The Centre for Music Performance is delighted to announce that David Young has been appointed as Musical Director of the Cambridge University Symphony Chorus (CUSC). He succeeds Richard Wilberforce, who left Cambridge in 2023 to take up a new role as Choral Director of the Orchestre de Paris, and follows in the footsteps of distinguished predecessors Sir Stephen Cleobury, Sir Philip Ledger and Sir David Willcocks.

The first opportunity to hear David conduct the Chorus in his new role will be on 9th March at Ely Cathedral, when CUSC will perform Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius with members of the choirs of Emmanuel, Fitzwilliam, Girton, Pembroke and Queens’ Colleges, the East Anglia Chamber Orchestra and outstanding soloists including Andrew Staples singing the role of Gerontius.

In April, David and the Chorus travelled to Helsinki to perform and record the same work with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Helsinki Music Centre Choir and conductor Nicholas Collon.

David will combine his work in Cambridge with his existing position as Chorus Director with the National Symphony Orchestra in Ireland and his role as Musical Director with Musarc. He also works regularly with the BBC Symphony Chorus, and has recently chorus mastered Chamber Choir Ireland and the BBC Singers for recording and broadcast projects. He studied conducting in Manchester and Cardiff, with Neil Ferris, Justin Doyle, Mark Heron, Matthew Hamilton, Sarah Tenant-Flowers and others. His previous posts include amateur choirs in Cardiff, Reading, Stafford and Dorking, as well as a fellowship with the RSNO Chorus and the role of Choral Director at the Yehudi Menuhin School.

Simon Fairclough, Director of the Centre for Music Performance, commented: “We’re thrilled to welcome David as Musical Director of the University Symphony Chorus. He stood out within an exceptionally strong field of candidates for his international track record working with large-scale choirs, the strength of his vision for the University Symphony Chorus’s future and the sense of ambition and fun which he has brought to his work with the Chorus to date”.

Alan Woodward, President of the Cambridge University Symphony Chorus, added: “It’s hard to think of a more fitting way to celebrate David’s appointment than with performances of Elgar’s masterpiece The Dream of Gerontius in the glorious Ely Cathedral and with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra – one of Europe’s finest professional orchestras.”

Commenting on his appointment, David said: “It’s an honour to lead this choir, one with such an illustrious past and a bright future ahead of it. I was so drawn in by the potential here: to find a large choir this capable affiliated with an institution of the stature of the University of Cambridge is a rare thing, and the singers have an enthusiasm and ambition to match. I have already been made to feel so welcome, and I think we have many great concerts together ahead of us. Come to Ely and see what we’re building!”

David’s first performance will take place at Ely Cathedral at 7.30pm on Saturday 9th March. Tickets are available here.

Image credit: Ollie Trenchard