Music Director - Stephen Hope

Stephen Hope
started his musical career as a chorister in Canterbury. He became a music scholar at King's School before going on to read music as an organ scholar at Bristol University where he specialised in keyboard performance and conducting. Since then, Stephen has had wide experience of conducting with the London Chamber Players, Northern Ballet Theatre, English Northern Philharmonia, Scottish Opera and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. He has also worked with such artists as Marilyn Hill-Smith, John Noble, Frank Edgerton, Jack Brymer, Ronald Smith, Sir Harry Secombe, Clarence Myerscough, and Roy Castle.

He also enjoys working with young people, directing courses for the Royal Schools of Church Music, conducting Sutton Girls' Choir, the Croydon Chamber Choir and the Shipway Youth Orchestra. Stephen has been musical director of the Carshalton Pantomime Company for many shows and has worked with many operatic societies south of the Thames including Bel Canto Opera who perform annually in Crawley.

Stephen has also worked as a radio presenter on CFM Radio, and as a guest on the Clive Bull Show on LBC. His own one-man show 'Face the Music with Hope' has been presented throughout the UK with great success.

In 1988 he created the Alkan International Piano Competition.

In 1989 and 1990, Stephen was awarded a coveted Fellowship to the Conductors' Institute of America where he studied with a number of distinguished conductors including Morton Gould, Lukas Foss, Daniel Lewis and Harold Farberman.

In addition, he maintains a parallel career as an organist in his posts as Director of Music at St. John's, Belmont, and as an accompanist and a member of the music staff at Laine Theatre Arts in Epsom.

Arundel Cathedral concerts

In 2002, Stephen formed the Sinfonia da Chiesa and in 2003 created the Sussex Festival Choir, both of which perform annually at Arundel Cathedral, the proceeds of their concerts going to the hospice movement. The Sussex Festival Choir includes members of two choirs Stephen directs, West Sussex Philharmonic Choir and Basildon Choral Society.

Past Arundel concerts are as follows:

2003    Mozart: Requiem

2004    Brahms: Requiem; Poulenc: Gloria 

2005    Elgar: The Dream of Gerontius 

2006    Verdi: Requiem

2007    Elgar: The Kingdom 

2008    Mendelssohn: Elijah 

2009    Rossini: Stabat Mater; Puccini: Messa di Gloria

2010    Walton: Belshazzar's Feast

2011    Bach: B Minor Mass

2012    Elgar: The Apostles

2013    Mozart: Requiem and Mass in C minor

2104    Elgar: The Dream of Gerontius

For 2015, Stephen will conduct Mahler's Symphony of a Thousand at Fairfield Halls, Croydon, with a number of choirs, including the Sussex Festival Choir.


Stephen regularly takes the Sussex Festival Choir and the Sinfonia da Chiesa on tours, which are very enthusiastically received. In June 2005 he undertook a concert tour with 120 singers and instrumentalists to Rome and Florence to great acclaim, receiving invitations to conduct concerts in Houston and a concert for the Pope in 2006. He regularly arranges short choir and orchestra trips abroad, to places such as Bruges, Rouen, Lille and Bavaria.

Other tours include:

2007        Venice

2008        Bavaria 

2009        Barcelona

2011         Krakow

2013        Salzburg

2015        Venice and Florence

In 2011, the Orchestra of the 19th Century was formed, meeting monthly in Croydon.

In 2013, Stephen conducted workshops and masterclasses in Dallas. 

He also conducted a concert at the Cadogan Hall on June 8, 2013. The programme included Beethoven's Choral Fantasy and 7th Symphony.

On June 21, 2014, Stephen conducted a concert at St John's Smith SquareThe programme included Beethoven's Triple Concerto, Mozart 40 th and Overture Coriolan.

Links to current choirs and orchestras


Stephen Hope