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Sir Stephen Cleobury passes away aged 70

Posted on 12 December 2019

The former Director of Music at King's College, Cambridge, was awarded an honorary degree by the University of York last year. He sadly lost his battle with cancer in November.


At King’s, Stephen sought to enhance the reputation of the world-famous Choir, broadening its repertoire, commissioning new music and developing its activities in broadcasting, recording and touring. He nurtured generations of young musicians throughout the University of Cambridge during his many years as Conductor of the Cambridge Music Society.

Beyond Cambridge he was in demand as a conductor; from 1995 to 2007 he was Chief Conductor of the BBC Singers, before gaining the status of Conductor Laureate.

A past President of the Royal College of Organists and of the Incorporated Association of Organists, Stephen also spent time as President of the Friends of Cathedral Music and of the Herbert Howells Society. He was appointed CBE in 2009.

Stephen had moved to York upon retirement earlier this year.

A full obituary, published by The Guardian, chronicles his services to music throughout his lifetime.