Emma Cleobury spent her early years as a junior international skier, before deciding to concentrate on academic life at Cambridge. Following five years as Chaplain of King’s College, she spent the next twenty helping her husband, Sir Stephen Cleobury, to develop new musical ventures at the college, including the highly successful festival Easter at King’s, from which the BBC regularly broadcast, and a series which ran through the year, Concerts at King’s.
Both attracted some of the world’s finest musical ensembles and soloists. Emma is an occasional presenter for BBC Radio 3 and a regular writer of programme and CD sleeve notes. She is the granddaughter of a concert pianist and a founder member of Sir Thomas Beecham’s Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and is a former member of a number of choirs, including the London Bach Choir and Snape Maltings’ Britten-Pears Singers.
She moved to York in 2017 to give her youngest daughter the opportunity to become a chorister at the Minster, at which point her husband’s boyhood friend from chorister days, Richard Shephard, then Chairman of the Ryedale Festival, invited her to join the board, principally with a view to her assisting John Warrack in the preparation of programme notes, and offer which she was delighted to take up.