Schola Cantorum of Oxford

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About Schola Cantorum of Oxford

Schola Cantorum of Oxford is the University's premier chamber choir.

Schola Cantorum of Oxford is one of the longest established and most widely known chamber choirs in the UK. Founded by conductor László Heltay in 1960 as Collegium Musicum Oxoniense, Schola Cantorum has worked with such highly respected musicians as former patrons Sir Michael Tippett and Yehudi Menuhin, as well as Leonard Bernstein, Gustav Leonhardt, John Nelson, Sir Colin Davis, Sir Mark Elder, and Sir Neville Marriner. Schola Cantorum comprises around thirty singers, most of whom are students at Oxford University. Studying a broad variety of subjects across the Humanities and Sciences, the choir’s members rehearse during term, and regularly perform in Oxford and across the country. The choir has developed a noteworthy international reputation, having given concerts in recent years in Argentina, Italy, Israel, Mexico, Poland, Spain, China and France. In September 2014 the choir plans to visit the USA for the first time since 1989. Schola Cantorum has enjoyed a long history of recordings. In 2008, the choir recorded music by American composer Randall Thompson on the Hyperion label, and in January 2010 added a recording of works by the Finnish composer Einojuhani Rautavaara. The choir has frequently appeared on UK and international radio and television, and has featured in several of John Bridcut’s recent BBC films, including Delius: Composer, Lover, Enigma; The Passions of Vaughan Williams, in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the composer’s death; Elgar: The man behind the mask; The Prince and the Composer, a documentary on Hubert Parry presented by HRH the Prince of Wales; and Britten's Endgame, a film to commemorate the centenary of the composer's birth, broadcast in November 2013 on BBC4. In addition to their regular series of concerts in Oxford, recent highlights have included performances at the Dorchester Festival and in Beaulieu Abbey; the opening concert of the Fifth Masevaux International Festival of the Organ, performing with Thierry Escaich, a performance of Bach’s St Matthew Passion as part of the St Denis Festival broadcast on France Télévisions in 2011, and Berlioz’ Roméo et Juliette broadcast on Radio 3 from the Royal Festival Hall in February 2012, and performed at La Theatre Champs-Elysées with Sir Mark Elder. In January 2013 the choir performed Haydn’s Creation with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and Adam Fischer, and also gave a concert of Bach’s Magnificat, Vivaldi’s Gloria and Handel’s Zadok the Priest in St John’s Co-Cathedral, Valletta, Malta.

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