We are delighted to feature in the current edition of Choir & Organ magazine, which ranges widely over the choir’s “youthful demographic” and Young Apprentice Tenor and Bass Scheme, Hilary Davan Wetton’s 34 years as MD, and our Vaughan Williams 150th anniversary series culminating on 10th November at Cadogan Hall.
We are still on a high after our recent performance of Mahler’s immense 8th Symphony with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and massed choirs – “massive and glorious” according to the Guardian’s review – under the baton of Vasily Petrenko at the Royal Albert Hall. Click here to enjoy the glowing reviews and photographs for yourself.
September 2022 sees the start of the choir’s farewell season with Hilary Davan Wetton, who retires as its esteemed Artistic Director and Principal Conductor in the summer of 2023.
The choir has had just two conductors since its foundation in 1963. Hilary Davan Wetton took over from founder Donald Cashmore in 1989 and the choir has enjoyed Hilary’s musical direction ever since. The choir is indebted to Hilary for his inspirational leadership, expertise, energy and enthusiasm throughout his remarkable tenure.
Under Hilary’s direction, the CLC has developed a particularly strong reputation for performances and recordings of 20th century English music, including the works of Ralph Vaughan Williams. So it is fitting that Hilary’s final months with the choir coincide with the Vaughan Williams 150th anniversary celebrations, culminating in performances of the anti-war cantata Dona Nobis Pacem in the Cadogan Hall on 10 November and the Fantasia on Christmas Carols at St John’s Smith Square on 11th December. More exciting concerts are in store for the spring and summer of 2023.
“Hilary has inspired singers in the CLC for over 30 years with his inimitable musicianship, drive and unrelenting pursuit of excellence,” comments Daniel Mansfield, Chairman, City of London Choir. “I’d like to thank him publicly, on behalf of the choir, for his consummate artistry, dedication and unfailing commitment. He has been instrumental in shaping the CLC’s reputation as one of the best non-professional choirs in the country. We will miss him enormously. But first, we have a packed and exciting schedule together for the next year and a half!”
Commenting on his extensive and artistically rewarding tenure with the City of London Choir, Hilary Davan Wetton said, “I wish the Choir every success in the future. It has been a privilege to work with this special ensemble for over 30 years and I am immensely proud of what we have achieved together in that time. The CLC brings joy to its audiences, its members and its conductor. I do not doubt that it will continue to do so for many years to come.”
The focus of Hilary’s final months with the choir will be a farewell performance of Verdi’s Requiem at the Barbican in March 2023. Further performances will be announced in the coming months.
For more information about the post of Artistic Director and Principal Conductor, please contact Celia Clark at City of London Choir: PR@cityoflondonchoir.org or Jenny Robinson, General Manager: GM@cityoflondonchoir.org
Photo © Clive Barda
Setting Walt Whitman’s stirring words and imagery, Vaughan Williams’ first symphony is a metaphysical tour de force for choir and orchestra, conjuring the majesty and capriciousness of the sea. With soloists Roderick Williams and Sophie Bevan, the symphony is accompanied by the highly unusual Fantasia on Old 104th Psalm Tune, featuring pianist Mark Bebbington, the evocative Norfolk Rhapsody No.1 and the spirited Overture to The Wasps. Visit our concerts page for more details.