Music at Clare was

rather amateurish

when I was up.

How things

have changed!

Sir Roger Norrington, conductor (1954-57)
  • John Rutter CBE
  • Sir Roger Norrington
  • Nicholas Mulroy
  • Ivor Bolton
  • Tim Brown
  • Robin Ticciati
  • Maggie Faultless
  • Elin Manahan Thomas
  • Nicholas Collon
  • Sir John Tavener
  • Richard Egarr
  • Andrew Manze
  • Andrew Radley
  • Stephen Farr
  • Nico Muhly
  • David Dunnett
  • Simon Bailey
  • James McVinnie
  • Mark Dobell
  • Nicholas Rimmer
  • Tarik O'Regan
  • Dominic Wheeler
  • Juliet Fraser
  • Daniel Pailthorpe
  • Jane Salmon
  • Simon Blendis
  • Danny Driver
  • Jonathan Brown
  • John Reid
  • Peter Gritton

Clare Alumni

  • John Rutter CBE

    composer/conductor, former Director of Music (1975-79)

    “Clare Choir feels like my family and a whole army of my best friends put together”

    “Clare Choir feels like my family and a whole army of my best friends put together. It has educated me, through the amazing music I have learned, first as a member, then as director, now just as a keen listener – inspired me by its serious dedication to the highest standards of performance – and changed my life with the opportunities it has opened up and the friendships I have made because of it. For me, the Choir is Clare's heartbeat.”

    John Rutter studied Music at Clare College, Cambridge, where he wrote his first published compositions and conducted his first recording while still a student. From 1975 to 1979 he was Director of Music at Clare College, whose choir he directed in a number of broadcasts and recordings. After giving up the Clare post to allow more time for composition, he formed the Cambridge Singers as a professional chamber choir primarily dedicated to recording, and he now divides his time between composition and conducting.

    His compositional career has embraced both large and small-scale choral works, orchestral and instrumental pieces, a piano concerto, two children’s operas, music for television, and specialist writing for such groups as the King’s Singers.

    He was honoured in the 2007 Queen’s New Year Honours List, being awarded a CBE for services to music.

  • Sir Roger Norrington

    conductor, former Choral Scholar (1954-57)

    “Music at Clare was rather amateurish when I was up. How things have changed!"

    "Music at Clare was rather amateurish when I was up. Chapel Choir was so so, with local boys. Michael Brymer brightened things up with his Clare Canaries, putting on Creation and a St Matthew Passion in Great St Mary's, both of which I led for him. But I don't think anyone but Organ Scholars read Music. How things have changed!"

    Roger Norrington studied English Literature at Clare College, Cambridge, where he was a member of the Choir. After several years’ experience as a violinist, tenor and conductor, he returned to his studies at the Royal College of Music under Sir Adrian Boult.

    In 1962, he founded the Schütz Choir and thus began a 30 year exploration of historical performance practice. A collaboration was soon established with the London Baroque Players, but as the period of rediscovery moved forward, the London Classical Players became the normal partner. The London Classical Players leapt to world-wide renown with Roger Norrington’s dramatic performances of Beethoven symphonies on period instruments. Many other ground-breaking recordings followed by such composers as Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven as well as Berlioz, Weber, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Rossini, and Schumann.
    Norrington’s opera experience is as wide as that with symphony orchestras, choirs and chamber orchestras. For 15 years, he was Music Director of the very successful Kent Opera, where he conducted over 400 performances of 40 different works. He has worked as a guest in Britain at Covent Garden and the English National Opera and in Italy at La Scala, La Fenice and the Maggio Musicale. He has also received invitations to conduct operas in Vienna, Berlin, Paris and Amsterdam.

    Roger Norrington was knighted in June 1997 and is a Commander of the Order of the British Empire, a Cavaliere of the Italian Republic, Prince Consort of the Royal College of Music and Professor and Honorary Member of the Royal Academy of Music, an Honorary Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge, a Doctor of Music at the University of Kent and a Doctor of the University of York.

  • Nicholas Mulroy

    tenor, former Choral Scholar (1995-99)

    “An environment dedicated to making music of all varieties at a very high level”

    “I applied to Clare because of its strong history and reputation of music making inside and outside Chapel, and found an environment supportive of, and dedicated to, making music of all varieties at a very high level. It prepared me for so many facets of my professional life, as well as emphasising the importance of fruitful collaboration. Many of my closest friendships were forged during musical activities at Clare, and I retain immensely happy memories and remain immensely grateful for what I learned and experienced there.”


    Born in Liverpool, Nicholas Mulroy was a chorister at Liverpool’s Metropolitan Cathedral,read Modern Languages at Clare College, Cambridge, and studied at the RAM. Since completing his studies, he has been in constant demand in the UK and further afield. Recent highlights have included Septimius in Handel Theodora with Trevor Pinnock at the Halle Handel-Festspiel, the title role in Rameau’s Dardanus with Emmanuelle Haïm, le Récitant in Berlioz L’Enfance du Christ with Sir Colin Davis in London, Messiah with Nicolas McGegan and the RSNO, Mozart Requiem with Richard Tognetti and the ACO, Haydn Harmonie-Messe with the Staatskapelle Dresden. He has also sung Bach’s major oratorios with some of the leading conductors of this repertoire: Johannes-Passion with Paul McCreesh, Marc Minkowski, Sir John Eliot Gardiner; Matthäus-Passion with Laurence Cummings, John Butt, B Minor Mass with Andrew Parrott, Gardiner; Weihnachts-Oratorium with Gardiner, Butt and OAE. He has also appeared with BBCSO and Nicholas Kraemer and with Juanjo Mena, at the Proms with the King’s Consort, and at the Berlin Philharmonie with the OAE.

    Operatic performances include Theatre Du Capitole in Toulouse, l’Opéra Comique, Paris, Glyndebourne, the role of Tenor Actor in Judith Weir’s A Night at the Chinese Opera for RAO, as well Mozart’s Ferrando, Belmonte, Tamino and Belfiore. A committed recitalist, he has appeared singing Winterreise and Winter Words at the Maribor Festival (Slovenia), Janacek A Diary of one who Vanished at King’s Place and at the Oxford Lieder Festival, Die Schöne Müllerin at the Chelsea Schubert Festival, and Vaughan Williams On Wenlock Edge with the Badke Quartet.

    Future plans include engagements at the Paris Opéra, Johannes-Passion with Stephen Layton/OAE/Polyphony, Purcell Fairy Queen and Evangelist in Matthäus-Passion with Paul McCreesh and the Gabrieli Consort throughout Europe, and recordings of the Johannes-Passion

  • "Clare College Choir is now firmly established as one of the finest chamber choirs in Europe and indeed the world.

    It helped to bring forward and develop some of the finest musicians in Britain and has become a magnet for highly gifted singers. I myself remember vividly thrilling musical experiences with this ensemble under John Ruttter and Tim Brown and feel very proud to see its rapid development which now continues under its exciting new Director of Music Graham Ross.

    I have taken the Choir to the Salzburg Festival and the Munich Opera Festival several times as well as the BBC Proms and look forward to seeing and hearing them many times in the future at such venues."

    Ivor Bolton became Chief Conductor of the Mozarteum Orchester Salzburg in 2004. He was Music Director of English Touring Opera in 1991/2, Music Director of Glyndebourne Touring Opera from 1992-97, Chief Conductor of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra from 1994-96, and was the founding music director of the Lufthansa Festival of Baroque Music and the St James’s Baroque Players in London. Ivor Bolton made his Covent Garden debut in 1995, and has enjoyed a long association with Glyndebourne. Other UK operatic engagements have taken him to English National Opera, Welsh National Opera, and Opera North.

