This weekend the Hertfordshire Chorus will perform Elgar’s The Kingdom, under the direction of top-flight conductor David Temple.

He has worked with Robbie Williams, Ray Davies, Basement Jaxx, Oasis and is as one of the UK’s foremost choral directors, making it quite unbelievable that he taught himself how to read music so we spoke to him to find out more about his career and work with the Hertfordshire Chorus.

“I came down to London after I left school and somebody heard me sing,” explains David Temple, musical director of the Hertfordshire Chorus.

“They suggested I should audition for the London Philharmonic Choir, which I did. I couldn’t even read music but because I had quite a nice voice and seemed quite musical they let me in. After that I was completely converted to classical music so I taught myself how to read it.

“Before then I was really interested in pop and rock music, The Kinks, The Stones, The Beatles. Now in my life as a conductor I’ve worked with these people, which is fantastic.”

After telling me that last year was one of the busiest of his career, in which he toured with Noel Gallagher and the film composer Hans Zimmer, as well as backing Take That at the Children in Need show, I wondered if he had a particular highlight.

“The biggest was the two recordings I made,” he tells me resolutely. “One with Hertfordshire Chorus, which comes out this year that was a piece about Alan Turing, the World War Two codebreaker, who worked at Bletchley Park.”

The recording features James McCarthy’s Codebreaker with the BBC Concert Orchestra as well as Will Todd’s Ode to a Nightingale.

The other recording was with a group that David founded 33-years-ago and continues to direct, the Crouch End Festival Chorus.

Both recordings will be released later this year, along with the first ever fully painted, animation film for which David wrote the choral tracks.

Loving Vincent is about Vincent Van Gogh and has been made entirely from paintings created by 150 artists working in Van Gogh's pointillist style.

The film has taken more than six years to make, with 1,345 paintings being discarded along the way. The final 65,000 frames, painted in oil on canvas, total 12 frames per second. The project is currently still in development.

But before all that is this Saturday’s performance of Elgar’s The Kingdom, which David admits he is “counting down the minutes” for.

“It is the most extraordinary piece of all time because it’s not hugely well known, but it’s one of those pieces which once you are in its presence it just takes over.

“When you get to the end of the piece you wonder why it’s not on everybody’s Desert Island Discs.

“The other great thing about it is that the choir, the Hertfordshire Chorus, are completely committed to the music like I’ve never known of any choir before, it’s astonishing.”

The soloists are Eleanor Dennis, Diana Moore, Ben Johnson and James Platt with the London Orchestra da Camera.

After listening to the choir’s previous performance at the cathedral, Martin Bird of The Elgar Society wrote: “Put simply, it was the finest performance of The Kingdom that I have ever heard, or can ever hope to hear.

“In David Temple there was, for once, a conductor who actually took notice of the directions Elgar has given in his score, and the result was a revelation.”

St Albans Cathedral, Holywell Hill, St Albans, AL1 1BY, Saturday, February 4, 7.30pm. Details: 01727 890210