Rutter also travels extensively, conducting large choruses. Although he’s sunny in both disposition and musical inflection, he also sets rigid requirements (every chorister must come to practice with a pencil to mark the score) and usually manages to elicit a more powerful performance than even the chorus members thought possible.
Once, when Rutter was directing a chorus in Detroit, he drove the singers hard. After a fine practice, one chorister exclaimed in admiration: “You seem almost professional!”
In sheer delight, Rutter threw back his head and burst out laughing.