    He made his Salzburg Festival debut in 2000 with Gluck’s Iphigenie en Tauride and has returned each year since then including three Mozart operas in the 2006 Mozart year, Haydn’s Armida in 2007 and Theodora at the 2009 Festival. Ivor Bolton has worked with many of the UK’s principal symphony orchestras, as well as with leading orchestras throughout the world, where concert engagements in recent seasons have included Vienna, Salzburg Festival, New York, Boston, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam, Paris, Florence, Milan, Rotterdam, WDR Cologne, Philharmonisches Staatsorchester Hamburg, Academia Nazionale di Santa Cecelia in Rome, Handel’s Athalia with Concerto Köln in New York, Paris and London and the Zürich Tonhalle Orchestra, with whom he conducted Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony over New Year 2005/6. He made his debut at the BBC Proms in 1993, conducted Bach St John Passion at the Proms in 2000, and the Mozarteum Orchester in 2006.

  • Tim Brown

    conductor, former Director of Music (1979-2010)

    “A College so rich in musical talent”

    "Thirty-one years in a single institution is a marathon by any standards and, inevitably, something rubs off over that period of time! The warmth of the community, the excitement generated by new ventures, the celebration of individual successes, the making of new friends from the Choir's tours around the world: these are some of my abiding memories of Clare, a College so rich in musical talent, and bursting with entrepreneurial imagination and energy. I cannot think of a better way of spending three years as a Cambridge undergraduate."

    Timothy Brown succeeded John Rutter as Director of Music at Clare in 1979, when he was also appointed Director of Studies in Music and a Fellow. He has also held the post of College Praelector, responsible for the ceremonies surrounding degree ceremonies. He relinquished the Directorship of Music in 2010, but continues as Praelector. In 2009 he handed over the job of Director of Studies to the College's Russian music scholar, Marina Frolova-Walker, though he continues as a supervisor for the Music Tripos. During his thirty-one years as Director of Music, he greatly widened the scope and activities of the chapel Choir, and devoted considerable amounts of time to encouraging instrumental music in the College, which has one of the most active music societies in the University.

    Tim Brown is joint Director of the Cambridge University Chamber Choir, which he re-founded over twenty years ago. He is also Visiting Director of Chapel Music at Robinson College, where he mentors the college organ scholars and choir. Outside Cambridge he is Artistic Director of the Zürcher Sing-Akademie, which is associated with the Tonhalle Orchestra, and is active as a freelance conductor and chorus-master. He continues to pursue an interest in composing and editing of music, and is on the editorial panel of the complete works of William Walton (Oxford University Press).

  • Robin Ticciati

    conductor, former Music student (2001-04)

    “Clare let me breathe, discover and give all of myself to music”

    "Clare let me breathe, discover and give all of myself to music: almost everything that one needs to begin the journey of becoming an honest musician - I am so thankful for these beautiful buildings, the gardens, the staff and all these memories. I used to creep into the organ loft to hear the Choir sing Evensong - remarkable. Where can one find an 'institution' where one can hear Harris Bring us O Lord sung by one of the best choirs in the world, then go to take a rehearsal of Sibelius 3 (was a disaster) and round the whole day off by trying to read some Goethe for a course on Faust (never got round to Part II…) - I would recommend Clare College to any musician that loves music and wants to do more than just be able to beat time or play the right notes. Clare lets people find their wrong notes and in turn lets the right ones bloom!"

    Robin Ticciati is Principal Conductor of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Principal Guest Conductor of the Bamberger Symphoniker.

    Born in London, Ticciati is a violinist, pianist and percussionist by training. He was a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain when he turned to conducting, aged 15, under the guidance of Sir Colin Davis and Sir Simon Rattle. He studied Music at Clare College, Cambridge.

    He has worked with the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks Munich, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra, Hallé Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Swedish Radio Symphony, Filarmonica della Scala and Los Angeles Philharmonic.

    Robin Ticciati balances orchestral engagements with extensive work in the opera house, including Don Giovanni at Glyndebourne, Le Nozze di Figaro at the Salzburg Festival, Hansel and Gretel for his Metropolitan Opera debut, Eugene Onegin at the Royal Opera House and Peter Grimes for his debut at La Scala Milan. In 2011, he was appointed Music Director of Glyndebourne Festival Opera from January 2014.

  • Maggie Faultless

    violinist, former Music student (1980-83)

    “The ideal preparation for a creative career”

    “It is hard to overestimate the value of my time at Clare. Both College and University music-making were at a level beyond expectations, and friends and colleagues, with whom music and a thousand other subjects were discussed, have remained significant. It was an environment where the most imaginative ideas always received the answer "yes", and a way round any obstacles was subsequently found. Cambridge was the ideal preparation for a creative career. “

    The violinist/director Margaret Faultless divides her time between co-leading and directing the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, directing chamber orchestras all over Europe and guest leading some of the world's leading orchestras. She is the Artistic Director of Music for Awhile and Director of Studies for the European Union Baroque Orchestra. She is an Artistic Director of the Cambridge University Collegium Musicum, Director of Performance at the Music Faculty, a Bye-fellow of Girton College and Musician in Residence at St John's. From September 2012 she will be Head of Historical Performance at the Royal Academy of Music.

  • Elin Manahan Thomas

    soprano, former Choral Scholar (1995-98)

    “If it weren't for Clare, I wouldn't be the singer I am today”

    "It was at Clare that my eyes, or rather my ears, were really opened to the world of music and music-making. During my time in the Choir I learned to sight-read, and to do so stylistically and expressively; I learned to understand harmony, blend and tuning; and I learned a library's worth of music, which formed a soundtrack to my brilliant student years. I discovered the delight and excitement that comes from singing with other people, and the thrill of pulling together individual voices to make one stunning block of sound. But above all I found for myself a family: the day-in-day-out nature of the rehearsals, services, concerts and recordings made us Choral Scholars a tightly-knit team, and the friends I made there have become friends for life. I consider myself extremely lucky to have been a member of Clare Choir and it's something of which I'm immensely proud. To be honest, if it weren't for Clare, I wouldn't be the singer I am today."

    Born and bred in Swansea, Elin read Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic at Clare College, Cambridge, where she was a Choral Scholar before moving to the musical world and carving a career as one of Britain’s leading young sopranos. Her début album with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Eternal Light, entered the classical charts in 2007 at number two, her Signum release in 2009, Patrick Hawes’s Song of Songs was CD of the week on Classic FM, and her recording of Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater with Florilegium was Choice of the Month in BBC Music Magazine in 2010. Elin is the first singer ever to record Bach’s Alles mit Gott, a birthday ode written in 1713 and discovered in 2005. She first received great acclaim for her Pie Jesu on Naxos’ award-winning recording of the Rutter Requiem, and was praised as soloist in Bach’s St Matthew Passion at the Thomaskirche in Leipzig, under Sir John Eliot Gardiner. In 2009 she made her début at the Wigmore Hall with the Academy of Ancient Music, was invited to perform in the Vatican on Easter Sunday, and appeared at the Edinburgh International Festival with the Royal Flanders Ballet.

    On the opera stage, Elin has played the part of Israelitish Woman in Buxton Festival’s acclaimed staging of Handel Samson; Pamina (Mozart The Magic Flute) at the Helix Theatre, Dublin and Bridgewater Hall, Manchester; Belinda (Dido and Aeneas) with OAE in the Queen Elizabeth Hall; Ninetta (Mozart La Finta Semplice) and Arminda (Mozart La Finta Giardiniera) in New College, Oxford; Despina (Mozart Così fan tutte) for Robin Ticciati and Cambridge Opera; Mermaid (Weber Oberon) and Coryphée (Berlioz Les Troyens) at the Châtelet Theatre, Paris; and Night/Nymph in the Armonico Consort’s popular production of The Fairy Queen.

