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Composer and Conductor John Rutter Receives British Knighthood

Rutter says music has given him "a lifetime of joy and fulfillment"


The renowned British composer and conductor John Rutter has been honored with a knighthood in the King's Birthday Honors.

Born in London in 1945, Rutter studied at Clare College, Cambridge, and from 1975–79 was Director of Music there. In 1983 he founded the Cambridge Singers, with whom he has made many influential recordings — particularly of sacred music.

Since 1979 composing has been Rutter's primary focus, and his large-scale works — such as the Requiem, Magnificat, Mass of the Children, The Gift of Life, and Visions — are performed around the world.

He has also written music for a number of important state occasions, including the weddings of Prince William and Prince Harry. Six of the pieces performed at the recent coronation of King Charles were arrangements by Rutter.

He is editor of the Oxford Choral Classics series, but is perhaps best known for the four-volume set Carols for Choirs, which he co-edited alongside Sir David Willcocks.

Rutter was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2007 New Year Honours, for services to music.

"Music has given me a lifetime of joy and fulfillment, but I never dreamed that one day it would bring me the honor of a knighthood," Rutter said. "I’m deeply grateful."

"Beloved by choirs and audiences all over the world, John Rutter is one of the most popular and successful choral composers of the last half-century," said the program blurb.

"In particular, for many people, Rutter’s carols and carol arrangements are the sound of Christmas. The festive season would be unthinkable today without the joyful tunes of Shepherd’s Pipe Carol or Star Carol resounding in school halls, churches and concert halls."

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