English composer John Rutter (b.1945).
Choral conductor, editor, arranger and record producer.
Born in London, he was educated at Highgate School, where a fellow pupil was John Tavener. He then read music at Clare College, Cambridge, where he was a member of the choir and then director of music from 1975 to 1979. 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-performed favorite over the years. (In the same concert, the Young People's Choir of the Midlands performed Rutter's "Eight Childhood Lyrics" in its US premiere performance.) In 1981 he founded his own choir, the Cambridge Singers, which he conducts and with which he has made many recordings of sacred choral repertoire (including his own works), particularly under his own label Collegium Records. He still lives near Cambridge, but frequently conducts other choirs and orchestras around the world.
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.
He also works as an arranger and editor, most notably (in his youth) of the extraordinarily successful Carols for Choirs anthology series in collaboration with Sir David Willcocks.
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