The Choir

is a whopping jewel

in Clare's musical

crown

Giles Swayne, Composer-in-Residence
About us

Since the founding of a mixed voice choir in 1972, the Choir of Clare College has gained an international reputation as one of the world’s leading university choirs.

 

 

Since the founding of a mixed voice choir in 1972, the Choir of Clare College has gained an international reputation as one of the world’s leading university choirs. In addition to its primary function of leading services three times a week in the College chapel, the Choir keeps an active schedule recording, broadcasting, and performing. Former directors have included John Rutter and Timothy Brown. Under the direction of Graham Ross, Director of Music since 2010, it has been praised for its consistently ‘thrilling’ and ‘outstanding’ performances worldwide. Recent engagements include Handel’s Messiah with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment (OAE), Mozart’s Requiem with the Manchester Camerata, Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 and the world première of Alexander Raskatov’s Green Masswith the London Philharmonic Orchestra (LPO), Fauré’s Requiem with the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, and concerts in Notre Dame Cathedral, Évron Basilica, the Howard Assembly Room and across the USA. The Choir’s 2018/19 schedule includes Bach’s Christmas Oratorio with the OAE, Britten’s War Requiem in King’s College Chapel, Cambridge, performances in Westminster Cathedral, St John’s Smith Square’s Christmas and Holy Week Festivals, Barcelona’s Le Palau, and tours of the USA, Canada, Mexico and Spain.

In addition to live performances, the Choir has produced an impressive discography of more than forty recordings. Their recordings under Graham Ross on the Harmonia Mundi label have been released to great critical acclaim, earning praise for ‘exceptional singing’ and ‘immaculate performances’, a Le Choix de France Musique and a Diapason d’Oraward, and garnering a Gramophone Award nomination. The Choir’s nine-disc series of Music for the Church Year has received numerous 5 star reviews in the national and international press, with recordings for Advent (2013), Passiontide (2014), Christmas (2014), Ascensiontide and Pentecost (2015), All Saints and All Souls (2015), Easter (2016), Epiphany (2017), Corpus Christi (2017) and Trinity (2018). The Choir’s album Remembrance featured as Classic FM’s Album of the Week, and other acclaimed recent recordings have included the first recording of choral works by Imogen Holst, and Reformation 1517-2017, a special album of music celebrating the quincentenary of the Reformation.

The Choir has toured widely, including in the United States of America, Australia, Japan, China, Singapore, Malaysia, Russia, the Middle East and mainland Europe. It has collaborated with the OAE in performances of Handel’sJephtha under the direction of René Jacobs, with the Australian Chamber Orchestra in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, with the LPO at the Royal Festival Hall conducted by Sir Mark Elder and Vladimir Jurowski, and with many other ensembles including the Academy of Ancient Music, European Union Baroque Orchestra, Freiburger Barockorchester, Israel Camerata, Aurora Orchestra, the Schubert Ensemble and the Dmitri Ensemble. The Choir performs a wide range of repertoire throughout the year, and has commissioned and premièred works by many composers, including Herbert Howells, John Tavener, John Rutter, Giles Swayne, James Whitbourn, Andrew Carter, Jonathan Dove, Julian Phillips, Tarik O’Regan, Alexander Raskatov, Graham Ross, Brett Dean, Matthew Martin and Nico Muhly.