Rhinegold Photo credit: Jeff Grass Photography
Houston Chamber Choir under Robert Simpson won the Best Choral Performance category

Harriet Clifford

GRAMMY winners announced

12:08, 27th January 2020

The GRAMMY’s Best Choral Performance category has been won by Houston Chamber Choir’s (HCC) album in a ceremony held on 26 January in Los Angeles.

The winning album, Duruflé: Complete Choral Works [Signum Classics SIGCD 571], was released on Signum Classics, conducted by artistic director Robert Simpson and accompanied by Ken Cowan on the organ. On the disc, HCC performs the music of the 20th-century French composer Maurice Duruflé, featuring Requiem, Messe ‘Cum Jubilo’ and two a cappella pieces, Notre Père and Quatre Motets.

Producer of the album Blanton Alspaugh also won a GRAMMY for Producer of the Year, Classical, for his work on eight recordings, including HCC’s album.

The album was chosen out of five nominees, which included two recordings from Philadelphia-based choir The Crossing – Voyages and The Arc in the Sky – , Conspirare’s The Hope of Loving, and The Divine Liturgy of St John Chrysostom by Kurt Sander, performed by soloists and the PaTRAM Institute Singers.

Robert Simpson, who accepted the award with his wife Marianna Parnas-Simpson, a HCC member, said, ‘I see this as a win for the Chamber Choir, Houston’s vibrant artistic community, and the entire city. It is not uncommon for elite American choirs to draw their singers from many parts of the country. I am proud that we are all Houstonians, and that our name identifies us with this great city.’

Duruflé: Complete Choral Works is the choir’s fifth album, released in April 2019. Steve Long, CEO of Signum Records, said, ‘We were introduced to this fine US choir by Bob Chilcott and are delighted to be able to share in the success of the GRAMMY win with them. We already have future release plans with Robert and the Houston Chamber Choir, and we look forward to continued successes going forward.’

In July 2020, the choir will participate in the World Symposium on Choral Music in Auckland, New Zealand, joining 23 world-renowned choirs including the UK’s Voces8, Germany’s Kammerchor Stuttgart, and the Batavia Madrigal Singers from Indonesia.

Composed of 25 professional singers, HCC members have attended top music schools and conservatoires in the United States, including Juilliard, New England Conservatory, and the University of Houston.

The complete list of winners can be viewed here.



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