Wakefield Cathedral, on Saturday, March 2
In May 1979, a group of singers and instrumentalists, brought together and conducted by Harry Christophers, gave their first concerts as The Sixteen. Now, 40 years later, the choir celebrates its ruby anniversary with a season full of concerts all over the UK and internationally: going back to key works in its history which have provided its foundation as well as looking forward with new commissions. And on the tour itinerary is Wakefield Cathedral.
This mixture of music has cemented the choir as one of the world’s greatest ensembles, known for its tonal richness, expressive intensity and compelling collective artistry. Harry Christophers CBE says: “Can it really be 40 years since a fledgling group of singers gave their first concerts as The Sixteen in May 1979! In celebration of this milestone, we’ve got a great season with exciting and adventurous projects lined up. I can’t thank everyone enough who have cheered us on over the years: our singers, orchestra, staff, supporters, and of course, our fiercely enthusiastic audiences for making The Sixteen all it is.”
The group will be performing its Queen of Heaven programme which has been selling out cathedrals and concert halls for the last five years, receiving widespread critical acclaim when it toured the UK as part of the 2013 Choral Pilgrimage. It focuses on three composers’ unique devotion to the church and this programme pairs a new version of Allegri’s renowned Miserere with Sir James MacMillan’s own setting of the text alongside pieces by Palestrina. In celebration of the 40th anniversary, The Sixteen’s award-winning record label, CORO, releases five albums by the ensemble including a special 40th Anniversary Collection comprising 40 tracks which have defined The Sixteen over the last four decades. With personal recommendations from members both past and present, this beautifully packaged album promises to be the must-have collection for all fans of choral music. Other releases include a new recording of Handel’s Acis and Galata; music by Purcell and Palestrina, two composers The Sixteen have championed to critical acclaim; and a disc which includes all the music from The Choral Pilgrimage 2019, released on March 1. The Sixteen will also release two albums this autumn – Star of Heaven: The Eton
Choirbook Legacy which features four stunning new Genesis Foundation commissions inspired by the legendary choirbook, and A Renaissance Christmas featuring some magnificent festive music for those looking for something slightly different this Christmas.