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Choir of King's College, Cambridge

Choir

  • The Choir of King’s College, Cambridge is undoubtedly one of the world’s best known choral groups; every Christmas Eve millions of people worldwide tune into A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, a service that has been broadcast by the BBC since 1928. In the United States, the service has been broadcast by American Public Media since 1982. While the Choir exists primarily to sing the daily services in King’s College Chapel, its international fame and reputation, enhanced by an extensive recording catalogue, since 2012 on their own label, has led to invitations to perform around the world.

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  • In recent years, the Choir has travelled throughout Europe as well as to the US, South America, Australia and Asia. Performances have been given at the Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), Santa Cecilia (Rome), Musée d’Orsay (Paris), Dijon Opera, Casa da Música Festival (Porto), Musikfest Bremen, Rotterdam Gergiev Festival, National Cathedral (Washington), National Centre for the Performing Arts (Beijing), Hong Kong Cultural Centre, the Singapore Esplanade, and Sydney Opera House, to name just a few.


    The Choir has appeared regularly at all the major halls in London and elsewhere in the United Kingdom. Recent festival appearances have seen the Choir at The Sage, Gateshead, Windsor Festival, Kings Place, St Albans International Organ Festival, Norfolk & Norwich Festival, Aldeburgh Music, and there have been return invitations to Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, Symphony Hall, Birmingham and St David’s Hall, Cardiff amongst others. In 2013 the Choir went to 10 Downing Street to sing at the Prime Minister’s Easter reception.


    The Choir appears frequently with orchestras including the Philharmonia Orchestra, with whom they perform an annual Christmas concert at the Royal Albert Hall. In addition, the Choir has a close relationship with the Academy of Ancient Music, Britten Sinfonia and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. In 2013 the Choir and Britten Sinfonia joined forces for performances at Symphony Hall, Birmingham and Barbican, London.


    In the 2014/15 season, the Choir will have a strong presence in Germany, performing at Musikfest Erzgebirge in the Autumn, as well as Festspiele Mecklenburg Vorpommern, MDR Musiksommer, Choriner Musiksommer and Rheingau Musik Festival as part of a summer festival tour. UK performances in December include Bach Magnificat with Britten Sinfonia at the Barbican and a performance at Edinburgh’s Usher Hall. A tour to the USA in spring 2015 will see the Choir return to Washington National Cathedral, Fourth Presbyterian Church, Chicago, and Saint Paul Cathedral, Minnesota. In addition the Choir is delighted to be performing at Saint Thomas’ Church New York, and Church of the Incarnation in Dallas. Future plans for 2015/16 involve a return to Asia as well as the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam.


    In October 2012, the College launched its own label with Nine Lessons & Carols – a two-disc recording of the famous Christmas Eve service. In 2013, the Choir released its second and third albums – a two-disc exploration of Mozart's Requiem, and a Britten album to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the composer’s birth. In its latest project the Choir is joined by the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, and presents the first recording of Marc Rigaudière’s reconstruction of the first complete liturgical performance of Fauré’s Requiem. The Choral Scholars of the Choir have recorded ‘After Hours’, an album of jazz and pop hits, and future releases on the Choir’s label include a collection of British hymn-anthems, and an organ disc recorded by Stephen Cleobury. In addition to these recordings, the Choir has a back-catalogue of more than 100 albums released under long-standing relationships with EMI and Decca.


    The Choir of King’s College owes its existence to King Henry VI who, in founding the College in 1441, envisaged the daily singing of services in his magnificent Chapel, one of the jewels of Britain’s cultural and architectural heritage. As the pre-eminent representative of the great British church music tradition, the Choir regards the singing of the daily services as its raison d’être, and these are an important part of the lives of its sixteen choristers, fourteen choral scholars and two organ scholars who study in the College itself.


    The choristers are educated at King’s College School in Cambridge and receive scholarships from King’s College to help pay for their education. The School has 400 boys and girls aged 4 to 13. The choristers are selected at audition, advertised nationally, when they are in Year 2 or 3 (ages 6 to 8) at their school. A chorister joins the Choir as he enters Year 4 (ages 8 to 9). For full information about King’s College School and the life of a Chorister, please see www.kcs.cambs.sch.uk.


    Stephen Cleobury, is always pleased to hear from potential members of the Choir, choristers, choral scholars and organ scholars. Those interested are invited to contact Caroline or Margaret on telephone 01223 331224 or e-mail: choir@kings.cam.ac.uk.

    2014-15 season / 816 words. Not to be altered without permission.

Performances

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Not only is it beautifully sung and played but the recorded sound on the choir’s own label is remarkable… It is completely beautiful and, in its sheer scale and immediacy, has a different feel from the benchmark recording by the same choir under David Willcocks… The ‘Pie Jesu’ is as close to perfection as one could hope to hear…

International Record Review, November 2014

I would happily sit in King’s College Chapel listening to this choir sing for the rest of my days

Times, November 2003

...moments of iridescence… creating vividness in restraint through the unadorned splendour of this superbly polished vocal sound.

Sydney Morning Herald, July 2014

Downloads

Intermusica represents Choir of King's College, Cambridge worldwide

Kate Caro
Manager, Film & Multimedia in Performance
+44 20 7608 9932
kcaro@intermusica.co.uk

Erin McNamara
Senior Coordinator, International Touring
+44 20 7608 9944
emcnamara@intermusica.co.uk

Kirsten Mackay
Coordinator, International Touring
+44 20 7608 9935
kmackay@intermusica.co.uk

If you have any queries, please fill in the form below, and we will be in touch soon

All artists

Chansonnier

HK Gruber

Special projects

Charles Hazlewood

Counter-tenor

Tim Mead

Stage director

David Alden

Andreas Homoki

Piano accompanist

Roger Vignoles