Stephen Layton

Biography

Born: 1966   Country: England  
Stephen Layton established himself in the 1990s as one of the leading young British choral conductors.

As a boy he was a chorister in the Choir of Winchester Cathedral, which provided him his early musical training, then won a post as a music scholar at Eton College. He learned singing, music theory, harmony, piano, and organ in addition to receiving the general schooling offered by the famous British school.

He decided on music
Read more as a career and in competitive auditions won the position of organ scholar of King's College, Cambridge, perhaps the most musically famous of the British university chapel choirs. In this capacity he received a full scholarship to Cambridge, where he studied music, in return for participating in the choir's musical activities. As such, he appeared on several recordings on the Decca and EMI labels, performed on the BBC, and made tours of Europe, the United States, and Japan.

His first major conducting appearance was at Cambridge, where he led the choir and an orchestra in Handel's Messiah, with soprano Emma Kirkby as one of the soloists, and conducted a university performance of Gluck's Orfée et Eurydice. Soon after graduation, he became the musical director of the Wokingham Choral Society, with which he has led performances of Elgar's The Dream of Gerontius, Poulenc's Gloria, and Tippett's A Child of Our Time.

While still at Cambridge, Layton formed a choral ensemble in 1986 for a concert at the King's College Chapel. The concert was successful, leading to the group's establishment as a permanent professional organization named Polyphony. It was initially an early music group, but has expanded its repertory to other periods of music and moved its base of operation to London, where Layton now primarily lives and works. Polyphony debuted in the 1995 BBC Henry Woods Promenade Concerts in a newer work, Arvo Pärt's Passio Domini nostri Jesu Christi secundum Joannem (St. John Passion), with the Hilliard Ensemble, and Purcell's Dido and Aeneas, with Les Musiciens du Louvre, and has returned to the Proms in subsequent years. Layton has conducted Polyphony in the world premiere of Oceanos by James Dillon (1996) and in Alfred Schnittke's Symphony No. 2 with the BBC Symphony Orchestra at Royal Festival Hall. Layton has led Polyphony in several recordings on the BMG Catalyst and Hyperion labels. These include MacMillan's Seven Last Words from the Cross, which won the Mercury Music Prize, choral music of Pärt, music from Percy Grainger's Jungle Book, and Rutter's Requiem.

Layton is also musical director of the Holst Singers and records with them on Hyperion. These have included the world premiere recording of Christ's Nativity by Benjamin Britten, one of the many forgotten Britten works that have been edited and released by the Britten Estate. He led the Holst Singers on some of the releases of Graham Johnson's complete Schubert song series. In addition, Layton is principal guest conductor of the Danish National Radio Choir and chief conductor of the Netherlands Chamber Choir. Layton has also directed the BBC Singers, and the London Schubert Chorale. He is also music director of London's famous Temple Church.

His operatic debut was in 2000, conducting the English National Opera in a staged production of Bach's St. John Passion. He has conducted choral and orchestral repertory with the Bournemouth Sinfonietta, the Australian Chamber Orchestra, and the Istanbul Symphony Orchestra. He has often appeared on British and European television, and has toured in Europe, Japan, and Hong Kong. Read less
Leighton: Crucifixus / Layton, Trinity College Choir Cambridge
Release Date: 04/14/2015   Label: Hyperion  
Catalog: 68039   Number of Discs: 1
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Esenvalds: Northern Lights / Layton, Trinity College Choir Cambridge
Release Date: 02/10/2015   Label: Hyperion  
Catalog: 68083   Number of Discs: 1
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There are 69 Stephen Layton recordings available.

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Biography

Born: 1966   Country: England  
Stephen Layton established himself in the 1990s as one of the leading young British choral conductors.

As a boy he was a chorister in the Choir of Winchester Cathedral, which provided him his early musical training, then won a post as a music scholar at Eton College. He learned singing, music theory, harmony, piano, and organ in addition to receiving the general schooling offered by the famous British school.