  • Nicholas Collon

    conductor, former Organ Scholar (2001-04)

    “A unique College, with a unique Choir, supported by an unrivalled thriving musical scene”

    "Perhaps the biggest decision of my musical career to date was to apply for an Organ Scholarship to Clare. I remember going to hear the Choir in a service, and being hit by the most extraordinary wall of sound in Hail, Gladdening Light, and I just knew that this was where I wanted to be for three years. The Choir was such an enormous part of my musical life at Cambridge, and the most wonderful stepping stone to becoming a conductor. I had the privilege to conduct the Choir on many occasions, in services, on tour, in concert, and every time felt like an incredible event. I don't think anything could prepare a musician for the fast-paced professional world in quite such an efficient, yet enjoyable way. It is a unique College, with a unique Choir, supported by an unrivalled thriving musical scene. Where else could you conduct the College orchestra and Choir in everything from Shostakovich 5 to Carmina Burana, to such a level of proficiency?"

    Nicholas Collon is establishing an enviable reputation as a commanding and inspirational interpreter in an exceptionally wide range of music. As founder and Principal Conductor of Aurora Orchestra he has promoted imaginative programming that integrates challenging repertoire from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries with masterworks of the Classical and Romantic eras. Nicholas and Aurora were winners of Best Ensemble at the 2011 Royal Philharmonic Society Awards. In addition to his work with Aurora, he is Assistant Conductor to Vladimir Jurowski at the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Aurora Orchestra's residencies at Kings Place have included Mozart Unwrapped, featuring soloists such as Rosemary Joshua, and Brahms Unwrapped in 2012. Also at Kings Place, a concert featuring the works of Nico Muhly launched a CD on Decca, Seeing is Believing, to critical acclaim, which includes the composer’s Electric Violin Concerto. In addition, Aurora has made appearances at the new Britten Studio at Aldeburgh, the Cambridge and City of London festivals, the Snape Proms and the Sounds New Festival.

    Collon has collaborated with the London Sinfonietta and Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, conducted a London Symphony Orchestra UBS Soundscapes Pioneers première, concerts with the Britten Sinfonia, Manchester Camerata, Sinfonia ViVA and a debut with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic’s Ensemble 10/10. He has also appeared at the Bregenz Festival with Symphonieorchester Vorarlberg in a programme of works by Judith Weir and he has recorded works for broadcast with the BBC Symphony and BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestras. He has conducted the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the London Mozart Players, the Northern Sinfonia, the Münchener Kammerorchester at the Munich Biennale, the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra, and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.

  • Sir John Tavener


    "I was staggered by their marvellous performances"

    "It was wonderful that Clare College commissioned and premièred my Ex Maria Virgine. I was staggered by their marvellous performances and the fact that they didn’t have to ask me anything. The Choir got it spot on!"

    John Tavener first came to public attention in 1968 with the première of his oratorio The Whale at the inaugural concert of the London Sinfonietta. The Beatles subsequently recorded this on their Apple label. Although Tavener’s avant-garde style of the seventies contrasts with the contemplative beauty of his works for which he is best known, the seeds of the language he would later adopt were in evidence from an early stage. His conversion to the Orthodox Church in 1977 resulted from his growing conviction that Eastern traditions retained a primordial essence that the west had lost. Works such as The Lamb (1982), and the large-scale choral work Resurrection (1989) date from this period. In 1997, the performance of Song for Athene at the close of Princess Diana’s funeral showed that the profound effect of his music reached far beyond just the concert-going public. His collection of Christmas carols, Ex Maria Virgine was premièred and recorded by the Choir of Clare College under Timothy Brown and has become one of Naxos’ best-selling CDs.

  • Richard Egarr

    conductor/harpsichordist, former Organ Scholar (1982-85)

    Richard Egarr trained as a choirboy at York Minster, at Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester, and as Organ Scholar at Clare College Cambridge. He is Music Director of the Academy of Ancient Music since 2006 (when he succeeded Christopher Hogwood). Egarr complements this with a handful of other select period ensembles, including the Handel and Haydn Society in Boston, Portland Baroque, and Philharmonia Baroque in San Francisco. He is increasingly sought-after by non-period chamber and symphony orchestras such as the Dallas Symphony and Rotterdam Philharmonic where he debuted in 10/11. He continues to work with Residentie Orchestra, Scottish Chamber, Berlin Konzerthausorchester (Mozart) and the Helsingborg Symphony (Sweden) for Bach/Stokowski. Since his appointment as Music Director, Egarr has established the AAM’s own chorus, and operas/oratorios lie at the heart of his repertoire; in 2010 he conducted Mozart’s opera La Finta Giardiniera in concert at the Barbican Centre and the Theatre des Champs-Elysees. He made his Glyndebourne debut in 2007 conducting a staged Matthew Passion. Richard Egarr has given many solo and concerto performances throughout Europe, Japan and the USA. In 2011 he toured the USA playing the Well-tempered Clavier and a Louis Couperin programme, following his CD releases on Harmonia Mundi of the same repertoire.

  • Andrew Manze

    violinist/conductor (1983-86)

    “Week after week of breathtaking performances”

    "Clare Choir to me simply means week after week of breathtaking performances, music-making of the highest quality, whether in concert or during regular services, and a professionalism spiced with sheer joie de vivre which would shame many professionals. Of all Cambridge memories, the Choir's singing at Compline will be the last to leave me."

    After reading Classics at Clare College, Cambridge, Manze studied the violin and rapidly became a leading specialist in the world of historical performance practice. He became Associate Director of The Academy of Ancient Music in 1996 and then Artistic Director of The English Concert from 2003 to 2007. Both as a conductor and violinist Manze has released an astonishing variety of CDs, many of them award-winning.

    The last few years have seen Andrew Manze’s rapid emergence as one of the most stimulating and inspirational conductors of his generation. He is driven by a passion for music from the baroque to the contemporary and his extensive repertoire knowledge coupled with his unique skills as a communicator have also marked him out as a particular favourite with both orchestral players and audiences.

    Manze has been Principal Conductor of the Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra, Sweden, since September 2006. He has recorded a number of CDs with them including Beethoven’s Eroica (Harmonia Mundi), Stenhammer Piano Concerti (Hyperion), and a Brahms cycle for CPO. Manze also assumed the role of Associate Guest Conductor of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra from the 2010-11 season.

    Manze is a fellow of the Royal Academy of Music and a Visiting Professor at the Oslo Academy and has contributed to new editions of sonatas and concertos by Mozart and Bach published by Bärenreiter and Breitkopf and Härtel. He also teaches, edits and writes about music, as well as broadcasting regularly on radio and television.

  • Andrew Radley

    countertenor, former Choral Scholar (1997-2000)

    "Nothing could have prepared me for my experiences at Clare"

    “I was aware of Clare College's reputation as being 'musical' when I applied to Cambridge but nothing could have prepared me for my experiences here. In addition to learning, as a Choral Scholar, the vocal skills and disciplines I now use everyday in my working life, I gained a degree, played in orchestras, ran the music committee and studied with other students who now are at the top of their professions, all whilst being in the most fantastic and nurturing surroundings. Where else can you possibly get all this?” 

    British countertenor Andrew Radley specialises in the great opera roles written for the alto castrato voice by Handel and other leading composers of the 17th and 18th Centuries. He read Music at Clare College, Cambridge, where he was a Choral Scholar, before receiving scholarships to the postgraduate and opera courses at the Royal Academy of Music.


    He has worked as a soloist with many of the leading conductors of the repertoire such as René Jacobs, Christian Curnyn, Konrad Junghänel, Richard Egarr, Laurence Cummings, Nicholas Cleobury, Pierre Cao, Nicholas McGegan, Paul Goodwin, Graeme Jenkins, Ian Page and Lars Ulrik Mortensen.

