SIMON CARRINGTON – Baroque Choir and Orchestra
Simon Carrington, Yale University professor emeritus, has enjoyed a long and distinguished career in music, performing as singer, double bass player and conductor, first in the UK, and latterly in the USA. From 2003 to 2009 he was professor of choral conducting at Yale University and director of the Yale Schola Cantorum, a 24-voice chamber choir which he brought to national and now international prominence, attracting the interest of his successors, Masaaki Suzuki, director of the Bach Collegium Japan and David Hill, conductor of the BBC Singers and the Bach Choir in London.
During his Yale tenure he led the introduction of a new graduate voice degree for singers specializing in oratorio, early music and chamber ensemble, and, with his faculty colleagues, he guided two Yale graduate students to their first prize wins in consecutive conducting competitions at American Choral Directors Association National Conventions. From 2001 until his Yale appointment, he was director of choral activities at the New England Conservatory, Boston, where he was selected by the students for the Krasner Teaching Excellence Award and from where he received an Honorary Doctorate in 2014, and from 1994 to 2001 he held a similar position at the University of Kansas.
Prior to coming to the United States, he was a creative force for twenty-five years with the internationally acclaimed British vocal ensemble The King’s Singers, which he co-founded at Cambridge University. He gave 3,000 performances at many of the world’s most prestigious festivals and concert halls, made more than seventy recordings, and appeared on countless television and radio programs. In the early days of The King’s Singers he also maintained a lively career as a double bass player, first as sub-principal of the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra and then as a freelance player in London. He specialised in continuo playing, particularly for his Cambridge contemporary John Eliot Gardiner, with whom he made a number of recordings, but he also played with all the major symphony and chamber orchestras under such diverse maestri as Claudio Abbado, Daniel Barenboim, Benjamin Britten, Pierre Boulez, Sir Colin Davis, Carlo Maria Giulini, Otto Klemperer, Ricardo Muti, Georg Solti and George Szell. As a teacher of conductors himself for fifteen years, he only wishes he’d paid more attention!
He keeps up an active schedule as a freelance conductor and choral clinician, leading workshops and master classes round the world. He has taught young conductors at the Royal Academy of Music, London, the Liszt Conservatorium, Budapest, Hungary, the University of the Andes, Bogota, Colombia, the World Symposium on Choral Music in Argentina and the Schools of Music at Eastman, Indiana, Temple and the Universities of Michigan and Southern California among many others in the US. He has recorded master classes on two commercial DVDs – at Westminster Choir College in the US (GIA) and at the Three Choirs Festival in the UK (Masterclass Media Foundation). Over the past few seasons his conducting engagements have included the Berlin Rundfunk Chor, Ars Nova Copenhagen, Collegium Musicale, Tallinn (Estonia), Orfeó Català in the Palau de la Música Catalana ,Barcelona and Coral de Cámara de Pamplona, (Spain), Coro Casa da Musica, Oporto (Portugal), Tokyo Cantat, Gondwana Choral School, Australia, Houston Chamber Choir, Canto Armonico, Boston, and Yale Schola Cantorum. He leads annual conducting courses at the Chamber Choir Festival in Sarteano (Italy), and the Yale Summer Festival in Norfolk, Connecticut, and contributed a chapter on rehearsal technique to the Cambridge Companion to Choral Music. Since the 2016-17 academic year he has served as a Visiting Professor of Choral Conducting to work alongside Simon Halsey and his students at the University of Birmingham, UK.