Sic transit: Stephen Cleobury calls time on Kings

Sic transit: Stephen Cleobury calls time on Kings


norman lebrecht

January 28, 2018

King’s College Cambridge is seeking a new Director of Music to succeed Stephen Cleobury in October 2019.

Cleobury, who has just turned 69, has led Kings since 1982 and has also been director of the Cambridge University Musical Society until 2009, making numerous recordings and television programmes.

The Provost, Professor Michael Proctor, said: ‘The College owes a huge debt of gratitude to Stephen Cleobury for his distinguished service and tireless efforts and we shall be celebrating his unique contribution in due course. We are seeking someone of the highest calibre as his replacement, and look forward to seeing the music and Choir of King’s thrive long into the future.’

The Dean, the Revd Dr Stephen Cherry commented: ‘Choral musicians around the world look to King’s for example and inspiration, and the pressures of the post are considerable. The Choir has developed its repertoire, and the extent of its touring and recording activity, very considerably in recent decades but the core of its life is the choral worship in Chapel that takes place every day in term. As we look to the future, the continued integrity and excellence of the music in Chapel will be a major priority.’



  • Olassus says:

    Have just been listening to that Mozart Missa solemnis, the “Hofmesse,” he recorded in 1983. It’s a great piece, actually more rewarding than the famous K317 Missa brevis on the same Argo disc, and Cleobury’s performance, especially his propelling of the orchestra, is ideal.

  • Una says:

    Yes, we can’t wait for him to come up and live in Yorkshire. He’ll be an asset here. I’ve worked with him in oratorio and the BBC Singers – delightful man.

    • Robert King says:

      I’d hazard a guess, Una, that his post-King’s diary may be full to the brim (his excellent manager has probably already fixed that) with deservedly well paid work abroad, especially in the USA. Stephen’s meticulous planning is well known: as one example, he leaves King’s with his 70th birthday coming exactly one week after King’s celebrates the 100th Nine Lessons and Carols. Await a media splurge the moment the Radio Times Christmas issue is published?

  • Colin Hazell says:

    He will be very sadly missed.