ARTISTS

BBC Singers

BBC Singers
The BBC Singers is Britain’s only full-time professional chamber choir and a group with an international reputation. Established in 1924, the versatility of this virtuoso 24-voice ensemble is second-to-none, and this flexibility makes the Singers both an important resource in the broadcast music-making of the BBC and a significant presence in British musical life. The BBC Singers’ breadth of repertoire is unsurpassed by any other choral group, singing everything from Renaissance music to the latest contemporary scores, and their unrivalled expertise with the latter has brought about creative relationships with some of the most important composers and conductors of the 20th and 21st centuries. At home on the concert platform as much as in the recording studio, the BBC Singers also regularly work with the BBC’s own orchestras, a wide range of period instrument and contemporary music ensembles, and with a host of internationally-renowned conductors. The group’s rapidly expanding education programme now embraces regular outreach work with school children, youth choirs, the amateur choral community, and young professional composers, singers and conductors. The BBC Singers have a unique place on the British concert scene: a world-class choral ensemble committed to sharing their enthusiasm and creative expertise with audiences and performers, amateurs and professionals, young and old, across the nation and throughout the whole spectrum of the choral community.
 
Image Credit: 
John Wood

Poole, John

John
Poole
Conductor

John Poole has given a wide repertoire of choral concerts throughout the world with many and varied organisations.  Especially during his years as Director of the B.B.C Singers he was involved in an enormous output of music of all periods at the highest level.  During these years he regularly conducted choral and orchestral concerts with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and other orchestras in Britain and Europe.  He is a committed advocate of new music and is regularly involved in commissioning new works.  He has a special interest in working in courses and master classes with singers, conductors and composers.

Exaudi

Exaudi
Since its debut in 2002, EXAUDI has emerged as one of Britain’s leading young contemporary music ensembles. With a repertoire that encompasses Ockeghem and Ferneyhough, Tallis and Xenakis, EXAUDI has performed to great acclaim throughout the UK and in Europe, and established a ground-breaking and much-praised discography on NMC.
 
Founded by James Weeks (director) and Juliet Fraser (soprano), EXAUDI is based in London and draws its singers from among the UK’s brightest new vocal talents. The newest new music is at the heart of EXAUDI’s repertoire, and it has given UK and world premières of Sciarrino, Rihm, Finnissy, Skempton, Richard Ayres, Christopher Fox and James Saunders among many others. EXAUDI is particularly committed to the younger generation of composers currently in their twenties and early thirties, and is proud to champion the work of major emerging voices including Evan Johnson, John Habron, Chung Shih Hoh, Philip Howard, Dorothy Ker, James Weeks and Claudia Molitor.
 
Collaboration with other leading soloists and ensembles is an increasing feature of EXAUDI’s schedule, including appearances with ASKO Ensemble, Apartment House, Anton Lukoszevieze, Rohan de Saram, Irvine Arditti and Fretwork.
 
EXAUDI has appeared at many leading UK venues and festivals, including Vale of Glamorgan, Aldeburgh, Spitalfields and Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festivals, Dartington International Summer School and London’s South Bank and National Portrait Gallery. EXAUDI broadcasts regularly on BBC Radio 3 and has released critically acclaimed recordings of Michael Finnissy, Elisabeth Lutyens and Christopher Fox on NMC.  EXAUDI has twice been shortlisted in the Ensemble category of the RPS Awards, in 2006 and 2007.
Image Credit: 
Andrew Post

Ex Cathedra

Ex Cathedra

Ex Cathedra is a leading UK choir and Early Music ensemble with a repertoire that reaches from the 12th to the 21st centuries, via almost all points in between. It has become known for its passion for seeking out the best, the unfamiliar and the unexpected in the choral repertoire and for giving dynamic performances underpinned by detailed research.  It comprises a choir, Consort of 10 voices and period instrument orchestra.

Since it was founded by Jeffrey Skidmore in 1969, the group has established a niche for the research and performance of neglected or hitherto unknown Early Music repertoire, and for ground-breaking re-examination of choral classics.  It is also acknowledged as a champion of contemporary choral composers, regularly commissioning new work and giving world premieres.

