Described as phenomenal (The Times) and devastatingly beautiful (Gramophone Magazine), award-winning choir Tenebrae is one of the world’s leading vocal ensembles, renowned for its passion and precision.
Under the direction of Nigel Short, Tenebrae performs at major festivals and venues across the globe, including the BBC Proms, Edinburgh International Festival, Leipzig Gewandhaus (Germany) and Melbourne Festival (Australia). The choir is renowned for its highly-acclaimed interpretations of choral music ranging from the hauntingly passionate works of the Renaissance through to contemporary choral masterpieces, and is a dedicated advocate for contemporary composers, having worked with Judith Bingham, Ola Gjeilo, Alexander L’Estrange, Alexander Levine, Paweł Łukaszewski, Paul Mealor, Hilary Tann, Joby Talbot, Sir John Tavener and Will Todd. Tenebrae is also frequently engaged with the world’s finest orchestras, regularly appearing alongside the Academy of Ancient Music, Aurora Orchestra and Britten Sinfonia, and also curates an annual Holy Week Festival in partnership with St John’s Smith Square.
Choral development is also central to Tenebrae’s ethos, and the choir has pioneered an inspirational workshop method, The Tenebrae Effect, designed to challenge and advance every participant by instilling skills essential to a Tenebrae performance. Since 2016 it has provided crucial training and performance opportunities to a quartet of outstanding young professional singers through its Associate Artist Scheme. As part of this fellowship, these young singers deliver regular choral development workshops in collaboration with Tenebrae’s education partners, Music Centre London and London Youth Choir.
Tenebrae’s ever-increasing discography has brought about collaborations with Signum, Decca Classics, Deutsche Grammophon, EMI Classics, LSO Live, and Warner Classics. In 2012 Tenebrae was the first-ever ensemble to be multi-nominated in the same category for the BBC Music Magazine Awards, securing the accolade of ‘Best Choral Performance’ for the choir’s recording of Victoria’s Requiem Mass, 1605. The following year Tenebrae’s Fauré Requiem with the London Symphony Orchestra was nominated for the Gramophone Awards, having been described as “the very best Fauré Requiem on disc” and “the English choral tradition at its zenith” (Richard Morrison, Chief Music Critic, The Times). In 2014 the choir’s recording of Russian Orthodox music, Russian Treasures, reached number 1 in the UK Specialist Classical Chart. In 2016 Tenebrae received its second BBC Music Magazine Award for a recording of Brahms and Bruckner Motets, the profits from the sale of which benefit Macmillan Cancer Support, and in 2018 it received a Grammy nomination for Music of the Spheres, its album of part songs from the British Isles.
‘Passion and Precision’ are Tenebrae’s core values. Through its continued dedication to performance of the highest quality, Tenebrae’s vision is to deliver dramatic programming, flawless performances and unforgettable experiences, allowing audiences around the world to be moved by the power and intimacy of the human voice.
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