He decided on music
Read more
WORKS ALBUMS
TITLE/COMPOSER
LABEL
The Veil of the Temple, Cycle I: I. Mystical Love Song of the Sufis
The Veil of the Temple, Cycle I: II. Primordial Call
The Veil of the Temple, Cycle II: I. Primordial Call
The Veil of the Temple, Cycle II: II. God's Creation
The Veil of the Temple, Cycle II: III. Outside the Gates of Paradise
The Veil of the Temple, Cycle II: IV. Our Father
The Veil of the Temple, Cycle II: V. Holy Mary
The Veil of the Temple, Cycle II: VI. Alleluia, Theos Erastos
The Veil of the Temple, Cycle II: VII. Gospel of St John
The Veil of the Temple, Cycle II: VIII. Thrice-Holy Hymn - Resurrection
The Veil of the Temple, Cycle II: IX. Beatitudes of St Isaac the Syrian
The Veil of the Temple, Cycle III: I. Primordial Call
The Veil of the Temple, Cycle III: II. Psalm of Creation
The Veil of the Temple, Cycle III: III. O Blessed Paradise, Pray for Me
The Veil of the Temple, Cycle IV: I. Primordial Call
The Veil of the Temple, Cycle IV: II. Mystery of the Nothingness of God
The Veil of the Temple, Cycle V: I. Primordial Call
The Veil of the Temple, Cycle V: II. You Mantle Yourself in Light
The Veil of the Temple, Cycle V: III. Jesus Prayer
The Veil of the Temple, Cycle V: IV. The Lord's Prayer
The Veil of the Temple, Cycle VI: I. Primordial Call
The Veil of the Temple, Cycle VI: II. What God is, we do not know
The Veil of the Temple, Cycle VI: III. God of Strength
The Veil of the Temple, Cycle VI: IV. Kyrie Eleison - Chant
The Veil of the Temple, Cycle VI: V. Te Re Rem ? Ecstatic Chant
The Veil of the Temple, Cycle VI: VI. Jesus Having Risen from the Tomb
The Veil of the Temple, Cycle VII: I. Apocalyptic Primordial Call
The Veil of the Temple, Cycle VII: II. Absolved in the Mirror
The Veil of the Temple, Cycle VII: III. Jesus Prayer
The Veil of the Temple, Cycle VII: IV. Hesychast Meditation
The Veil of the Temple, Cycle VII: V. Mary Theotokos
The Veil of the Temple, Cycle VII: VI. Hail, Veil of the Temple
The Veil of the Temple, Cycle VII: VII. Mother of God
The Veil of the Temple, Cycle VII: VIII. Alleluia
The Veil of the Temple, Cycle VII: IX. The Gospel of St John
The Veil of the Temple, Cycle VIII: I. Maranatha
The Veil of the Temple, Cycle VIII: II. Awake Thou That Sleepest
The Veil of the Temple, Cycle VIII: III. Into Beauty
The Veil of the Temple, Cycle VIII: IV. Rending of the Veil of the Temple: Maya Atma
The Veil of the Temple, Cycle VIII: V. Knights Templar in the Temple Church
The Veil of the Temple, Cycle VIII: VI. Light of Christ
The Veil of the Temple, Cycle VIII: VII. Cosmic Rising
The Veil of the Temple, Cycle VIII: VIII. New Jerusalem - Upanishad Hymn
The Veil of the Temple, Cycle VIII: IX. Shántih
No. 1. Salut, Dame Sainte (Modere, mais sans lenteur)
No. 2. Tout puissant, tres saint (Majestueux et eclatant)
No. 3. Seigneur, je vous en prie (Tres expressif et fervent)
No. 4. O mes tres chers freres (Bien calme)
No. 1. Margoton va t'a l'iau
No. 2. La belle se sied au pied de la tour
No. 3. Pilons l'orge
No. 4. Clic, clac, dansez sabots
No. 5. C'est la petit' fill' du prince
No. 6. La belle si nous etions
No. 7. Ah! mon beau laboureur
No. 8. Les tisserands
Fool's Rhymes: Supernat'ral light...
Fool's Rhymes: We're all in the dumps...


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