The English Chamber Choir
In memory of Mikis Theodorakis, died 2nd September 2021
From his setting of The Troparion of Kassiani:
'Lockdown' Recording for Christmas 2020
Welcome to the home of the English Chamber Choir – one of London’s leading and busiest vocal ensembles. For over 40 years we’ve been at the forefront of musical life in the capital, led by our music director, Guy Protheroe. We take great pride in our versatility, the variety of our repertoire, and our professionalism. But, most of all, we’re proud of our sociability and the sheer delight we get from singing together. We are passionate about singing all types of music, from renaissance to rock, polyphony to pop, and classical to cabaret.
The two years preceding the Covid pandemic saw us perform a wide variety of music across many different venues. Our highlights include The Royal Albert Hall (Harry Potter, Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Gladiator live), the Royal Festival Hall, the London Palladium, the Barnes Festival, Temple Church, the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of St Sophia, Holy Trinity Sloane Square, St Mary's Twickenham, the Church of the Holy Cross Ramsbury and, of course, many concerts at St Martin in the Fields (Mozart Requiem, Handel Messiah, Fauré Requiem) with our friends the Belmont Ensemble of London. Our last concert before the Covid emergency took over was a 75th birthday concert for Crispian Steele-Perkins in St James Piccadilly.
This year, as last, has been dominated by the fallout from the Covid pandemic, with venues closed for several months, rehearsals on hold and concerts cancelled. We did, however, succeed in returning, following a full risk assessment, to live rehearsals from late August 2021 in preparation for a 10th September concert at St Martin in the Fields. Since then, we have been able to present a full autumn programme of concerts and services, and planning is in progress for the choir's 50th anniversary year in 2022.
Here you can find out more about us, including where you can next hear us perform, who we are, how to apply to sing with us, or even book us to sing for you.
2019 saw us return in March to London's famous Temple Church for a programme of music composed between the two World wars including the sublime Mass for double choir by Frank Martin and Poulenc's Penitential motets. We were back at St Martins for Messiah in April with the Belmont Ensemble and in May we were at Holy Trinity, Sloane St, SW1, performing Rossini's great Petite Messe solennelle. And there was Rick Wakeman's 70th birthday concert at the Royal Festival Hall in July.
2020 saw us at St James Piccadilly on Saturday 22nd February in a special concert to mark the 75th birthday of the celebrated trumpeter Crispian Steele-Perkins, which included performances of Purcell's Come ye sons of art, and JS Bach's Magnificat in D.
Shortly after this concert, the Covid-19 emergency resulted in a general temporary closure of concert halls and churches and, in consequence, to the cancellation of numerous concerts and of a tour with Assassins Creed Symphony. Eighteen months later we are returning, with full risk assessments and Covid precautions in place, to a resurrection of normal concert-giving.
Our first concert of this autumn was at St Martin in the Fields in early September, performing the Faure Requiem. Two further St Martins concerts in the autumn season with the Belmont Ensemble included the Mozart Requiem and Handel's Messiah, and we presented a programme of Handel, Purcell and Bach on Wednesday 10th November in St James, Piccadilly. Concerts on 29th January in St Philip's, Kensington and on 25th February in St Martin in the Fields start the choir's 50th anniversary year.