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Trinity appoints Steven Grahl Director of Music

Professor Steven Grahl has been appointed Director of Music at Trinity College Cambridge, effective from January 2024.

Currently he is Organist (Director of Music) at Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford and an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Music at Oxford University. An accomplished conductor and keyboard player, Professor Grahl is Conductor of Oxford University’s Schola Cantorum, and Musical Director of Benson Choral Society.

Professor Grahl takes over from Stephen Layton MBE, who served as Director of Music at Trinity for 17 years.

Trinity’s Master Dame Sally Davies welcomed the appointment.

I am thrilled that Steven is coming to Trinity to work with our renowned choir and bring pleasure to all those who participate in the musical life of the College, whether that is regular Evensong in our great Chapel or popular events in the calendar such as Singing on the River and the Advent Carol Service.

He is fortunate to build on the remarkable endeavours of our outgoing Director of Music, Stephen Layton, under whose inspirational leadership the choir excelled.

I look forward to hearing incredible musical experiences created by Steven with the Choir of Trinity College Cambridge and the next steps in what I know will be a wonderful journey for our choir members.

Professor Steven Grahl. Photo: Ian Wallman

Professor Grahl said:

I am honoured to take up the position of Director of Music at Trinity and will strive to sustain and develop the musical life of the College, in succession to my illustrious predecessors.

Whilst this is a most exciting opportunity, I am sorry to leave Christ Church and excellent colleagues in the Cathedral, College, and Faculty of Music. I am looking forward to beginning my work with the Choir of Trinity College Cambridge  in the new year.

During his time at Christ Church, Professor Grahl has supported the addition of a girls’ choir, Frideswide Voices, to the College’s music programme, along with regular Cathedral service webcasts.

There have been numerous first performances of new music, including works by Cheryl Frances-Hoad, Piers Connor Kennedy, and David Maw, and the Christ Church College Choir has made several CD recordings, due for release in 2023/4.

While Director of Music at Peterborough Cathedral Professor Grahl was responsible for training the Cathedral Choir and for the re-pitching of the Cathedral’s Hill organ. Under his direction the 2017 recording of Cheryl Frances-Hoad’s EvenYouSong was released to critical acclaim.

Prior to joining Christ Church, Professor Grahl was Assistant Organist at New College, Oxford, while also Organist and Director of Music at St Marylebone Parish Church, London. He has been Musical Director of The Guildford Chamber Choir, Peterborough Choral Society and The Stamford Chamber Orchestra.

A prize-winning graduate of Magdalen College, Oxford and the Royal Academy of Music, he gained the top prizes in the Fellowship of the Royal College of Organists examination and holds the Worshipful Company of Musicians’ Silver Medallion.

Professor Grahl is an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music, former Chairman of the Association of Assistant Cathedral Organists, former President of the Incorporated Association of Organists, and held a Junior Fellowship in Choral Direction at Birmingham Conservatoire.

Prior to Professor Grahl’s arrival at Trinity in January 2024, Michael Waldron will be interim Director of Music. Mr Waldron began his musical training as a chorister at St Ambrose College and studied under Stephen Layton for four years as an Organ Scholar. He is Founder and Artistic Director of the London Choral Sinfonia.

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