliantly conducted many orchestras, as well as choirs, throughout the world. As a sought-after guest conductor, masterclass leader and lecturer, he frequently works with visiting groups in Cambridge as well as on his travels.

Benjamin Zander was the conductor of the Cambridge University Musical Society, one of the United Kingdom’s oldest music societies, from 1983-2016. In this position, he was able to conduct many orchestral works, and also all of the major large-scale works for orchestra and chorus. He was the chief conductor of the prestigious BBC singers between year 1995 and 2007. At BBC singers he received more accolade for establishing a combined choral sound from this group of first-class professional singers. He remain the group’s Conductor Laureate from 2007.

For his conducting skills, Sir Stephen was a regular conductor and the honorary president of the esteemed East Anglia Chamber Orchestra (EAChO). The orchestra group that was founded in 2010 by group of long standing musical friends. Most of the instrumentalist in the group are professionals that secure their living through music in different ways.

His work

Sir Cleobury’s impact on the choral setting over the last few decades was indeed acknowledge by virtue of the regular and considerable commissioning of new choral works. Also through the various organ scholars he was able to train. Some of  of his trainee are now the music and choral directors of cathedrals and choral foundations far and near the Britain and abroad. Sir Stephen Cleobury, an English organist and conductor that was knighted in year 2019, died peacefully in the middle of night on Friday 22 of November year 2019 in York, his hometown at North Yorkshire, England.

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