John Rutter was born in London in 1945. After music studies at Clare College Cambridge, he taught at the University of Southampton before returning to Cambridge as director of music at Clare College in 1975. Since 1979 he has devoted his time to composition and professional conducting work with The Cambridge Singers. Rutter is a master of adapting his compositional style and technique to the musical demands of the group for which he is writing. He has become one of the most successful composers in recent years, particularly in the United Kingdom and the United States of America. It has been said that his idiom grows out of the English choral tradition, as exemplified by Holst, Vaughan Williams, Howells, Britten and Tippett, spiced with the harmonic and melodic language of Fauré and Duruflé. But such an analysis does disservice to the sheer adaptability of his style, his skill as a tunesmith and his seemingly innate ability to perceive both the nature of the occasion for which a piece is to be written and the musical skills of the performers for whom he is writing. This combination makes Rutter a highly successful modern-day composer of Gebrauchsmusik
– music for events, or ‘music for use’.
The anthem A crown of glory attests to all that has been said above; it is at once vigorous and majestic, contrasting well with his Hymn to the Creator of Light recorded on Advent at St Paul’s. A crown of glory was commissioned by the Worshipful Company of Feltmakers of London for the 62nd Annual United Service of the Guilds of the City of London held at St Paul’s Cathedral on 26 March 2004.
from notes by William McVicker © 2005