Ex Cathedra presents its own series of concerts both in its home city of Birmingham, where it is an Associate Artist at Town Hall, and in London.  It is delighted to receive invitations to appear at festivals and concert series across the UK and abroad. Recent UK performances have included Stockhausen's World Parliament for the London 2012 Festival and BBC Proms 2013 (London premiere).  Recent tours have taken Ex Cathedra to Belgium, Germany, France, Spain, Italy and the USA, where it has performed music from Gabrieli, Scarlatti and Handel to the Latin American Baroque.  Over the last three years, the group has collaborated with His Majestys Sagbutts & Cornetts, Concerto Palatino, Fretwork, Birmingham Opera Company, Sinfonia New York, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Birmingham Royal Ballet, among others.

Much more than a choir, Ex Cathedra aims to share its knowledge, expertise and love of singing with as many people as possible through high quality performances, workshops, education and training initiatives not only in its home city of Birmingham, but also across the UK and internationally.

Ex Cathedra is supported using public funding by Arts Council England and Birmingham City Council.

Image Credit: 
James Ashby

Skidmore, Jeffrey

Jeffrey
Skidmore
Conductor

Jeffrey Skidmore is one of the country’s foremost choral conductors and is highly regarded by instrumentalists, singers and audiences for the high quality of his performances. He is well-known for exciting programming which is often challenging but always accessible. Jeffrey read music at Magdalen College, Oxford, before returning to his native Birmingham to develop Ex Cathedra into the internationally-acclaimed choral group it has become today.

Directing Ex Cathedra, and its associated Consort and Baroque Orchestra, Jeffrey has appeared in concert series and festivals across the UK and abroad and made more than a dozen highly-acclaimed recordings. He regularly conducts other ensembles, and in the last five years Jeffrey has commissioned more than ten new works and conducted many world premieres by both well-established composers and new, young talent. Composers include Fyfe Hutchins, Gabriel Jackson, John Joubert, Alec Roth, Daryl Runswick, Peter Sculthorpe, Philip Shepherd, Peter Wiegold and Roderick Williams.

Jeffrey is a pioneer in the field of research and performance of neglected choral works of the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, and has won wide acclaim in particular for his recordings of French and Latin American Baroque music with Ex Cathedra. An Honorary Fellow at Birmingham Conservatoire and a Research Fellow at the University of Birmingham, he has prepared new performing editions of works by Araujo, Charpentier, Lalande, Monteverdi and Rameau.

Image Credit: 
Adrian Burrows

Brabbins, Martyn

Martyn
Brabbins
Conductor
Artistic Director of the Cheltenham International Festival of Music 2005-2007, he was Associate Principal Conductor of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra 1994-2005. He is Principal Guest Conductor of the Royal Flemish Philharmonic, a position which started in September 2009. After studying composition in London and then conducting with Ilya Musin in Leningrad, his career was launched when he won first prize at the 1988 Leeds Conductors' Competition. Since then Brabbins has regularly conducted all the major UK orchestras and is much sought-after in Europe, notably in Germany, Holland, Belgium and Scandinavia.   
 
Brabbins’ symphonic engagements have included appearances at London's  South Bank in subscription with the London Philharmonic and Philharmonia orchestras, his Tokyo debut, with the Tokyo Metropolitan (where he returns in 2011); and visits to the Netherlands Radio Chamber in the prestigious Matinee series, the Residentie Orkest, Salzburg Mozarteumorchester and Lahti Symphony.  He is a regular guest with the City of Birmingham Symphony, Halle and BBC Philharmonic orchestras, and appears several times each season with the BBC Symphony and BBC Scottish Symphony orchestras in subscription and at the BBC Proms.
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DESCRIPTION

NMC explores the rich offerings of its back catalogue in a new mid-price series called New Music Collections: each album introduces different areas of contemporary classical music, with the first four volumes focusing on music written for choir, orchestra, piano and electronics.

REVIEWS

'Outstanding. This is a very superior sampler ... a survey as representative as it is kaleidoscopic' The Sunday Times

 

‘There was something revelatory about the experience of listening to the 207+ minutes of music contained in these albums. Taken as a whole, they testify to the remarkable breadth of NMC’s output in its 25-year existence, and individually, they illustrate something of the impressive variety to be found in music by British composers. […] Any label whose catalogue includes such diverse figures as Giles Swayne, Michael Finnissy, Christopher Fox, Harrison Birtwistle, Donnacha Dennehy, Roger Smalley, Claudia Molitor, Richard Causton, Hugh Watkins, Richard Rodney Bennett, Simon Holt, Tansy Davies and James Dillon surely has a great deal to boast about. […] What these four albums do best is act as portals, points of departure from which one can take a huge number of entirely different trajectories.’ 5:4

RECORDING CREDITS

Catalogue number:
NMC D204
Release Date:
31 March 2014