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.
Layton guest-conducts widely and has worked extensively with the Hallé Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, BBC Singers, 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.
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 and performances with Opera North of a critically acclaimed production of Handel Joshua. Highlights this season include performances of Handel Messiah with the Ulster Orchestra and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment; Haydn Creation with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales; as well as a Baroque programme, to include Vivaldi’s Gloria, with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra. Layton also makes his debut with the SWR Vocalensemble, Stuttgart, conducting a programme of contemporary repertoire, and with the NDR Choir, Hamburg, conducting a programme which explores the theme of Reformation and Revolution. Highlights with Polyphony include a return to the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, with the Britten Sinfonia, for a further performance in their ZaterdagMatinee series; a return to De Oosterpoort, Groningen, for an a cappella programme; as well as a performance at the Temple Winter Festival to be broadcast on BBC Radio 3. Projects with the City of London Sinfonia include an appearance at the Spitalfields Festival, as well as a Walton programme to be performed at Cadogan Hall and an A Midsummer Night’s Dream themed programme at Southwark Cathedral.
A champion of new music, Stephen Layton has premiered new repertoire by many composers, including Gabriel Jackson 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. He has recorded on many different labels including Hyperion and OUR Recordings and he has been nominated for, and won, many awards in the UK, US and Germany. These include Grammy Awards, the Echo Klassik award in Germany and Gramophone Awards.