Christopher was to have joined us in Norfolk to conduct the Yorke Trust’s summer opera production of Handel’s Jephtha this year after a stunningly successful Come & Sing Mozart’s Requiem day in February, and Jennifer Hamilton’s memorable production of Purcell’s The Tempest last July. Members of our community chorus, seasoned amateurs and those new to singing alike, were inspired by Chris’s charisma and enthusiasm that gave even the most senior choristers the confidence to sing from memory, most having never done so before. His immaculate and detailed direction of the period ensemble Noxwode underpinned the production, some of the instrumentalists also performing from memory both on stage and in various corners of the church. He opened the ears, hearts and minds of all who worked with him, having that rare ability of being able to infuse levels of excellence in everybody, similar to those to which he himself aspired. Conducting from memory and in bare feet added the final ‘je ne sais quoi’!
Chris will be a hard act to follow. How tragic that such a promising career has been cut short so early. All of us whose lives he touched have fond memories to treasure that will remain with us always.
Rodney Slatford, OBE
Chairman, The Yorke Trust