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Biography

Simon Carrington has enjoyed a long and distinguished career in music, performing as singer, double bass player and conductor, first in the UK where he was born, 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 has brought to national and now international prominence, attracting the interest of his successor, Masaaki Suzuki, director of the Bach Collegium Japan. 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 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 CambridgeUniversity. 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, including nine appearances on the Tonight Show with the late Johnny Carson!

 

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!

 

Now a Yale professor emeritus he maintains an active schedule as a freelance conductor and choral clinician, leading workshops and master classes round the world including two recorded on commercial DVD - at Westminster Choir College in the US (GIA) and at the Three Choirs Festival in the UK (Masterclass Media Foundation) - and he was invited this year to give master classes at the World Symposium on Choral Music in Argentina. He has conducted the Monteverdi Vespers in Barcelona, the Fauré Requiem in Chicago and New York, Handel's Messiah in Dublin, Rachmaninov Vespers in VictoriaCanada, and Prokofiev’s Alexander Nevski in Poland. He is a regular guest conductor at the Monteverdi Choir Festival in Budapest and the Tokyo Cantat in Japan, leads annual conducting courses at the Chamber Choir Festival in Sarteano (Italy), and the Yale Summer Festival in Norfolk, Connecticut and has just contributed a chapter on rehearsal technique to the forthcoming Cambridge Companion to Choral Music. This season he has conducting engagements in England, Ireland, France, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Japan, and South America as well as his customary round of performances in the US, and once a year he gathers together his own ensemble, the Simon Carrington Chamber Singers, for concerts and recordings.

This biography was most recently edited by...
sccs - 2 Apr 2012
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