Daniel Hyde will succeed Stephen Cleobury in one of the world’s highest profile choral posts, it has been announced today. The conductor and organist will take up the post of Director of Music of King's College, Cambridge in October 2019.
Cleobury’s announcement that he was retiring from the position – which he had held since 1982 – sparked speculation about who would step into the prominent and demanding role. Aside from singing daily services in the extraordinary chapel, the choir have been prolific recording artists over many year, most recently releasing albums on its own label, launched in 2012. Meanwhile, the annual Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols reaches audiences of millions both on radio and television.
It will actually be a return to King’s for Hyde, who was an Organ Scholar at the college as an undergraduate. Subsequent posts have included directing the choirs of Jesus College, Cambridge and Magdalen College, Oxford, though Hyde currently serves as Organist and Director of Music at St Thomas Church, Fifth Avenue, New York, a post to which he was appointed in 2016.
‘As a former Organ Scholar I am honoured and thrilled to be appointed to succeed Stephen Cleobury as Director of Music at King’s’ said Hyde. ‘I am humbled to be given the opportunity to act as steward and guardian of the unique and world-class heritage that King’s College Choir has achieved over centuries.
‘In nurturing and developing the minds and talents of many future generations of choristers and students at King’s, I hope I will succeed in sustaining the music of the daily services and bringing the College’s music-making to an ever-increasing audience. It’s a daunting task, and it is one that I shall relish.’
The Dean of Chapel, Revd Dr Stephen Cherry, said: ‘The quality of the applications we received for this post speaks volumes for the health of church music today and bodes well for the future. The panel saw in Daniel Hyde someone not only of outstanding musical talent but of personal maturity and wide-ranging intellect.
‘The expectations will be great but I am confident that we have in Daniel someone who will sustain and develop our choral liturgy in ways that will delight and inspire.’