ENGLISH CHAMBER CHOIR

Festival of Patmos

ENGLISH CHAMBER CHOIR

Sacred Choral Music

English Chamber Choir (London)

Sacred Choral Music

Conductor: Guy Protheroe

The sacred works of famous composers which will be performed belong in three categories: works inspired by Byzantium (e.g. Theodorakis’ Kassiani), works of the occidental musical tradition (e.g. Thomas Tallis) and works of the Russian Orthodox religious tradition (e.g. Tchaikovsky).

There will also be the world premiere of two choral works (by Ivan Moody and Alkis Baltas) written especially for the 17th Festival.

 

The English Chamber Choir is one of London’s leading and busiest vocal ensembles and for over 40 years it has been at the forefront of London's musical life, led by music director, Guy Protheroe. The Choir takes great pride in its versatility, from renaissance to rock, polyphony to pop, and classical to cabaret.

The Choir has performed in all the major London concert halls and currently appears frequently at the Royal Albert Hall and at St Martin-in-the-Fields. The Choir has also sung by invitation for the Lord Mayor of London at the Mansion House and for HM The Queen at both Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle. Abroad it has sung in Megaron, the Athens Concert Hall, in Antwerp, in Brussels, in Plovdiv and extensively in France and Switzerland.

Recent notable concerts include Harry Potter, Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Gladiator with live music to screen at the Royal Albert Hall, as well as Handel's Messiah and the Fauré and Mozart Requiems at St Martin-in-the-Fields. The Choir also recently returned to the Barnes Music Festival in London performing music by Bernstein, Brahms, Roxanna Panufnik and the American composer James Sellars. Last autumn the Choir made its debut at the famous Temple Church in London and will return there in November.

The English Chamber Choir has a long association with contemporary music written in the Byzantine and Eastern traditions. This includes a number of new works the Choir has commissioned including the Troparian of Kassiani by the Greek/Canadian composer Christos Hatzis, and When Augustus Reigned by Ivan Moody. It also commissioned Ivan Moody's Sub tuum praesidium which was premiered by the Choir at the prestigious Brighton Festival. The Choir will also première two works at the Patmos Festival: Isangele (John on Patmos) by Ivan Moody and και τότε φανήσετε by Festival Director Alkis Baltas.

The Choir appears on a number of commercial albums, most notably those of Vangelis. It is also credited on Ridley Scott’s Bladerunner and 1492: Conquest of Paradise, Steven Spielberg’s Band of Brothers, and Eric Levi’s Les Visiteurs film scores and the ERA series of albums. The Choir has a long association with Rick Wakeman, from the original Journey to the Centre of the Earth with the London Symphony Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall in the 1974 to its revival 40 years later at the Royal Albert Hall and at venues all over Britain. The Choir also took part in the return of Wakeman's King Arthur at the O2 Arena in 2016.

Guy Protheroe began his musical education as a chorister at Canterbury Cathedral, and continued with music scholarships to St Edward's School and Magdalen College, Oxford . He became conductor and musical director of the English Chamber Choir soon after its formation in 1972, and has brought to it a wealth of experience from his work in other areas of the music industry. On leaving Oxford he also founded the contemporary music ensemble Spectrum, which toured extensively in the UK, Europe and the USA , and collected recording awards for its CDs of music by Jonathan Harvey and Xenakis. Its staged performances of Xenakis' Oresteia , presented by the English Bach Festival Trust, opened the Linbury Studio theatre at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. He worked for many years as arranger and musical director for Vangelis Papathanassiou (of Chariots of Fire fame) and has collaborated with the French composer Eric Levi on the series of Era albums, which have sold many millions of copies worldwide. He has worked with Rick Wakeman for 45 years, conducting concerts in the UK, in many European countries and frequently in South America. As well as conducting, he is in demand as a singer, arranger and a consultant and expert witness on issues relating to music copyright and plagiarism.