    His recent operatic engagements have included Handel's Giulio Cesare (Opera North), Orlando (Scottish Opera), Jephtha (Royal Danish Opera), Belshazzar (Berlin Staatsoper), Flavio and Susanna (Early Opera Company), Admeto and Poro (Göttingen Handel Festival), Tamerlano and Agrippina (Cambridge Handel Opera). Recent concert engagments have included Handel's Giulio Cesare with the Freiburger Barockorchester with René Jacobs, Bach's St John Passion with Il Fondamento, Arne's Alfred with the Classical Opera Company and Handel's Theodora in the London Handel Festival.

    His first solo CD Conversazioni with Sounds Baroque has recently been released on Avie Records to great critical acclaim.

    Future plans include Pergolesi's Stabat Mater with The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and his debut for Welsh National Opera in Handel's Jephtha

  • Stephen Farr

    organist, former Organ Scholar (1984-87)

    "The quantity and quality of Music at Clare seems in retrospect almost unbelievable"

    “Music at Clare in the 1980s was an exhilarating and sometimes exhausting thing: even apart from the Choir, which under Tim Brown was steadily building on the superb foundations laid by John Rutter, the quantity and quality of what was produced seems in retrospect almost unbelievable. It was a rare privilege to be a part of all this, and particularly to perform in concerts with people who even then were clearly destined for distinguished international careers as singers, instrumentalists and conductors: it has been a great pleasure in recent years to renew these early professional relationships.”


    Recognised as “one of the brightest and most active English recitalists” who “plays with immaculate finish and buoyancy” (Classic CD), Stephen Farr is widely regarded as one of the finest organists of his generation, with a virtuoso technique and an impressive stylistic grasp of a wide-ranging repertoire. He combines a busy freelance playing career with the posts of Director of Music at St Paul’s Knightsbridge in London, and Director of Music at Worcester College Oxford.

    One of the youngest musicians ever to receive support from the Countess of Munster Musical Trust, Stephen Farr studied with Robert Munns and David Sanger in London and Cambridge.  A subsequent grant from the Worshipful Company of Musicians (W.T. Best Scholarship) enabled him to receive tuition from Piet Kee in Haarlem and Hans Fagius in Copenhagen.  In 1984 he became Organ Scholar of Clare College Cambridge, where he obtained a double first in Music and a Master’s degree in Musicology.  Posts at Christ Church Oxford and Winchester Cathedral preceded his appointment in 1999 as Organist of Guildford Cathedral, a position which he held until 2007.

    Since winning the Royal College of Organists Performer of the Year in 1988 and prizes at international competitions in Odense, St Alban’s and Paisley, Stephen Farr has enjoyed recognition as a solo performer at international level, with appearances in North and South America, Australia – including a concerto performance in Sydney Opera House – and throughout Europe.

    He maintains a regular broadcast presence, and as a recitalist has featured frequently in the main series of the major venues in the UK – among them St Paul’s Cathedral (where he has appeared twice in the Celebrity Series), Westminster Abbey, Westminster Cathedral, King’s College Cambridge, St David’s Hall Cardiff, St John’s Smith Square, Symphony Hall Birmingham, the Bridgewater Hall, the St David’s Festival, the Chester Festival and the Fairfield Halls.  Other recent venues include La Trinité and Notre Dame in Paris and the Laurenskerk, Alkmaar.  He is a frequent visitor to Scandinavia, and to Denmark in particular, where venues have included the Odense Bach Festival (Domkirke and Sct Hans), Århus Domkirke, Helligaands and Jesuskirke Copenhagen, the new Aubertin organ of Mariager Kirke, and many others. In 2009 he appeared with the Danish Radio Choir under Stephen Layton in a live televised concert which formed part of the opening ceremonies for the new van den Heuvel organ of the radio concert hall.

    His concerto work has included engagements with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Ulster Orchestra and the London Mozart Players; he made his debut in the Amsterdam Concertgebouw in 2005.  He also works frequently as a continuo and ensemble player with many other leading ensembles, including the Berlin Philharmonic (with whom he appeared  in the première of Jonathan Harvey’s ‘Weltethos’ under Sir Simon Rattle in October 2011), the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Bach Choir, Holst Singers, BBC Singers, English Concert, Polyphony, the Philharmonia, London Baroque Soloists, City of London Sinfonia, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Wallace Collection, Endymion Ensemble, Academy of Ancient Music, Britten Sinfonia and Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. 

    Stephen Farr has a particular commitment to contemporary music, and has been involved in premieres of works by composers as diverse as Patrick Gowers, Francis Pott, Robert Saxton and Howard Goodall.  He also collaborated with Thomas Adès in a recording for EMI of the composer’s Under Hamelin Hill, part of an extensive and wide-ranging discography.  He made his BBC Proms debut in 2011 in a concert which ‘Classical Music’ magazine selected as one of its premieres of the year, performing a major work – ‘The Everlasting Crown’ – which was written for him by Judith Bingham.

  • Nico Muhly


    "Their commitment to the history of the Anglican choral tradition and its complicated future is unique"

    “While the Choir of Clare College, Cambridge, is one of many collegiate choirs, their commitment to both the history of the Anglican choral tradition and its complicated future is unique.  Their recordings are beautiful records of learning that suggest a deep and joyful connexion with the material, and it is notable that the Choir are as committed with the works of living composers as they are to the masterworks of the past.  I'm enormously proud to have written two works for them.”

    Born in Vermont in 1981 and raised in Providence, Rhode Island, New York–based composer Nico Muhly graduated from Columbia University with a degree in English Literature. In 2004, he received a Masters in Music from the Juilliard School, where he studied under Christopher Rouse and John Corigliano. A former boy chorister, Muhly has composed extensively for choir, including commissions from the Choir of Clare College, Cambridge and the Brooklyn Youth Chorus. New York’s Saint Thomas Church commissioned and performed his Bright Mass with Canons, later recorded on their American Voices album and on the Los Angeles Master Chorale’s all-Muhly Decca debut, A Good Understanding.

    His orchestral works have been premièred by the American Symphony Orchestra, Aurora Orchestra (Seeing is Believing), the Boston Pops (Wish You Were Here), the New York Philharmonic (Detailed Instructions) and the Chicago Symphony (Step Team).

  • David Dunnett

    organist, former Organ Scholar (1980-83)

    "Such a friendly, family atmosphere with such talented and varied characters"

    "Being Organ Scholar at Clare was a wonderful experience for me.  I was so fortunate to be able to make music with so many gifted musicians both in the College and throughout the University.  Playing a first class mechanical action organ on a daily basis was crucial to my develpoment as an organist and Clare Choir had such a friendly, family atmosphere with such talented and varied characters.  Tim Brown was a hugely important and inspirational figure in my musical develpoment - I would love to do it all again only this time I might work a bit harder, practise more and play less football!"

    David Dunnett was educated at King Edward's School, Birmingham and Clare College, Cambridge where he was Organ Scholar under Timothy Brown and studied the organ with John Pryer, John Bishop and David Sanger.

    He continued studying with David Sanger as a postgraduate at the Royal Academy of Music and also spent a year as Organist of Marylebone Parish Church. He worked in the United States as Director of Chapel Music and Staff Accompanist at the College of Wooster, Ohio, before becoming Assistant Director of Music at Uppingham School. He became Sub-Organist at Winchester Cathedral in November 1991 and subsequently performed with Winchester Cathedral Choir in concerts, broadcasts, recordings and tours to Brazil, USA and Australia. He assisted David Hill with the Waynflete Singers, taught at Southampton University and is a previous conductor of the Southampton University Chamber Choir and Winchester Music Club.

    He became Organist and Master of the Music at Norwich Cathedral in January 1996. He is the Choral Conductor of the Norwich Philharmonic Society, a previous part time lecturer at the UEA and a busy examiner.

