Composer John Rutter did not come from a musical background, but discovered music through an old piano in the corner of his home. His interest flourished at Highgate School, where he was a contemporary of John Tavener, and he went on to read music at Cambridge.
Here his first composition was published, he conducted his first recording, and founded the Cambridge Singers, who continue to perform choral works, including his own, to great acclaim.
Suffering a prolonged spell of ME, Rutter ceased taking commissions for several years, but returned to receive an CBE for services to music in 2007 and was commissioned to compose a new anthem for the wedding of Prince William and Katherine, performed for the first time in Westminster Abbey in 2012.
His compositions are chiefly choral, and many have featured in Wherwell Singers’ concerts: this Christmas our offerings include ‘What Sweeter Music’. Asked who were his principal musical role models in a interview last year, Rutter replied:
“Bach was always been at the top of my tree because his music has such an absolutely perfect balance of head, heart and spirit.”
He would approve, then, of appearing on our Christmas Programme alongside Bach.
See Rutter in conversation in this clip