by Clarence Zuvekas
Sunday, June 2 — London-born John Rutter (b. 1945) has written a large body of sacred music: anthems, carols, a Requiem and other choral works, as well as orchestral and other secular music. He has also has made significant contributions as an arranger and editor.
Rutter studied at Cambridge and stayed on to found The Cambridge Singers in 1981. He still conducts this ensemble, which records on its own label, Collegium. For his services to music, Rutter was awarded a Lambeth Doctorate of Music by the Archbishop of Canterbury in 1996, and a CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in the Queen’s New Year Honours List in 2007.
Some “hoity-toity musical gurus” and avant-garde composers have not considered Rutter to be a serious composer, because his music is too tuneful; but how many people listen to the music of Pierre Boulez? On June 2, the St. Alban’s Choir will be singing Rutter’s anthem, Thy Perfect Love, the text of which dates from the 15th century.