  • Simon Bailey

    bass-baritone, former Choral Scholar (1992-95)

    "If you have the opportunity to join the Choir, take it with both hands"

    "Even nearly 20 years after matriculation and more than a decade into a successful operatic career, I can look back on my time singing in Clare Choir as the most richly varied, musically challenging and developmentally important three years of my life. 

    I remember the first rehearsal I had in October 1992. The volume, precision and intensity of the opening few bars of the anthem we were rehearsing was like nothing I had ever experienced and it literally took my breath away. I was unable to sing, until I looked around and saw that for my colleagues this was all perfectly normal so I thought I had better just get on with it.

    To be surrounded by fellow students from all musical backgrounds, brought together by a passion for choral singing, was a new and thrilling experience for me. Once I got to know them better I realized that, although some had done Eton Choral Courses, been choristers in cathedral choirs or had sung in the National Youth Choir, there were many who, like me, had simply had a broad musical education, could sightread reasonably competently, had a promising voice and an outgoing personality. That, for me, was the essence of Clare Choir - the unique variety of students who made up its ranks, who come together to make music of the very highest quality on a daily basis during term time.

    As a professional singer I am often complimented on the quality of my sung diction. I learnt that in Clare. I am regularly required to learn pieces at short notice, or revise previous roles and take over from indisposed colleagues. I learnt that musical discipline in Clare Choir too. I am lucky enough to sing in some of the most wonderful concert halls and work with fantastic professional orchestras - and that all started in Clare too.

    I have been fortunate enough to work with the Choir on several occasions since graduation and can confirm that the qualities that made it such a special place for me to start my singing career not only remain but have been developed still further. The Choir is bigger now, has a richer, 'punchier' sound, takes on ever-more ambitious repertoire and its reputation (rightly) goes from strength to strength, not just within the University but internationally too. I can suggest that if you have the opportunity to join its ranks, then take it with both hands."

    Born in Lincoln, England, the bass-baritone Simon Bailey read music at Clare College, Cambridge University, where he was a Choral Scholar. In 1997 he commenced postgraduate study at the Royal Northern College of Music, where he was taught by Neil Howlett.

    July 1999 saw his London debut, in the role of Figaro for Opera Holland Park alongside future wife Anna Ryberg as Susanna. A series of outstanding performances saw them both awarded the OHP/ American Express awards for that season's festival.

    At the 1999 Rossini Opera Festival Academy in Pesaro, Italy, he was heard by a 'talent scout' from the La Scala opera studio, the prestigious Accademia del Teatro alla Scala. This led to an audition in Milan and a two-year contract in the studio, beginning in January 2000.

    July 2002 brought a new challenge both professionally and culturally with a move to Frankfurt am Main, Germany, as house bass-baritone at the Oper Frankfurt. Initial success as Papageno (Die Zauberflöte) and Dulcamara (L'elisir d'amore) has led to performances in other repertoire, such as Schakloviti (Khovanschchina) and Klingsor (Parsifal) in the 2005-06 season.

    As well as frequent broadcasts on German radio, Simon has recorded for Opera Rara, Chandos and Naxos - most recently on the critically-acclaimed release of Stainer's Crucifixion.

    In 2008 Simon became the first British singer to sing the title role of Le nozze di Figaro at La Scala since Bryn Terfel.

  • James McVinnie

    organist, former Organ Scholar (2003-06)

    "It was inspiring to be able to work alongside leading conductors"

    “As Organ Scholar at Clare I was able to gain invaluable experience as an organist and accompanist to the choir in regular chapel services, broadcasts, recordings and tours. In particular, it was inspiring to be able to work alongside leading conductors and period orchestras during the Choir's diverse concert and touring schedule.”

    James McVinnie pursues a diverse career as an organist, keyboardist, ensemble player and teacher. He was until recently Assistant Organist of Westminster Abbey, where he played for regular services as well as directing the Abbey Choir. Whilst at the Abbey he also played at many great state occasions and special services of national importance which were broadcast live on television, such as the state visit of HH Pope Benedict XVI, the Passing of the World War I Generation, the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain and the recent Royal Wedding. He held Organ Scholarships at St Albans Cathedral, and Clare College, Cambridge (where he studied music). In 2006 he became Organ Scholar and then in 2007 Acting Sub-Organist of St Paul's Cathedral. He currently holds organ teaching posts at Cambridge University and at Tonbridge School and is also Director of Music at St Andrew's, Holborn, London. He studied the organ with Sarah Baldock and Thomas Trotter, and continues to study with Hans Fagius in Copenhagen.

    James studied music at Clare College, Cambridge, where, as organ scholar, he performed throughout the UK, Europe, the USA, and the Far East in addition to appearing as their accompanist numerous acclaimed recordings. During this time he also performed in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and the Gold Coast, Australia as a harpsichordist with Baroque Violinist David Irving. He also acted as chorus master to Clare College Choir on several occasions, and notably during a six week European tour of Handel's Messiah with the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra and René Jacobs as conductor. In October 2006 he recorded his first solo disc of S S Wesley's organ music on the 1873 Willis organ of St Michael's, Tenbury, for Naxos. He also appears on recordings by the St Albans Abbey Girls Choir, the National Youth Choir of Great Britain, the Cardinall's Musick, and the King's Consort. He is also a regular accompanist to the BBC singers.

    In summer 2009 James made his solo debut in the Salzburg Festival with the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra conducted by Ivor Bolton, performing Handel's Op 7 no 5 organ concerto during a staged production of Handel's oratorio Theodora. As a soloist he has recently performed in the Westminster Abbey Summer Organ Festival, venues across Russia, the City of London Festival, the Oundle International Festival, the opening recital of the Holmens Church International Organ Festival, Copenhagen, and most recently the opening concert of 'MusicNOW', the contemporary music festival in Cincinnati, curated by Bryce Dessner of indie-rock band The National. As a continuo player with leading ensembles and musicians he has appeared at the Munich Opera Festival, the Innsbruck Early Music Festival, the Lufthansa Festival of Baroque Music, the Encounters Early Music Festival at London's Southbank Centre, the Aldeburgh Festival and the 2010 BBC Promenade concerts. He has also collaborated in concerts with composer Nico Muhly, violist Nadia Sirota and singer-songwriter Sufjan Stevens and folksinger Sam Amidon. New music plays a central part of his repertoire; Nico Muhly, Graham Ross, Robert Walker, Richard Reed Parry (of Arcade Fire), Shara Worden (of My Brightest Diamond), and David Lang (winner of the 2008 Pulitzer Prize in music) have written works for him. 

  • Mark Dobell

    tenor, former Choral Scholar (1993-96)

    "No part of my College life that gave me more enjoyment than belonging to the Choir"

    “In three wonderful years at Clare, I can think of no part of my College life that gave me more enjoyment than belonging to the Choir. It provided an excellent social opportunity, where I founded some lasting friendships, and instilled in me both the musical discipline and the spirit of teamwork that have been key to my career. Singing was merely a hobby when I arrived at Clare, but by the time I left I had no doubt I wanted to pursue it professionally.”


