David Hill

David Hill
Positions
Director of Music
2003 to 2007
Organ Scholar
1976 to 1979

Renowned for his fine musicianship, David Hill is widely respected as both a choral and orchestral conductor. His talent has been recognised by his appointments as Musical Director of The Bach Choir, Music Director of Leeds Philharmonic Society, Associate Guest conductor of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Principal Conductor of Yale Schola Cantorum, and International Chair in Choral Conducting at the Royal Northern College of Music. He was Chief Conductor of the BBC Singers from September 2007 to September 2017 and is a former Music Director of Southern Sinfonia.

Born in Carlisle and educated at Chetham’s School of Music, of which he is now a Governor, he was made a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists at the remarkably young age of 17. Having been Organ Scholar at St John’s College, Cambridge, David Hill returned to hold the post of Director of Music from 2004-2007. His other appointments have included Master of the Music at Winchester Cathedral, Master of the Music at Westminster Cathedral and Artistic Director of the Philharmonia Chorus. He holds an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Southampton for Services to Music, and in March 2018, he was honoured with the prestigious Royal College of Organists medal, in recognition of distinguished achievement in choral conducting and organ playing.

David Hill has a broad-ranging discography covering repertoire from Thomas Tallis to a number of world premiere recordings. As well as achieving prestigious Grammy and Gramophone Awards, many of his discs have been recommended as Critic’s Choices, with his ongoing series of English choral music for Naxos, and discs for Hyperion with the Yale Schola Cantorum receiving particular acclaim.

Hill has appeared with the BBC Symphony and BBC Philharmonic orchestras, London Philharmonic, City of London Sinfonia, English Chamber Orchestra, Royal Northern Sinfonia, the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, the Orchestra and Chorus of Welsh National Opera, the Orchestra and Chorus of Opera North, Ulster Orchestra, Hallé Orchestra, RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg, Réal Filharmonia de Galicia, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Omaha Symphony, and Portland Baroque Orchestras as well as the Netherlands Radio Choir and RIAS Chamber Choir, Berlin.

In January 2019 David Hill was awarded an MBE for services to music.

I can be myself, but knowing that I'm working within a tradition which I've grown up with.

David Hill, on returning to St John's in 2003.

Latest webcast

Recorded on
1 May 2021
  • Harris: Holy is the true light
  • Responses and Preces: Radcliffe
  • Psalm 149 (Stanford)
  • Antiphon: Qui vult venire post me
  • Jackon: Evening Service in G
  • Bullock: Give us the wings of faith
  • Vierne: Final (Symphonie I)

Latest news

Clare College Song Competition

Johnians and current Choir members, Tom Butler and George Herbert, are both winners of the 2021 competition

Choral singing comes no better

Fiona Maddocks, The Observer