The City of London Sinfonia is to replace the late Richard Hickox with two principal conductors. Stephen Layton, director of music at Trinity College, Cambridge, will take over as artistic director and principal conductor, while clarinettist Michael Collins is also appointed principal conductor. Both have signed three-year contracts beginning in September 2010.
Layton’s background, which is strikingly similar to Hickox’s, makes him an ideal choice for director. Both were organ scholars at King’s College, Cambridge, and like Hickox, Layton has been closely involved in the world of choral music throughout his career as director of chamber choir Polyphony and the Holst Singers.
“The orchestra was a terrific vehicle for Richard’s choral discoveries, and I aim to develop that tradition,” he said. ”It makes sense to bring them together with Trinity College, Cambridge, Polyphony and the Holst Singers as and when appropriate. It’s the most extraordinary opportunity for us to explore new projects together and for me to develop and shape the orchestra’s repertoire.”
Collins, best known as an exceptional clarinet soloist, has developed his reputation as a conductor throughout the past decade. “I’m genuinely thrilled and excited by my appointment with the City of London Sinfonia,” he said. “I’ve worked with the orchestra as soloist many, many times. I look forward to being able to complement Stephen’s plans for the orchestra and develop my thoughts for repertoire and programming.”
The City of London Sinfonia was founded by Richard Hickox in 1971, and today performs more than 100 concerts each year.