    Originally from Tunbridge Wells in Kent, Mark Dobell was a choral scholar of Clare College, Cambridge, where he read Classics. He later studied as a postgraduate at the Royal Academy of Music, and was awarded The Clifton Prize for the best final recital.
    Mark has worked as a soloist throughout Europe and North America with world-renowned conductors including Harry Christophers, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Sir Roger Norrington and James MacMillan. His extensive concert and oratorio repertoire includes many of the major works of Handel, Bach and Mozart, as well as pieces by composers as varied as Monteverdi, Haydn, Mendelssohn, Britten and Karl Jenkins. Recent highlights include performances of Monteverdi’s Vespers in Birmingham Town Hall and London’s Cadogan Hall, Britten’s St Nicolas in St Albans Abbey, Schutz’s Christmas Story at St John’s Smith Square in London, Bach’s B Minor Mass in Cuenca, Pamplona and Santiago, Handel’s Messiah at the Palace of Versailles, Mozart’s Requiem at the Auditorio Nacional in Madrid, and Bach’s St John Passion at the Barbican and Westminster Abbey. Forthcoming projects include Bach’s St Mark Passion in Derby Cathedral, Pärt’s Passio in Westminster Abbey, Vivaldi’s Dixit Dominus in Amsterdam and Purcell’s King Arthur in the Usher Hall, Edinburgh.
    Equally established as a consort singer, Mark enjoys performing with many leading choirs and consort groups, such as The Cardinall’s Musick, I Fagiolini and The King’s Consort. He is proud to be a member of The Sixteen, The Tallis Scholars, The Orlando Consort and the choir of Westminster Abbey.


  • Nicholas Rimmer

    pianist, former Organ Scholar (2000-03)

    "Clare’s musical life is so rich and varied"

    "It was a great pleasure and privilege to hold an Organ Scholarship at Clare and to work with the Choir for three years. I remember being very much in awe when I arrived and listened to my first evensong from the organ loft of the College chapel. The standard of musicianship which was expected of the Choir and of the Organ Scholars was on a new plane from anything I had known before and I found it inspiring and challenging in equal measure. Throughout my time at Clare, the Choir continued to extend my musical horizons; we worked with internationally renowned conductors such as John Eliot Gardiner, René Jacobs and Ivor Bolton, each of whom clearly valued the Choir very highly, but who were able to mould it to their needs and to their taste in only a few rehearsals. I was also able to develop my own conducting skills while in charge of chapel music for a term during the Director of Music’s sabbatical.

    Although my career is nowadays not in church music, I feel that my time with the Choir was a very important part of my musical development. It might sound somewhat old-fashioned, but I am very glad to have skills like transposition, sight-reading and clef-reading – they are an Organ Scholar’s ‚daily bread’, but as I have found, they are regrettably neglected in musical training in many other institutions! I experienced my first radio broadcasts, CD recordings and concert tours with the Choir, and learnt how to deal with the some of the stressful sides of professional music-making. I feel enriched by having got to know a huge range of music from all periods, including many works by living composers.

    Clare’s musical life is so rich and varied and for me it was the ideal place to study. I am grateful to have been a part of such a wonderful tradition and I wish the Choir, the College and all who study and work there the very best for the future."


    Nicholas Rimmer was born in Wigan, England and began his musical training at the Royal Northern College of Music, going on to study in Cambridge, Hannover, Berlin and Cologne. He was awarded the Donald Wort Prize for Performance at Cambridge University in 2003 as well as 1st Prizes at the Birmingham Accompanist of the Year Award (2005) and at the German Music Competition (2006 & 2011). He also toured internationally as organist for the renowned Clare College Choir, gaining critical acclaim for his recording of the John Rutter Requiem on the Naxos label.

    Nicholas has performed with orchestras such as the Manchester Camerata and Aurora orchestra. He has appeared at festivals such as Aldeburgh, Aix-en-Provence, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Schleswig-Holstein and Ludwigsburg and he has given concerts and piano masterclasses in Nagoya, Japan. In 2011 he released his debut recording of solo piano works titled ‘Acht Sauschneider and other Improvisations’ for the German independent label MVH Music. Since 2007 he has formed a regular duo with the violist Nils Mönkemeyer, with whom he won the Parkhouse Award in 2009 and whose debut CD ‘Without Words’ for the Sony label received an ECHO-Klassik Award. Other labels for which Nicholas Rimmer has recorded include cpo, Genuin, Naxos, Rondeau, and Thorofon. Another major focus in his career is the Leibniz piano trio, founded in 2005 with whom he has played across Germany, Holland, UK, Poland and the Republic of Macedonia.

    His strong interest in the song repertoire has led him to important venues such as the Wigmore Hall working with established singers such as Philip Langridge as well as many younger song recitalists. In addition he formed the ‘Trio Belli-Fischer-Rimmer’, which performs music in the unique combination of trombone, percussion and piano.

    Since 2009 Nicholas Rimmer has taught as a junior fellow for piano and chamber music at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hanover.


  • Tarik O'Regan


    "One of the most musically rich environments in which I've had the honour of working"

    "I first came to Cambridge as an M.Phil student at Corpus Christi College in 1999. I remember trying to get performances of my compositions for the degree submission and Tim Brown, the then Director of Music at Clare, immediately came forward and said, "we'll do it!" I'd had a similar experience with Edward Higginbottom at Oxford, where I was an undergraduate: musical enthusiasm for an untested composer.

    So my relationship with Clare began then with an early piece called Care Charminge Sleepe. It was my first experience of working with a world class mixed-voice choir and it was quite challenging. The sound of the Choir back then was very vibrant indeed and I remember finding the first performance of the piece incredibly exhilarating. I continued to work with Clare as I began teaching at Cambridge and this continued even after I moved to New York in 2004. This culminated in my first commercial CD, VOICES (2006), which was performed by the Choir of Clare College under the direction of Tim Brown and produced by another Clare alumnus, John Rutter.

    It's lovely to see my work still in rotation on the music lists at the College as the Choir is taken into new directions by Graham Ross, the current Director of Music and Tim's successor. I take great pleasure in noting that it was a young Graham Ross who performed as a bass on that early first recording with Clare. The College and its Choir remain for me one of the most musically rich environments in which I've had the honour of working."


    orn in London in 1978, Tarik O'Regan was educated at the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge. His work has garnered two Grammy® nominations (including Best Classical Album) and two British Composer Awards. 
    2012 sees the opening of a new ballet, set to his orchestral music, by the Dutch National Ballet and a commission from the Australian Chamber Orchestra, which will be premiered and toured late in the year.
    2011 marked the premiere Heart of Darkness, O'Regan's opera based on Joseph Conrad's novel of the same name, at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and the release of Acallam na Senórach¸ his third album on the Harmonia Mundi label.
    He has held the Fulbright Chester Schirmer Fellowship at Columbia University and a Radcliffe Institute Fellowship at Harvard. Other appointments in recent years include positions at Trinity and Corpus Christi Colleges in Cambridge, the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton and Yale University. 
    Tarik O'Regan's music is published by Novello & Company.
  • Dominic Wheeler

    conductor, former Organ Scholar (1988-91)

    Born in Dorset, Dominic Wheeler studied at Clare College, Cambridge, the RCM and the Liszt-Akademie in Budapest. He was also Audi Conducting Scholar and, later, guest conductor at Dartington International Summer School.

    He has conducted: for ENO, The Barber of Seville, Siegfried, Rhinegold, War and Peace, The Capture of Troy and The Turk in Italy; for Opera North, L’Elisir d’Amore, Don Giovanni; for Scottish Opera, Don Giovanni and Alceste (also at the Opéra de Nice); for Opera New Zealand, Manon; Tosca, Werther, La Bohème; for Holland Park, Madam Butterfly; for ETO, The Pearl Fishers, The Marriage of Figaro, Fidelio and Macbeth.

  • Juliet Fraser

    soprano, former member of Choir

    "Joining the Choir gave me a new musical focus of the highest order"

    "I joined Clare Choir in my fourth year at Cambridge. I was actually at Selwyn but by that year was living out of College and reinventing myself as a singer. Joining the Choir gave me a new musical focus of the highest order, extraordinary performance opportunities (including several international tours under the batons of conductors such René Jacobs, Ivor Bolton and Nicholas Kraemer), and a barrel-load of misguided antics! There's no doubt that my career as a singer grew out of that year at Clare."

