The Tallis Scholars

The Tallis Scholars

VOCAL ENSEMBLE
"Voices immaculately balanced and sublimely paced"

Jeremy Pound, BBC Music Magazine


Representation: UK, Ireland, Austria, Scandinavia, Iceland, Australia, New Zealand and Asia

Photo: Nick Rutter

Overview

Over four decades of performance and a catalogue of award-winning recordings for Gimell, Peter Phillips and The Tallis Scholars have done more than any other group to establish sacred vocal music of the Renaissance as one of the great repertoires of Western classical music. They have sought to bring Renaissance works to a wider audience in churches, cathedrals and venues on every continent on the planet except Antarctica! They continue to develop their exclusive sound, praised by reviewers for its supple clarity and tone, and to bring fresh interpretations to music by contemporary as well as past composers.

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Full Biography

The Tallis Scholars were founded in 1973 by their director, Peter Phillips. Through their recordings and concert performances, they have established themselves as the leading exponents of Renaissance sacred music throughout the world. Peter Phillips has worked with the ensemble to create, through good tuning and blend, the purity and clarity of sound which he feels best serve the Renaissance repertoire, allowing every detail of the musical lines to be heard. It is the resulting beauty of sound for which The Tallis Scholars have become so widely renowned.

The Tallis Scholars perform in both sacred and secular venues, usually giving around 70 concerts each year across the globe. In 2013 the group celebrated their 40th anniversary with a World Tour performing 99 events in 80 venues in 16 countries and travelling sufficient air-miles to circumnavigate the globe four times. They kicked off the year with a spectacular concert in St Paul’s Cathedral, London, including a performance of Thomas Tallis’ 40-part motet Spem in alium and the world premieres of works written specially for them by Gabriel Jackson and Eric Whitacre. Their recording of the Missa Gloria tibi Trinitas by John Taverner, was released on the exact anniversary of their first concert in 1973 and enjoyed six weeks at number one in the UK Specialist Classical Album Chart. On 21st September 2015 the group gave their 2000th concert at St John’s Smith Square in London.

Highlights in the 2018/19 season include performances in: Salzburg Festival, Bremen and Utrecht Festivals, a special concert at Miller Theatre, NY where they will give the world premiere of a new Nico Muhly piece, and tours of Japan and Brazil, in addition to their usual touring schedule around the USA, Europe and the UK.

Recordings by The Tallis Scholars have attracted many awards throughout the world. In 1987 their recording of Josquin’s Missa La sol fa re mi and Missa Pange lingua received Gramophone magazine’s Record of the Year award, the first recording of early music ever to win this coveted award. In 1989 the French magazine Diapason gave two of its Diapason d’Or de l’Année awards for the recordings of a mass and motets by Lassus and for Josquin’s two masses based on the chanson L’Homme armé. Their recording of Palestrina’s Missa Assumpta est Maria and Missa Sicut lilium was awarded Gramophone’s Early Music Award in 1991; they received the 1994 Early Music Award for their recording of music by Cipriano de Rore; and the same distinction again in 2005 for their disc of music by John Browne. The Tallis Scholars were nominated for a Grammy Award in 2001, 2009 and 2010. In November 2012 their recording of Josquin’s Missa De beata virgine and Missa Ave maris stella received a Diapason d’Or de l’Année and in their 40th anniversary year they were welcomed into the Gramophone ‘Hall of Fame’ by public vote. In a departure for the group in Spring 2015 The Tallis Scholars released a disc of music by Arvo Pärt called Tintinnabuli which has receive great praise across the board. The latest recording of Josquin masses, Missa Gaudeamus and Missa L’ami Baudichon, was released in November 2018. This is the 7th of 9 albums in The Tallis Scholars’ project to record all of Josquin’s masses before the composer’s 500th Anniversary in 2021.

Promoters please note: if you wish to include this biography in a concert programme etc, please contact Hazard Chase to ensure that you receive the most up to date version.  Email: Sarah Mansfield

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News

French Festivals

July 26th, 2019

The Tallis Scholars perform across the North-Western coast

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Holy Week 2019

April 5th, 2019

Hazard Chase artists celebrate the lead up to Easter

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‘Tis the Season

November 26th, 2018

HC artists’ concert performances this festive period

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BBC Proms 2018

May 3rd, 2018

Hazard Chase artists perform at the Proms

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2000 concerts and counting

November 10th, 2015

John Taverner’s Missa Corona spinea, recently released by The Tallis Scholars, seals their position as masters of choral singing

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Reviews

St. Florian Monastery, July 2019

“There is a pleasure in music that whets the audience’s appetite: to either follow the complex unfolding of the polyphonic motets, or simply to lose oneself in the sound-world… Conclusion: An all-round perfect concert, full of precision and passion. (Trans.)”

Nachrichten.at, July 2019

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US Spring Tour 2019

Portland

“perfect storm of singing… the esteemed English vocal ensemble delivered a brilliant program in all respects: use of the space and of the singers, and choice of literature… The afternoon was a revelation in capturing an audience’s mind.”

Oregon ArtsWatchBruce Browne and Daryl Browne, April 2019

 

Berkeley

“Tallis Scholars Shine in Music Inspired by The Sistine Chapel… The a capella polyphony of the ten Tallis Scholars vocalists was transcendent. one might even say, trance-inducing… Whether you are religious or not, this program of Renaissance polyphony sung by The Tallis Scholars was nothing short of heavenly.”

The Berkeley Daily Planet – James Roy MacBean, April 2019

 

BBC Prom, August 2011
“Those who stayed on for the late-night Prom by the Tallis Scholars had the benefit of the evening’s most compelling experience…. Inspiring and deeply moving”
The Telegraph, *****, August 2011

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“One of the biggest audiences for a late-night prom I’ve ever seen… The 12 singers of the Tallis Scholars understand this musical world as well as anyone can today. They floated the long-limbed lines of the polyphony with unaffected directness, while Phillips shaped them in a perfectly understated way, with the Albert Hall’s resonance for once adding bloom rather than blur to the textures.”
The Guardian, August 2011

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“[Victoria Requiem]…the audience sat rapt as Phillips’s team lifted us into heaven. The balance of parts; the expressive ease; the breathtaking beauty of their pianissimos!”
The Arts Desk, August 2011

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“This was a concert to treasure….. delivered by expert singers under their totally dedicated and inspiring conductor.”
Classical Source, August 2011

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Discography & Repertoire

Josquin – MASSES

The Tallis Scholars directed by Peter Phillips perform Missa di Dadi and Missa Une Mousse de Biscaye

GIMELL (2016)

Taverner – MISSA CORONA SPINEA

The Tallis Scholars directed by Peter Phillips.  The Missa Corona spinea is a kind of treble concerto, packed with mind-blowing sonorities. If ever there was music to exemplify Shakespeare’s ‘Music of the Spheres’, it is here, and especially in the two ecstatic treble gimells. The first performance, probably in front of Henry VIII and Cardinal Wolsey, must have been an astonishing occasion.

GIMELL (2015)

Pärt – TINTINNABULI

It is with great pleasure that Gimell present their tribute to Arvo Pärt in his 80th year. Tintinnabuli (from the Latin for ‘bell’) is the compositional style created by Arvo Pärt which informs every work on this recording. In all my searchings for inspiring contemporary music I have not come across anyone to rival him.

GIMELL (2015)

Artist Manager

Lucy Rice (Cambridge)
lucy.rice@hazardchase.co.uk
01223 706029

Assistant Artist Manager

Sarah Mansfield (Cambridge)
sarah.mansfield@hazardchase.co.uk
01223 706419