Stephen Layton is one of the most sought-after conductors of his generation. Often described as the finest exponent of choral music in the world today, his ground-breaking approach has had a profound influence on choral music over the last 30 years. Layton is regularly invited to work with the world’s leading choirs, orchestras and composers.
Layton founded Polyphony in 1986 whilst organ scholar of King’s College Cambridge. He is also Fellow and Director of Music at Trinity College Cambridge and Music Director of Holst Singers. His former posts include Chief Conductor of the Netherlands Chamber Choir, Chief Guest Conductor of the Danish National Vocal Ensemble, Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the City of London Sinfonia, and Director of Music at the Temple Church in London.
Layton guest conducts widely, including the Philadelphia, Minnesota, London Philharmonic, London Sinfonietta, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Ulster, Bournemouth, Royal Scottish National, Britten Sinfonia, Northern Sinfonia, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Academy of Ancient Music and with English, Scottish, Irish and Australian chamber orchestras. For English National Opera he conducted Bach’s St John Passion in a stage production with Deborah Warner.
A champion of new music, Layton has premiered Pärt, Ades and MacMillan. His bold realisation of Tavener’s epic seven-hour vigil The Veil of the Temple, a new departure in British music, was premiered in London at the Proms and in New York at the Lincoln Center Festival.
Stephen Layton’s discography on Hyperion ranges from Handel with original instruments to Bruckner and Poulenc, Pärt and Tavener, Łukaszewski and Whitacre. He has received the Gramophone Award in the UK, the Diapason d’Or in France, The Compact Award in Spain and five Grammy nominations in the USA.