London International A Cappella Choir Competition: Tallis Scholars host tribute to Tavener

- 4 April 2014

The first London International A Cappella Choir Competition, run in association with the Tallis Scholars, will run 21-26 April at St John’s, Smith Square.

St John's, Smith Square, the competition's main venue

St John’s, Smith Square, the competition’s main venue
Photo: © Matthew Andrews

Choirs from Estonia, Spain, Poland, the US, Sweden, Ireland and the UK will compete in the competition, which was conceived as a 70th birthday tribute to Sir John Tavener and will now be held in his memory.

Peter Phillips, the Tallis Scholars’ director, said it had ‘long been a dream of mine to host an international choir competition in London.

‘When some of the Trustees of St John’s Smith Square asked me for ideas to headline their 300th anniversary celebrations, I realised that this was the perfect venue and occasion with which to realise my ideas.’

The Tallis Scholars open the competition on 21 April with a concert of works by Gibbons, Parsons, Tallis, Tye, Tavener and Vivanco.

The week continues with choral workshops on 22 April, rounds 1, 2 and 3 on 23-25 April, and the final on 26 April, where Lady Tavener will present prizes. Further concerts run alongside the competition (see below).

Phillips will chair the judging panel alongside James O’ Donnell of Westminster Abbey, Mark Williams of Jesus College Cambridge, Dame Emma Kirkby, composer John Rutter and King’s Singers founder member Alastair Hume.

London-based Reverie competes in round 2, 24 April Photo: Charlie Ding

London-based Reverie competes in round 2 on 24 April
Photo: Charlie Ding

Phillips continued: ‘We have already been immensely lucky to have attracted choirs from all over the world. We set them difficult repertoire and they have all taken up the challenge magnificently.

‘What with the opportunity to give a further concert in one of London’s many historic Wren and Hawksmoor churches, the chance to perform for, and receive feedback from, some of this country’s most experienced choral experts, and to compete in the inspiring surroundings of St John’s, Smith Square, these choirs will surely be taken to new levels.

‘Do join us. We think we are in for a unique and fascinating week.’

Competing choirs
The Byrd Ensemble, Seattle, USA
Constanzo Porta, Cremona, Italy
Coro ‘El León de Oro’ from Luanco, Spain
Dysonans Chamber Choir, Poznań, Poland
The Erebus Ensemble, Bristol, UK
New Dublin Voices, Dublin, Ireland
Renaissance, Durham, UK
Reverie, London, UK
The Victoria Consort, Oxford, UK
Voces Musicales, Tallinn, Estonia
Vox Lundensis, Lund, Sweden

Accompanying concerts

22 April
Erebus Ensemble, St George’s Bloomsbury, 1.15pm

23 April
Vox Lundensis, St Bride’s Fleet Street, 1.15pm

24 April
Byrd Ensemble, St Mary At Hill, 1.15pm
Constanzo Porta, St George’s Bloomsbury, 1.15pm
El Leon d’Oro, St Mary At Hill, 7pm

25 April
Voces Musicales, St Mary at Hill, 6pm

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