    Juliet's repertoire is dominated by the music from either end of the canon: she is as highly regarded for her interpretation of Renaissance and Baroque music as for the most challenging contemporary works. She is principal soprano and managing director of EXAUDI, the acclaimed contemporary music vocal ensemble which she founded in 2002 with composer/director James Weeks. As a consort singer, Juliet is a member of the soloists of Collegium Vocale Gent, directed by Philippe Herreweghe, and has worked regularly with the BBC Singers, Polyphony, Tenebrae, The King's Consort, and Monteverdi Choir. In contemporary repertoire, Juliet has appeared as a soloist with the CBSO, the London Sinfonietta, Plus Minus Ensemble, Endymion, Ensemble Modern and Ensemble Intercontemporain. Solo recordings include Larry Goves’ Springtime released in 2009 on the London Sinfonietta’s own label, and songs by Peter Wiegold released in 2010 on NMC.

  • Daniel Pailthorpe

    flautist, former member of Choir (1984-87)

    "Each time I have been struck by the beautiful and unique 'Clare Choir sound'"

    “I came up to Clare as an instrumentalist, without necessarily intending to join the Choir. However, when a bass vacancy came up, I was persuaded by Tim Brown to join, not I suspect for the beauty of my voice, but because I could supply obscenely low notes on demand! I am so glad I did, for Clare Choir has enriched my life immeasurably. Tim Brown's uncompromising methods produced amazing musical results; the sense of blending and teamwork were a wonderful preparation for my life as an orchestral musician. As well as taking part in some unforgettable services, tours and performances with Tim, I also felt inspired working with John Rutter and Roger Norrington. More recently, I have been invited on a number of occasions to accompany the choir as a flute soloist; each time I have been struck by the beautiful and unique 'Clare Choir sound'."

    The English flutist and arranger, Daniel Pailthorpe, was awarded as a student the Leonard Bernstein Fellowship at the Tanglewood Music Center, USA and made his London solo debut in the Park Lane Group Young Artists' Series.

    At the age of 24, Daniel Pailthorpe was appointed Principal Flute of the English National Opera Orchestra, a position he held for ten years. He is currently Co-Principal Flute with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and enjoys a busy freelance career appearing frequently as guest principal with many orchestras, notably the London Symphony Orchestra and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. He is a founder member of the London Conchord Ensemble with which he has recorded solo and chamber works by Francis Poulenc, Bach and George Crumb on the ASV and Black Box labels.

    Daniel Pailthorpe is a Professor at the Royal College of Music and is a keen advocate of the modern wooden flute.

  • Jane Salmon

    cellist, former Music student (1977-80)

    "Clare was a wonderful environment to be in"


    “Clare was a wonderful environment to be in as a student. There were loads of musical opportunities for performing with an incredible diversity of repertoire, as well as a chance to organise concerts and devise series, all of which have helped me enormously in my professional life as a chamber musician.

    When I applied there was pressure for some quarters to go to Music College but I have never regretted my choice, and am still playing concerts with some of the people I met at that time!”

    Jane Salmon has established a reputation as one of the busiest and most successful cellists of her generation. Her work as a chamber musician and as a recital soloist has taken her to more than 40 countries across the world and has involved her in more than 30 CD recordings, broadcasts for radio and television, festivals and performances in many leading venues. As a recitalist she has premiered solo works on BBC Radio 3 and in concerts on London's South Bank and Wigmore Hall. Recital tours have included two visits to India where solo performances to large audiences were juxtaposed with educational work in Madras, Bangalore and Calcutta. More unusually, Jane was the on-stage cellist in the Royal National Theatre's award-winning production of the Arthur Miller play Broken Glass. A graduate of Cambridge University, Jane studied the cello with Amaryllis Fleming, Pierre Fournier and Johannes Goritzki. She won numerous prizes and awards and was selected for promotion by Young Concert Artists Trust which launched her solo career. Although the Schubert Ensemble has been her principal commitment for nearly twenty years, Jane has been a member of the Endymion Ensemble and Lontano as well as working with the London Sinfonietta, the Academy of Saint Martin-in-the-Fields and the English Chamber Orchestra.

  • Simon Blendis

    violinist, former Music student (1989-92)

    "The best possible foundation for a career in music"

    "I look back at my time at Clare with both fondness and gratitude - as a student it was great to be a part of such a warm and friendly community, and it was inspiring to be surrounded by so many extraordinary musicians. The sheer depth and variety of musical life at Clare provided the best possible foundation for a career in music, and was an experience I still draw on today."

    Simon Blendis enjoys an international career as a chamber musician, soloist and orchestral leader. He has been the leader of the Schubert Ensemble, Britain’s leading piano and strings ensemble, since 1995, with whom he has performed in over thirty different countries, recorded over twenty CDs of music ranging from Brahms to Judith Weir, made frequent broadcasts for BBC Radio 3 and appeared regularly at Europe’s major venues such as the Wigmore Hall in London and the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. In 1999 the group won the prestigious Royal Philharmonic Society Award for best chamber group, for which it was shortlisted again in 2010.

    Alongside his work in the Ensemble, Simon is in great demand as an orchestral leader. He has appeared as guest leader with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, the English Chamber Orchestra, the London Mozart Players, the City of London Sinfonia, and the London Sinfonietta, as well as the Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa in Japan and the Basque National Orchestra in Spain.

    A keen exponent of new music, Simon has given over 50 first performances, and had new pieces written for him by, amongst others, Tansy Davies, Stuart Macrae, John Woolrich and jazz legend Dave Brubeck. As a soloist he has performed and recorded with the RPO, ECO, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and the BCMG in the UK and the OEK in Japan, with whom he has recorded Vivaldi’s Four Seasons for the Warner Japan label.

  • Danny Driver

    pianist, former Physiology student (1995-98)

    "An ideal crucible in which I could grow naturally as a musician"

    "I found Clare College to be an ideal place to test the waters of a life in music, even while reading Natural Sciences. There were so many opportunities to perform music of different kinds; so many opportunities to listen to and experience music; so many talented and intelligent friends and colleagues with whom to share and discuss music, the arts and, equally importantly, the richness and variety of life outside music. Clare was, in a nutshell, an ideal crucible in which I could grow naturally as a musician and human being, safely and unhurriedly, enjoying a uniquely stimulating social environment and focusing on my musical interests rather than the rigours of the music profession."

    Danny Driver performs a particularly broad range of solo and chamber repertoire from the baroque to the contemporary, and has attracted attention around the world with acclaimed performances and a series of imaginative recordings on the Hyperion label. His playing has recently been described as 'Masterly, stylish, and full of dazzling pianism' (Daily Telegraph), 'superb' and 'riveting' (New York Times), and as being 'marked by an exquisitely deft precision' (International Piano).

    Highlights of Danny Driver’s 2010-11 season have included his BBC Proms debut with the BBC Concert Orchestra and conductor Andrew Litton at the Royal Albert Hall, Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with the Orchestra of Opera North and conductor Bramwell Tovey, and Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3 at Hong Kong’s City Hall. He has also given concerts at the Wigmore Hall, the Houston International Piano Festival (USA), the English Music Festival (UK), the Husum Festival of Piano Rarities (Germany), the Australian Chamber Music Festival (Townsville, Australia), and at Kings Place (London) in a critically acclaimed two-part Ligeti Piano Music project with projections by the video artist Netia Jones.

    As a Hyperion recording artist, Danny Driver has garnered consistent international acclaim for his recordings, including a 2010 Gramophone Award Nomination for his double-disc of York Bowen’s six Piano Sonatas. His subsequent record of C. P. E. Keyboard Sonatas was selected by National Public Radio (USA) as one of the Top Ten Classical CDs of 2010, as well as being singled out by Gramophone Magazine (Editor’s Choice), International Piano Magazine, and the Daily Telegraph (five stars). 2011 saw the release of Balakirev Piano Works (‘Instrumental Choice’ in BBC Music Magazine) and the piano music of Benjamin Dale (Editor’s Choice, Classic FM Magazine).

