In conversation: Katie Derham with Gerald Finley, Sarah Latto and John Rutter
Cambridge has some of the finest choirs in the world. Join much-loved broadcaster, Katie Derham (Magdalene 1988), world-renowned bass-baritone, Gerald Finley CBE (King’s 1980), rising young choral conductor, Sarah Latto (Sidney Sussex 2007) and “the most gifted composer of his generation”, John Rutter CBE (Clare 1964), for what promises to be a magical conversation about the English choral tradition, ancient and modern styles and the importance of music to each and every one of us.
Katie Derham is a presenter on BBC Radio 3 and one of the station’s best-known voices, having presented Afternoons on 3 and more recently taking on the mantle of drivetime programme In Tune, fronting the show on rotation with Sean Rafferty. Other Radio 3 credits include Sound of Dance on Saturday afternoons where she explores the relationship between music and dance in varying genres.
She has also been the face of the BBC Proms since 2010 and hosts the weekly magazine show Proms Extra every Saturday on BBC2 during the season. Katie also presented for BBC Four’s series of Discovering concert programmes in 2019.
Katie spent the first 15 years of her broadcasting career in news and current affairs, first at the BBC then as ITV’s youngest ever newsreader, where her role as anchor meant she covered everything from elections to royal weddings and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
She also fronts television documentaries, most recently presenting The Girl from Ipanema: Brazil, Bossa Nova and the Beach for the BBC, which saw her travelling to Rio de Janeiro, where her father was born, to explore the story behind Brazil’s most famous and enduring song. She was the host of All Together Now: The Great Orchestra Challenge for BBC4 and Fine Tuned, two specials for Sky Arts in which she discussed music with Alexander Armstrong alongside exclusive performances from his latest albums.
In 2015 Katie’s career took a decidedly glittery direction when she took part in Strictly Come Dancing and reached the final, in 2017 she was crowned Strictly Christmas champion.
Gerald Finley CBE
Internationally acclaimed, Grammy and Juno-award-winning Canadian bass baritone Gerald Finley began singing as a choirboy in Ottawa before attending the Royal College of Music, and King’s College Cambridge as a choral scholar.
His Don Giovanni has been seen in Salzburg, Munich, Vienna, Prague, Rome, New York, Paris, Tel Aviv, Glyndebourne and London. He has created the lead roles in major premières: Howard K Stern (Anna Nicole, Covent Garden), and J Robert Oppenheimer (Doctor Atomic, Metropolitan Opera New York, and nominated for a 2018 Grammy Award), among others. His expanding dramatic repertoire includes successes as Hans Sachs (Die Meistersinger), Amfortas (Parsifal) Iago (Otello), Scarpia (Tosca) in London and Berlin, and as Guillaume Tell and Bluebeard at the Met.
Gerald Finley has presented solo song recitals across Europe and North America. Award-winning solo recital releases include Schumann’s Dichterliebe, Schubert's Winterreise, and song collections by Samuel Barber, Charles Ives, Ravel, Duparc, Liszt, and Britten’s Songs and Proverbs, all with Julius Drake. His recording of Schubert's Schwanengesang and Brahms Serious Songs is due for release in 2019.
Recently appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada, and a Commander of the Order of the British Empire, he is the first living male opera singer to appear on a Canadian postage stamp.
Sarah Latto is conductor and artistic director of young professional ensemble Echo, which made its St John Smiths Square debut in July 2017. Selected as Chiltern Arts Festival Young Artists in 2018, they were an ensemble-in-residence at this year’s Ryedale Festival. A three-year collaboration with the London Philharmonic Orchestra has led to concerts working with Sir James MacMillan and Magnus Lindberg at the Queen Elizabeth Hall. The group has a reputation for innovative presentation, immersive events and imaginative programming.
Sarah studied music at Cambridge, where she held a choral scholarship with Sidney Sussex College. She has worked with the Brighton Early Music Festival and held a Fellowship at Yale. She was appointed as Conducting Scholar with prestigious young artists’ scheme, Genesis Sixteen (2015–16), receiving mentoring and tuition from Harry Christophers and Eamonn Dougan and conducting the group in concert and radio broadcasts.
As a freelance conductor, Sarah has worked with the opera company ERRATICA, Aldeburgh Young Musicians at Snape Maltings and the National Youth Choir of Great Britain. Most recently, she was appointed as the inaugural Associate Conductor with Ex Cathedra in Birmingham, working on a wide range of projects, from concerts of music by Monteverdi, Bach and Purcell through to Hindemith, Vaughan Williams and new commissions. She loves orchestration and runs a composer collective called 'The Coveryard', which was commissioned by Spitalfields Festival in 2018 and has performed across London at venues including the Royal Academy of Art and the Union Chapel.
John Rutter CBE
John Rutter was born in London and studied music at Clare College, Cambridge. He first came to notice as a composer during his student years; much of his early work consisted of church music and other choral pieces including Christmas carols.
From 1975–79 he was Director of Music at his alma mater, Clare College, and directed the college chapel choir in various recordings and broadcasts. Since 1979 he has divided his time between composition and conducting.
Today his compositions, including such concert-length works as Requiem, Magnificat, Mass of the Children, The Gift of Life, and Visions are performed around the world. His music has featured in a number of British royal occasions, including the two most recent royal weddings. He edits the Oxford Choral Classics series, and, with Sir David Willcocks, co-edited four volumes of Carols for Choirs.
In 1983 he formed his own choir the Cambridge Singers, with whom he has made numerous recordings, and he appears regularly in several countries as guest conductor and choral ambassador. He holds a Lambeth Doctorate in Music, and in 2007 was awarded a CBE for services to music.
Booking closes at 12pm BST on Friday 6 September.