Stephen Darlington

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Stephen Darlington

EducationKing's School, Worcester
Alma materChrist Church, Oxford
OccupationChoral conductor, organist
Known for
RelativesJonathan Darlington (brother)

Stephen Mark Darlington, MBE is a British choral director and conductor, and president of the Royal College of Organists from 1999–2001.

Darlington attended King's School, Worcester. Then during the early 1970s, he was organ scholar at Christ Church, Oxford, studying under Simon Preston. After this he was appointed assistant organist at Canterbury Cathedral, where he stayed for four years before being appointed as Master of the Music for St Albans Cathedral Choir, where he was also music director of the International Organ Festival.[citation needed]

In 1985, Darlington returned to Christ Church as organist and tutor in music, holding the post for 33 years.[1] He was succeeded by Stephen Grahl in September 2018.[2]

Darlington's recorded works amount to over 50 albums, of which several have won awards and other recognition such as Gramophone recommendations.[citation needed]

Darlington has travelled worldwide both with the choir and as an organist and conductor, directing, among others, the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, London Mozart Players, English Chamber Orchestra, Northern Sinfonia, Hanover Band, English String Orchestra and London Musici. Christ Church choir have sung under his direction with Plácido Domingo, José Carreras, James Bowman and others. He has also collaborated with contemporary composers including John Tavener and Howard Goodall (e.g., the theme music for The Vicar of Dibley),[1] and was featured in Goodall's ChoirWorks and OrganWorks series.

Darlington was Choragus of the University of Oxford and is the holder of a Lambeth Doctorate. He is the brother of conductor Jonathan Darlington.[3]

He retired in 2018.[1] He was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2019 New Year Honours for services to Music.


  1. ^ a b c "Vicar of Dibley conductor to retire as Christ Church Cathedral organist". Oxford Times. 5 July 2018. p. 3.
  2. ^ "New Organist for Christ Church". Retrieved 5 February 2018.
  3. ^ "Jonathan Darlington". Retrieved 24 March 2011.

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