    He has recorded the piano concertos of Scottish composer Erik Chisholm (1904-65) with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and conductor Rory Macdonald, a second volume of C. P. E. Bach keyboard works, Schumann’s Novelettes, and the complete piano and violin works of York Bowen with violinist Chloë Hanslip.

    Danny Driver appears regularly at the Wigmore Hall and has given several performances at the South Bank Centre, Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall and Symphony Hall in Birmingham. He has performed as soloist and chamber musician at festivals including Bard (New York), Felicja Blumental (Israel), Windsor, Chichester, and Myra Hess Day at London’s National Gallery, and has worked with orchestras including the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Concert Orchestra, the Tel-Aviv Soloists, the American Symphony Orchestra, and the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra.

  • Jonathan Brown

    baritone, former Organ Scholar (1993-96)

    "I feel privileged to have been a part of the Choir’s history"

    "I arrived at Clare in 1993 fresh off an airplane from Canada, only to turn back to the US for a four-week Choir tour.  The trip was a baptism of fire for me and also a brilliant way to start my tenure as Organ Scholar.  I was able to forge relationships on that trip which endure to the present time. My three years flew by in a haze of recordings, tours, concerts and broadcasts.  The standard of music making was consistently high.  Indeed, many of my contemporaries have gone into the musical profession - as singers, organists and conductors.  

    The social element of any Choir cannot be underestimated and while we all tried to work to produce the best possible musical result, the group of singers and organists in my time were a closely knit group who spent time together not only within the confines of Choir, but outside of it as well.  We made sure that we had a good time while we worked at something we were proud of.  The Choir has gone from strength to strength since my time - I feel privileged to have been a part of its history."   

    Jonathan Brown was born and raised in Toronto.  He has studied at the Royal Conservatory of Music, the University of Western Ontario and the Clare College, Cambridge, England as well as the Britten-Pears School in Aldeburgh with Sir Thomas Allen and Anthony Rolfe Johnson.  He now lives in London where he studies with Nicholas Powell.  

    Operatic roles include Marcello (La Bohème, Royal Albert Hall), Belcore (L'Elisir d'Amore), Count Almaviva, Yamadori (Madam Butterfly), Giove (La Calisto), Orestes (Giasone), Garibaldo (Rodelinda), Ariodate (Xerxes), Silvio (I Pagliacci), Malatesta (Don Pasquale), Masetto (Don Giovanni), Shepherd (Venus and Adonis), Aeneas (Dido and Aeneas). He performed the role of Trojan (Idomeneo) for Sir Simon Rattle with the Berlin Philharmonic in the Salzburg Easter Festival.  He has performed Orfeo (Pastore) at Lille Opera, Le Chatêlet, Paris and Opera du Rhin with Emmanuelle Haim.   

    He made his debut with Sir John Eliot Gardiner in Holland (Naarden) in 2000 as the baritone soloist in a concert of Bach cantatas and thereafter was a regular soloist with performances in Zurich, Brussels and Paris.  Recent concert work has included a tour of St Matthew Passion (arias) across Europe (Spain, Andorra, Germany and the Queen Elizabeth Hall in the South Bank) and Bach's Magnificat both conducted by Sir Roger Norrington, Saul in King's College, Cambridge, Nelson Mass in Canterbury Cathedral, Brahms Requiem, Rossini Petite Messe Solennelle and Handel Apollo e Daphne.

    He has worked regularly with Philippe Herreweghe, touring South America (Christus in Bach's St John Passion) and has also recorded the baritone solos in Purcell's Ode to St Cecilia for Harmonia Mundi. He featured as a soloist on the Harmonia Mundi recordings of Purcell's Dido and Aeneas and Blow's Venus and Adonis under the direction of René Jacobs.  He has recorded the baritone solos in the Fauré Requiem with the London Festival Orchestra for BMG and the role of the Forester in Sullivan's The Golden Legend for Hyperion.

  • John Reid

    pianist, former Organ Scholar (1998-2002)

    "A thriving, welcoming and intimate College environment"

    “Ten years after graduating, I'm aware more than ever that I should thank my eighteen-year-old self for having had sufficient foresight to apply to Clare. At the time, though, I wasn't remotely astute. I made the significant decision to put myself through the rigours of Organ Scholarship trials and interviews simply on account of intuition: as a visitor, I had sensed that I could begin to define and clarify my (rather nebulous) hopes for a life in music best within this particularly thriving, welcoming and intimate College environment. Those values which I hold especially dear as a professional musician today - the need to think; to listen; and to strive for the apparently impossible - I learned at Clare; and I suspect that the many College contemporaries with whom I'm still lucky enough to work are sustained by similar ideals.”

    John Reid's career to date has shown him to be a pianist of notable versatility and range, with wide experience as an outstanding chamber musician, song accompanist, soloist and exponent of new music.

    John Reid read music and musicology at Clare College, Cambridge, before taking up a scholarship to study with Michael Dussek at the Royal Academy of Music. In recital, he has worked with artists including singers Joan Rodgers, Dame Felicity Lott, Lucy Crowe, Nicholas Mulroy instrumentalists Thomas Gould, Alison Balsom, Jennifer Pike, Timothy Orpen, Sarah Williamson, Oliver Coates and William Bennett; as well as with groups including the the Aurora Wind Ensemble and members of the Northern Sinfonia and the Britten Sinfonia. He has given recitals at Wigmore Hall and the other major London venues.

    He is a principal player of the Aurora Orchestra with whom he has appeared at the Aldeburgh Festival, at Kings Place, the BBC Proms and the Proms Plus series (as part of the Inspire competition for young composers).

    He has recorded numerous times for Radio 3, most recently as part of the Genius of Mozart series. Nico Muhly (with Aurora for Decca). He was awarded the Queen's Commendation for Excellence on graduating, and is now an Associate of the RAM.

  • Peter Gritton

    composer, former Choral Scholar (1982-85)

    "Musically and socially, these were halcyon days"

    "I owe much of my present existence as a conductor of choirs in my 'dayjob' (St Paul’s School), and 'outside' as a choral composer and director, to Tim Brown. My two years in the fabulous choir at Clare rekindled what I had absorbed as a Salisbury chorister six years earlier. Tim always instinctively responded to the essence of the music we were singing, which taught me to believe in my own instinct for music. The opportunities we experienced were varied – recordings, tours and the staple diet of Evensongs. Musically and socially, these were halcyon days: at the time, Clare Choir was the friendliest group of people I had yet met in life! When I look back at my time in Cambridge, I don’t think much about the Tripos – central in my mind is the Choir. Thank you, Clare Choir!"

    Peter is Director of Music at St Paul’s School, London. He is also rapidly becoming known as a leading figure in choral publications: Encores for Choirs 2 (OUP) won Best Classical Publication at the Music Industries Awards in 2005. In the educational field his contributions are Folksongs from around the World (Faber). Also from Faber is his piano series Simply Classics – the aim being to introduce young pianists to the milestones of Western music through arrangements of great symphonic and choral masterpieces. However, he is probably best known for Follow that Star, Christmas song arrangements for choir published by Chester Music. He is a choral workshop leader both in Britain and on the continent. His first musical, Mary Seacole, has been showcased at the Greenwich Theatre, while he hopes that his second, Jones, will allow him to retire to his own island! He conducted the BBC Concert Orchestra, BBC Singers and 1000 London state-school pupils in a performance of his own football cantata Pitch Perfect at the Wembley Conference Centre in 2005. Peter is occasionally spotted performing as countertenor with vocal ensembles I Fagiolini, Tenebrae and with barbershop group Flash Harry and the City Slickers. In his time, he has also accompanied singers such as Ian Partridge and Henry Herford.