Canticum Chamber Choir
Canticum is one of the most musically versatile chamber choirs in the country. Now in its 26th season, it has been praised for accomplished performances of major works and for exploring contemporary repertoire. The choir has also commissioned new writing and gives regular first performances.
Last season's highlights included performances of Poulenc’s Figure Humaine and a new work by Hywel Davies with Kokoro at the Cheltenham Music Festival, and Elijah with the London Concert Choir at the Barbican. This season will see the choir perform a special concert of the music of Howard Blake at St Paul’s, Knightsbridge, the semi-chorus in Vaughan Williams’s A Sea Symphony at the Barbican, a programme at Kings Place, and Christmas carol concerts in Southwark Cathedral and the Grosvenor Chapel in aid of Marie Curie Cancer Care and the Esther Benjamin’s Trust for the children of Nepal.
Canticum has also performed BBC Radio 4’s Christmas Morning Service, Bach’s Mass in B Minor with the Orchestra of The Age of Enlightenment at St John’s, Smith Square and the première of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies’s Step by Circle, dedicated to Mark Forkgen and the choir. By way of contrast, the choir opened the 2008 Chelsea Festival, providing choral voices for Pink Floyd’s Atom Heart Mother alongside soloist David Gilmour.
The choir stages regular trips abroad, with Italy a favourite destination. Canticum has toured with works including Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, and Handel’s Messiah and Israel in Egypt, a performance which opened the Viterbo Early Music Festival to a packed audience. The choir toured Bulgaria in May 2013, performing in Sofia and Plovdiv for Bulgarian TV and radio.
Recording, too, has an important place in Canticum's schedule. The existing catalogue includes A Hymn to the Virgin, with works by Victoria, Poulenc and Panufnik, and two Christmas discs: A Christmas Carol and The Christmas Story. Another disc In the Gloom of Whiteness with Craft Music features work by Colin Riley, Fraser Trainer and Keith Roberts. The live recording of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies’s Step by Circle and Two Latin Motets is available on MaxOpus.