ABCD announces new president
2 February 2016
The Association of British Choral Directors has named John Rutter as its new president.
He succeeds Sir David Willcocks, who had been president since the organisation's foundation in 1986 until his death in September 2016.
Rutter is a founder member of ABCD and remains actively involved in its activities. He recently led a Come and Sing afternoon in the Royal Northern College of Music as part of ABCD's annual convention in August.
ABCD chair Leslie East said that Rutter was the 'unanimous choice' of the ABCD Council. 'It is not simply that John is one of the UK’s foremost choral composers, but also that he has involved himself with great enthusiasm in the work of ABCD ever since he helped form and set up the Association, that made him the logical choice to follow one of his mentors and heroes.'
Describing himself as 'honoured' to take up the new position, Rutter said: 'ABCD is a practical organisation, offering valuable hands-on training to choir directors, but it is visionary too, never losing sight of the mountain peaks of choral music which point us all upwards. As abcd moves forward to face new opportunities and challenges in a changing world, I look forward to being part of it.'
ABCD promotes opportunities for the professional development of everyone leading singing, and runs an extensive programme of courses, workshops and seminars throughout the UK.
Association of British Choral Directors
New King's Singer announced
28 January 2016
David Hurley (left) and Patrick Dunachie (centre) with the rest of the King's Singers
Patrick Dunachie is to replace David Hurley as countertenor with the King's Singers in September 2016.
He will perform in excess of 120 concerts each year around the world alongside education work and recording.
Hurley, who joined the group in February 1990, said of Dunachie: 'From a strong shortlist of candidates he stood out as an ideal future King’s Singer.'
Dunachie was a chorister at Hereford Cathedral before he took up a choral scholarship to King's College, Cambridge. He graduated from King's in summer 2015, and currently sings as a Lay Clerk in Christ Church Cathedral Choir alongside teaching and freelance work.
He has sung as a soloist at the Three Choirs Festival and the BBC Proms, as well as with groups including Ex Cathedra and the King’s Consort. As a former musical director of the King’s Men and a member of the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge, he has also prepared many performance editions of music from different countries and periods, and has web and graphic-design, score transcription and engraving skills.
'I have been listening to the group’s recordings and concerts since I was very young, and I have always admired David’s singing, so it’s surreal now to be joining them,' Dunachie said. 'When I was about 14, I told my English teacher that my dream job would be singing first countertenor in The King’s Singers, and so I feel really lucky that the dream has come true!'
Manager Claire Long said: 'As the group was founded at King’s College (Cambridge) in 1968, it’s particularly pleasing to welcome Patrick, a former King’s choral scholar, as we head towards the 50th celebrations in 2018.'
The King's Singers
Preview: Barbican 2016/17 season
26 January 2016
The Barbican's 2016/17 season includes a Massed Voices concert series, featuring landmarks of the choral repertoire.
The London Symphony Orchestra will present five major choral works with the London Symphony Chorus and Monteverdi Choir. The concerts will feature performances of Mendelssohn’s Symphony No 2, Hymn of Praise, with Sir John Eliot Gardiner and his Monteverdi Choir (16 & 20 October); John Adams’ El Niño, conducted by the composer (4 December); Fabio Luisi conducting Brahms’ German Requiem (19 March); and a performance of Bruckner’s Te Deum with conductor Bernard Haitink (28 May).
The BBC Symphony Orchestra and BBC Symphony Chorus will also perform three large-scale choral works. Rachmaninov’s choral symphony The Bells (28 October), Berlioz’s Grand messe des morts (13 November at the Royal Albert Hall) and Dvořák’s Requiem (13 April).
Britten Sinfonia will be joined by Harry Christophers and The Sixteen for the world premiere of James MacMillan’s Stabat Mater (15 October), and will celebrate Easter with a Good Friday performance of Bach’s St John Passion with Mark Padmore and Britten Sinfonia Voices (14 April).
Barbican: Classical 16/17
Gesualdo Six launch composition competition
25 January 2016
Composers are invited to submit a new work for the Gesualdo Six's inaugural composition competition.
The competition is divided into two categories: 18 years and under, and 19 years and above. The chosen texts for composers to set include poems by Christina Rossetti and Emily Brontë, as well as words by Gesualdo and Shakespeare.
The winning works will be premiered by the ensemble at St John's Smith Square on 19 June and will be considered for publication by Novello & Co Ltd. A prize fund of £1000 is available.
Entries should be submitted by 5pm on 15 April.
Gesualdo Six: composition competition 2016
Sir James MacMillan commission to reopen Mackintosh Building
25 January 2016
GSA choir director Jamie Sansbury with Sir James MacMillan in the Mackintosh Building
A new work by Sir James MacMillan will receive its premiere at the reopening of the Mackintosh Building at the Glasgow School of Art (GSA)
Creative Scotland has awarded National Lottery funding of £4,000 towards the commission, with further support from the GSA.
The text for the new work is taken from a poem written by former GSA director Francis (Fra) Henry Newbery, who played an important part in commissioning the Mackintosh Building.
The new work will be performed by the GSA Choir
GSA director Tom Inns said: 'We wanted to mark the re-opening of the Mackintosh Building in a very special way, and what better way to celebrate the re-opening of a creative masterpiece than with the world premiere of a work by such an eminent composer? We are thrilled that Creative Scotland has recognised the cultural significance of this project.'
'I have been impressed with the sounds his choir make and am delighted that they have asked me to write for them,' said Sir James. 'I'm proud that the new piece will mark the reopening of this important building. This is a project of hope and determination to overcome the disaster which befell the school in 2014.'
The category-A listed building, which was recognised as a fine example of art nouveau architecture, was stricken by a fire in 2014. Many students lost work towards their final-year degree show, but the building's archives were saved.
Glasgow School of Art
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