History

It was the intention of the founder of Westminster Cathedral, Cardinal Vaughan, for the liturgies to be furnished with the finest music available. Fortunately, his vision was shared by the first Master of Music, Sir Richard Terry, whose genius established Westminster Cathedral at the heart of the English choral tradition.

Today, the Choir of Westminster Cathedral is recognised as one of the finest in the world, with its principal focus the daily celebration of the Divine Office and Solemn Mass. Many other types of music are heard at the Cathedral these days, but always of the highest quality, so that the liturgy may truly be a source of inspiration and beauty for those who come to worship.

Since its foundation in 1901, Westminster Cathedral Choir has occupied a unique and enviable position at the forefront of English church music, not least because of the groundbreaking work of Sir Richard Terry, who revived the great works of the English and continental Renaissance composers. The choir's fame grew under Terry as it presented this forgotten music, revolutionising attitudes to the repertoire. Innovation continued under George Malcolm who pioneered the development of the choir's sound along continental lines, resulting in a choir that was truly revolutionary in both what and how it sang. The choir continues these traditions under its present Master of Music, Martin Baker, and it remains the only Catholic Cathedral choir in the world to sing daily Mass and Vespers. More recent holders of the post have included Colin Mawby, Stephen Cleobury, David Hill and James O'Donnell.

 

History