About

Stephen Layton is the Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the City of London Sinfonia.

Layton guest conducts widely and has worked with the London Philharmonic, the Philharmonia, the Philadelphia, the Minnesota, the Melbourne Symphony, the Auckland Philharmonia, the Hallé, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, the London Sinfonietta, the English, Scottish, and Irish Chamber Orchestras, the Ulster, the Bournemouth Symphony, the Royal Scottish National, the Northern Sinfonia and Australian Chamber Orchestras.  He has collaborated with the Academy of Ancient Music, The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and the Britten Sinfonia, with whom he has recorded a wide range of repertoire including Handel, Bach, Bruckner, and Poulenc.  For English National Opera he conducted Bach’s St John Passion in a stage production directed by Deborah Warner.

Stephen Layton is the Conductor of Polyphony which he founded in 1986.  He has been Music Director of the Holst Singers since 1993.  In 2006 he was made a Fellow and Director of Music of Trinity College, Cambridge, where he directs The Choir of Trinity College Cambridge.  From 1997-2006, he was Director of Music at London's Temple Church, and from 1999-2004 he was Chief Conductor of the Netherlands Kammerkoor.  From 2000-2012 he was Chief Guest Conductor of the Danish National Vocal Ensemble.

A champion of new music, Stephen Layton has premiered new works and recordings with a number of composers including Arvo Pärt, Thomas Adès and James MacMillan.  His bold realisation of John Tavener’s epic seven-hour vigil, The Veil of the Temple - a new departure in British music - was premiered in 2003 at The Temple Church London.  It was subsequently performed in 2004 at the Royal Albert Hall during the BBC Proms, and in the Avery Fisher Hall, New York, as part of the Lincoln Center Festival.

Stephen Layton’s discography on Hyperion ranges from Handel and Bach with original instruments to Pärt, Lukaszewski, Lauridsen, Whitacre and Ešenvalds.  He has received two Gramophone Awards in the UK and the Diapason d’Or in France, The ECHO Deutscher Musicpreis in German, The Compact Award in Spain, and four Grammy nominations in the USA.

Highlights this season include performances of Bach: Mass in B minor with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra; Bach: St John Passion with the Auckland Philharmonia and Choir, and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment & Polyphony in London and at DeSingel, Antwerp; Praulins: The Nightingale with the Danish National Vocal Ensemble and Michaela Petri; appearances with the MDR Rundfunkchor (Leipzig), Eric Ericson Chamber Choir (Stockholm), and the Slovenian Chamber Choir

Projects with the City of London Sinfonia include a performance of Pärt: Litany, with the Hilliard Ensemble at Southwark Cathedral; Tavener: Protecting Veil, with Matthew Barley at Christ Church, Spitalfields; and a continuation of the Fauré Requiem Tour, which began last season.
 
Highlights in recent seasons have included critically acclaimed performances of Handel: Joshua, with Opera NorthBach: Christmas Oratorio, with the Copenhagen PhilharmonicHandel: Messiah, with the Hallé Orchestra and Chorus; a residency at the Cheltenham Festival, with The Choir of Trinity College Cambridge and the City of London Sinfonia; performances with Polyphony at the Concertgebouw, AmsterdamThree Choirs Festival, with the Philharmonia Orchestra; and the BBC Proms, with the City of London Sinfonia.
 

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