Stephen Layton succeeded the late Richard Hickox as Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the City of London Sinfonia in September 2010. Founder and Director of Polyphony, Layton is also Music Director of Holst Singers and in 2006 was made a Fellow and Director of Music of Trinity College, Cambridge. His former posts include Chief Guest Conductor of the Danish National Vocal Ensemble, Chief Conductor of the Netherlands Kammerkoor and Director of Music at the Temple Church in London.
Layton guest-conducts widely and has worked extensively with the Hallé Orchestra, Philadelphia
Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, City of London Sinfonia, London Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Singers, Estonian Philharmonic Choir, Latvian Radio Choir, English Chamber Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and Queensland Symphony Orchestra. He also collaborates regularly with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Academy of Ancient Music and Britten Sinfonia, with whom he has recorded a wide range of repertoire including Bach, Handel, Bruckner, Poulenc and Stravinsky.
Recent highlights in Layton’s diary include a return to the Hallé Orchestra for a performance of their annual Messiah; a performance with the Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestra of Bach Christmas Oratorio; performances with Die Konzertisten and the City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong; a performance with the Auckland Philharmonia and Choir of Bach Mass in B Minor and performances with Opera North of a critically acclaimed production of Handel Joshua.
A champion of new music, Stephen Layton has premiered new repertoire by many composers, including Gabriel Jackson, Veljo Tormis and Morten Lauridsen and, more recently, by the young Latvian composer, Eriks Esenvalds. Layton’s bold realisation of Sir John Tavener’s epic seven-hour vigil The Veil of the Temple, a new departure in British choral music, met with outstanding acclaim both in London and New York.
Stephen Layton’s eclectic discography encompasses a vast range of repertoire, composers and genres. His Hyperion recording of Britten’s Sacred & Profane received both a Gramophone Award and the Diapason d’Or for best choral disc of the year in 2001, and his Hyperion recording of Tormis’s Songs with the Holst Singers received a Spanish CD Award in 2009. Recent releases by Stephen Layton include a much-anticipated Bach St John Passion recording with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and Polyphony, and Handel Chandos Anthems with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and the Choir of Trinity College Cambridge.