Mark Williams announced as one of the judges for the London International A Cappella Choir Competition

The London International A Cappella Choir Competition is produced by St John's Smith Square in association with Peter Phillips and the Tallis Scholars and will take place in April this year. This inaugural event is being staged in memory of Sir John Tavener, who had hoped to take part as a judge for the Grand Final. Sir John's music will be heard throughout the week, with participating choirs making a selection from a range of his choral works, alongside that of other contemporary composers including Harvey, Pärt and Skempton, Renaissance pieces from Byrd, Lhéritier and Palestrina, and one piece in their native language.

The Tallis Scholars open proceedings in style on Monday 21 April, with a concert designed to reflect the Competition’s aim of promoting new choral music alongside the masterpieces of renaissance polyphony. Joining Peter Phillips for the final judging on Saturday 26 April will be Director of Music at Jesus College Cambridge Mark Williams, former Jesus Organ Scholar and current Organist and Master of the Choristers of Westminster Abbey James O’Donnell, and soprano Emma Kirkby. More information about the competition can be found here.

Posted on 27 February 2014

Jesus College Choirs and Britten Sinfornia perform Bach's St Matthew Passion

Following their sell-out performance of Handel's Messiah in 2013, the acclaimed Choirs of Jesus College Cambridge and Britten Sinfonia come together once again under the direction of Mark Williams, with a glittering line-up of soloists - Katherine Manley, Madeleine Shaw, Andrew Kennedy and Matthew Brook - to perform Bach's St Matthew Passion in March 2014. The St Matthew Passion is one of the towering masterpieces of Western art. Moments of deep introspection combine with jubilant choruses and stunning arias to create a work that is both profound and beautiful. There will be two performances of this celebrated work, the first in Jesus College Chapel, Cambridge on Tuesday 18th March, and the second in St Edmundsbury Cathedral on Thursday 20th March.

Tickets for the performance in Cambridge can be bought here.

Tickets for the performance in Edmundsbury can be bought here.

Posted on 1 February 2014

Sell-out Messiah performance in Cambridge

On 10 December the Combined Choirs of Jesus College and Britten Sinfonia performed Handel’s Messiah under the direction of Mark Williams to a Chapel full of an audience who certainly appreciated this excellent concert. Wonderful solos from soprano Ruby Hughes, counter-tenor James Laing, tenor John Mark Ainsley, and bass Eamonn Dougan, spirited choruses from the Jesus Choirs, and exuberant playing from the Britten Sinfonia made this concert a resounding success. Next term's Matthew Passion is certainly something to look forward to!

Posted on 19 December 2013

Jesus College Choirs and Britten Sinfonia perform Handel’s Messiah

On Tuesday 10th December the Combined Choirs of Jesus College will perform Handel’s Messsiah under the direction of Mark Williams – they will be joined by renowned soloists Ruby Hughes, James Laing, John Mark Ainsley, and Eamonn Dougan. Founded in 1992, the Britten Sinfonia is one of the world’s most versatile and celebrated ensembles. As well as engaging with repertoire spanning four centuries they are unique in not having a principal conductor, rather choosing to work with a particular director for each concert. The Messiah is undoubtedly Handel’s most famous work and has gained in popularity ever since its first performance.

Posted on 27 November 2013

Compositions by two former choristers performed on BBC Radio 3

On Saturday 23rd November, as part of the Britten Centenary, BBC Radio 3 broadcast a live concert featuring two works composed by former choristers of Jesus College Cambridge. Luke Fitzgerald (16) and Jay Richardson (16), both Aldeburgh Young Musicians, have written pieces for choir which were performed in the family concert that took place at the Snape Maltings Concert Hall in Britten's hometown of Aldeburgh. Luke has set 'A Wish' by Christina Rossetti and Jay has set 'And death shall have no Dominion' by Dylan Thomas. You can listen again to the broadcast here.

Posted on 19 November 2013

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