John Høybye

b. 1939



John Høybye is a versatile Danish choir director and composer. He studied with leading inter­­national composers, and with his experience from top professional ensembles as well as smaller beginners’ choirs he is among the leading figures in choral music in Denmark and abroad. John Høybye has headed several choirs, including the Danish National Choir (DR), The Hungarian Radio Choir, the Åarhus and Aalborg Symphony Orchestras and the Copenhagen Philharmonic, the Danish Radio Big Band, not to forget his own Tritonus Choir, with which he has toured much of the world. 
John Høybye’s international success is due not least to his ability to work with choir music in a variety of genres and contexts, and his own compositions bear witness to this. Høybye’s compositions range wide in the bor­der­lands between classical music and rock/jazz. His music is sung by beginner choirs, by workshop choirs at rallies large and small, and by large international chamber choirs.
Critical Acclaim
...He has helped keep the Danish choir tradition alive for the past 40 years, especially in terms of children's musical and vocal development! - Jens Chr Hansen, Viborg Stifts Folkeblad

Tritonus is a safe performers choir, reaching out to its audience: Quiet, smiling, bristling with song joy and confidence - Jens Chr Hansen, Viborg Stifts folkeblad 


The Danish choral conductor and composer John Høybye is well known through most of the world for his harmonious and easy-flowing choral music. His production consists first and foremost of choral works – written for both children and adults with or without instrumental accompaniment.

For John Høybye music is first and foremost humanism and human togetherness, and he has worked with many different types of choirs and ensembles, from beginners’ and children’s choirs to professional ensembles such as the Danish Radio Big Band and the Danish National Choir, the Aarhus and Aalborg Symphony Orchestras and the Copenhagen Philharmonic, as well as the Hun­ga­rian Radio Choir. Since 1972 John Høybye has been the regular conductor of the Danish choir Tritonus, with whom he has travelled most of the world. In addition he has been active as a choral conductor and guest conductor at many choir festivals and workshops in Scandinavia and northern Europe.

In 1993 he was chosen as Danish Choral Composer of the Year for his ability to write choral music of both breadth and quality. In 1999 he won the Prize of the composers’ society DJBFA.

John Høybye studied at the Department of Musicology,Copenhagen University, with further studies with Willy Träder, Gabor Friess and Bob Brookmeyer. John Høybye’s music often moves on the borderline between classical and popular music. He is an important inspirer and dynamo in Danish choral music thanks to his often-innovative teaching and choral training methods.

Hjarne Fessel 2014


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