City of London Sinfonia appoints conductors

Stephen Layton has been appointed as Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the City of London Sinfonia, and Michael Collins as a Principal Conductor. They will take up their new positions in September 2010.

Layton adds this to his existing positions at Polyphony; Trinity College Choir, Cambridge; the Holst Singers and the Danish National Vocal Ensemble. He intends to bring the groups together 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."

A Fellow and Director of Music at Trinity College, Cambridge, Layton is looking forward to giving Cambridge students the opportunity to work with the City of London Sinfonia: "For their talent and commitment, these students deserve a range of professional collaborations in their music making."

Michael Collins has worked with the CLS many times as a solo clarinettist, and it was with the orchestra that he gave his first professional engagement after he won the woodwind prize in the BBC Young Musician of the Year final in 1978. As Principal Conductor he will sometimes direct the CLS from the clarinet.

Layton will build on the rich legacy left by the late Richard Hickox, who founded the City of London Sinfonia. Both musicians were Cambridge organ scholars. While Hickox focussed on British music, Layton plans to explore new repertoire from the Baltic States and Central Europe with the CLS, as well as initiating multimedia projects.

Layton also stresses the importance of reclaiming seventeenth- and eighteenth-century works which have been lost to period instrument ensembles. “It’s a journey back in musical time that I’d like to see the City of London Sinfonia take in company with artists who really have something to say about period style and about the music.” Both Layton and Collins have plans to create collaborative partnerships with outstanding soloists.