Simon Carrington, Yale University professor emeritus, has enjoyed a long and distinguished career in music, performing as singer, double bass player, and conductor, first in the UK where he was born, and then in the United States. From 2003 to 2009 he was professor of choral conducting at Yale University and director of the Yale Schola Cantorum, a twenty-four-voice chamber choir, which he brought to national and now international prominence. During his Yale tenure he led the introduction of a new graduate voice degree for singers specializing in oratorio, early music, and chamber ensemble, and, with his faculty colleagues, guided two Yale graduate students to their first prize wins in consecutive conducting competitions at American Choral Directors Association National Conventions. From 2001 until his Yale appointment, he was director of choral activities at the New England Conservatory in Boston, where he was selected by the students for the Krasner Teaching Excellence Award and from where he received an Honorary Doctorate in 2014.
Prior to coming to the United States, Mr. Carrington was a creative force for twenty-five years with the internationally acclaimed British vocal ensemble The King’s Singers, which he co-founded at Cambridge University. The King’s Singers gave three thousand performances at many of the world’s most prestigious festivals and concert halls, made more than seventy recordings, and appeared on countless television and radio programs, including nine appearances on the Tonight Show with the late Johnny Carson!
In the early days of The King’s Singers he also maintained a lively career as a double bass player, first as sub-principal of the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra and then as a freelance player in London. He specialized in continuo playing, particularly for his Cambridge contemporary John Eliot Gardiner, with whom he made a number of recordings, but he also played with all the major symphony and chamber orchestras under such diverse maestri as Claudio Abbado, Daniel Barenboim, Benjamin Britten, Pierre Boulez, Sir Colin Davis, Carlo Maria Guilini, Otto Klemperer, Ricardo Muti, Georg Solti, and George Szell.
Mr. Carrington now keeps up an active schedule as a freelance conductor and choral clinician, leading workshops and master classes around the world. He has taught young conductors at the Royal Academy of Music in London, the Liszt Conservatorium in Budapest, the University of the Andes in Bogota, the World Symposium on Choral Music in Argentina, and the Schools of Music at Eastman, Temple, and Indiana, among many others in the United States. He leads annual conducting courses at the Chamber Choir Festival in Sarteano (Italy), and the Yale Summer Festival in Norfolk, Connecticut, and has contributed a chapter on rehearsal technique to the Cambridge Companion to Choral Music.