About

Cambridge University Musical Society (CUMS) is one of the oldest and most distinguished university music societies in the world. It offers a world-class musical education for members of the University and local residents, nurturing the great musicians of the future and providing performance opportunities for over 500 students each year.

Founded in 1843, the Society has played a pivotal role in British musical life for over 170 years. It has educated Sir Andrew Davis, Sir Mark Elder, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Edward Gardner, Christopher Hogwood and Robin Ticciati, has premièred works by Brahms, Holloway, Lutoslawski, Rutter, Saxton and Vaughan Williams, and has given generations of Cambridge musicians the experience of performing alongside visiting conductors and soloists including Britten, Dvořák, Kodaly, Menuhin and Tchaikovsky.

Today, CUMS is made up of nine high-quality ensembles which offer a wide variety of musical experiences to Cambridge students. For orchestral musicians, the Society offers two outstanding orchestras: the flagship Cambridge University Orchestra, who perform a variety of symphonic and chamber repertoire with professional conductors and soloists, and the Cambridge University Sinfonia, which is conducted by visiting professionals and the finest student conductors throughout the year. Additionally, Cambridge University Wind Orchestra provides opportunities for wind, brass and percussion players to tackle a challenging and musically diverse repertoire in a sociable environment. For singers, CUMS includes a Symphony Chorus and an elite Chamber Choir, which provide opportunities for singers to perform outside of the Cambridge chapel choir environment.

CUMS provides unrivalled opportunities for Cambridge students to work with professional soloists and conductors, to perform in venues like King’s College Chapel, Ely Cathedral and West Road Concert Hall, to enter conducting, concerto and composition competitions and to tour internationally. Recent highlights have included Wagner’s Parsifal (Act III) conducted by Sir Mark Elder, a recording of Haydn and Mozart symphonies with Sir Roger Norrington, Mahler’s Third Symphony with Paul Daniel and a recording of The Epic of Everest’s original score for the British Film Institute.

Students also run the organisation, with professional support. To find out more about how CUMS is run, please see our Society Information page.

Each of the CUMS ensembles holds auditions at the beginning of every academic year, details of which can be found here.

If you are interested in music-making in Cambridge, CUMS is the place for you. More information on the work and history of the Society can be found throughout our website. If you have any queries about the work of the Society, please get in touch with Chloe Davidson at cnd26@cam.ac.uk.

 

 

Registered Charity No. 1149534

Cambridge University Musical Society
West Road Concert Hall
11 West Road, Cambridge CB3 9DP
Principal Guest Conductor
Sir Roger Norrington CBE
CUMS Conductor Laureate
Stephen Cleobury CBE
Director, Cambridge University Chamber Choir
Martin Ennis
Artistic Advisor
Sian Edwards
Associate Directors, Cambridge University Chamber Choir
David Lowe, Nicholas Mulroy