Welcome to Hyperion Records, an independent British classical label devoted to presenting high-quality recordings of music of all styles and from all periods from the twelfth century to the twenty-first.
Hyperion offers both CDs, and downloads in a number of formats. The site is also available in several languages.
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The boy choristers of King’s are selected at an annual audition, advertised nationally, when they are aged six or seven. A child enters the Choir as a probationer, usually at the age of eight, and receives a generous scholarship from the College to help to pay for his education and for instrumental and singing lessons at King’s College School, which was founded in the 1878 for the choristers, but which now has over 400 boys and girls, aged 4 to 13. After one or two years, he progresses to a full choristership and remains in the Choir until he leaves at the age of 13 to go to secondary school at which he will usually have received a music scholarship. In a gratifying number of instances, a former chorister seeks to return to the Choir five years later as a choral scholar, though this depends on his being able to secure an academic place at the College. The majority of the choral scholars and organ scholars, however, will not have been choristers at King’s and this infusion of musical talent from elsewhere is much welcomed. The young men who sing in King’s College Choir come from a variety of backgrounds and nationalities (as do the boys) and, between them, study many different subjects in Cambridge.
Most of the additional activities take place out of term, to avoid conflict with academic work. It is perfectly possible for choral and organ scholars to achieve high success in University examinations and to engage in other activities, e.g., opera and sport. King’s choral and organ scholars leave Cambridge to go into any number of different careers (including in the last decade everything from teaching, professional photography, journalism, the law, the Foreign Office and Civil Service; there are currently ex-King’s choral scholars working in 10 Downing Street and Buckingham Palace!). Many, of course, continue with music, and the professional music scene abounds with King’s alumni. These include Sir Andrew Davis, Richard Farnes and Edward Gardner in the conducting world; the late Robert Tear, Gerald Finley, Michael Chance, Mark Padmore, James Gilchrist and Andrew Kennedy in opera and lieder; and Simon Preston, Thomas Trotter, David Briggs and David Goode in the world of organ-playing. Some have made a career as instrumentalists: Joseph Crouch is one of the leading continuo cellists in the early music scene, and some, such as Francis Grier and Bob Chilcott, as composers. Some join leading professional choral ensembles, such as the BBC Singers, The King’s Singers, The Swingle Singers, and the Monteverdi Choir. Those wishing to enter the world of opera often pursue their studies further at music college, and there is a steady stream of King’s choral scholars taking up scholarships at The Royal College, the Royal Academy of Music and the Guildhall. Former organ scholars can currently be found in the organ lofts and conducting at Westminster Abbey; Westminster Cathedral; St George’s Chapel, Windsor; in Durham, Gloucester, and Norwich Cathedrals; St Albans Abbey; St Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney; New College, Oxford; Magdalen College, Oxford; and Trinity College in Cambridge, and the choirs of all the London foundations are well stocked with former members of King’s College Choir.