A choir directed by former Choral Scholar Simon Phipps has just won two major European prizes.
On 16 October The Swedish Chamber Choir, founded by Phipps in 1997, won the European Broadcasting Union's 'Let the Peoples Sing' competition for amateur choirs. The competition was held in Salford, Manchester, and broadcast by 16 radio stations. Over 2.9 million people listened to the final.
Then earlier this month his choir won the European Grand Prix at the prestigious Tolosa festival in Spain. Choirs from all over the world compete at the six Grand Prix festivals in Europe every year, and the winners compete the following year for the European Grand Prix.
With this double victory the choir become the most successful Swedish choir ever to take part in these competitions, and the only choir that has ever won both competitions.
Simon Phipps says, "It's like winning an Olympic gold medal and the world championships in the same year - slightly unreal! All credit to King's too - not just because my initial training was as a Choral Scholar at King's. Three months ago I persuaded King's director of music Stephen Cleobury to come and do some concerts with the choir. Between the two of us we clearly got the choir in peak form when it was required!"
Phipps was a Choral Scholar at King's from 1975 to 1978.