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The Sixteen is recognised as one of the world’s greatest ensembles. Comprising both choir and period-instrument orchestra, The Sixteen’s total commitment to the music it performs is its greatest distinction. A special reputation for performing early English polyphony and masterpieces of the Renaissance, bringing fresh insights into Baroque and early Classical music and a diversity of 20th- and 21st-century music, is drawn from the passions of Founder and Conductor Harry Christophers CBE.
At home in the UK The Sixteen are ‘The Voices of Classic FM’, Associate Artists of The Bridgewater Hall, Artistic Associates of Kings Place, and have a 2015-2016 Artist Residency at Wigmore Hall. The group promotes the Choral Pilgrimage, an annual tour of the UK’s finest cathedrals which aims to bring music back to the buildings for which it was written. The Sixteen features in the highly successful BBC television series Sacred Music, presented by actor Simon Russell Beale – the latest hour-long programme entitled Monteverdi in Mantua: The Genius of the Vespers was aired in April 2015.
The Sixteen’s period-instrument orchestra has taken part in acclaimed semi-staged performances of Purcell’s The Fairy Queen in Tel Aviv and London, a fully-staged production of Purcell’s King Arthur in Lisbon’s Belém Centre, and new productions of Monteverdi’s Il ritorno d’Ulisse at Lisbon Opera House and The Coronation of Poppea at English National Opera.
Over 140 recordings reflect The Sixteen’s quality in a range of work spanning the music of 500 years, winning many awards including the coveted Gramophone Award for Early Music and the prestigious Classical Brit Award for Renaissance, which was recorded as part of the group’s contract with Universal Classics and Jazz. In 2009 The Sixteen was given the accolade of the Classic FM Gramophone Artist of the Year as well as Best Baroque Vocal for its recording of Handel’s Coronation Anthems.
Since 2001 The Sixteen has been building its own record label, CORO, which has released 142 titles to date. Recent releases include The Deer’s Cry featuring music by William Byrd and Arvo Pärt which will accompany the Choral Pilgrimage 2016, Purcell’s The Indian Queen and Poetry in Music, a programme which encapsulates the fascinating collaboration between poet and composer.
In 2011 the group launched Genesis Sixteen, a new training programme for young singers. Aimed at 18- to 23-year-olds, this is the UK’s first fully funded choral programme for young singers designed specifically to bridge the gap from student to professional practitioner.
For more information on The Sixteen, Harry Christophers and CORO, please visit www.thesixteen.com
HARRY CHRISTOPHERS - Founder and Conductor, The Sixteen
He has made a significant contribution to the recording catalogue (already comprising 142 titles) for which he has won numerous awards including the coveted Gramophone Award for Early Music and the prestigious Classical Brit Award in 2005 for his disc Renaissance. His CD IKON was nominated for a 2007 Grammy and his second recording of Handel’s Messiah on The Sixteen’s own label CORO won the prestigious MIDEM Classical Award 2009. In 2009 he also received the coveted Gramophone Artist of the Year award as well as Best Baroque Vocal for Handel’s Coronation Anthems. He featured with The Sixteen in the highly successful BBC television series Sacred Music, presented by actor Simon Russell Beale – the latest hour-long programme exploring Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 was aired in April 2015.
Harry Christophers is the Artistic Director of Boston’s Handel and Haydn Society (H+H). Since his appointment in 2008, Christophers has led the chorus and period ensemble through a series of ambitious projects in the build-up to the organisation’s 2015 Bicentennial with a showcase of works premiered in the US by H+H since 1815, broad education programming, and the release of a series of recordings on the CORO label. At present he in the middle of a cycle of Haydn Symphonies, focusing on the ‘Paris’ Symphonies, with the Handel and Haydn Society. He is also Principal Guest Conductor of the Granada Symphony Orchestra.
As well as performing on the concert stage Harry Christophers continues to lend his artistic direction to opera. In 2006 he conducted Mozart’s Mitridate for the Granada Festival and after his outstanding success at Buxton Opera in past seasons, he returned in 2012 to conduct Handel’s Jephtha. Previous opera productions include Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte and Purcell’s King Arthur for Lisbon Opera, Monteverdi’s The Coronation of Poppea, Handel’s Ariodante and Gluck’s Orfeo for English National Opera and the UK premiere of Messager’s Fortunio for Grange Park Opera.
Harry Christophers received a CBE in the Queen’s 2012 Birthday Honours List. He is an Honorary Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford, as well as the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, and has Honorary Doctorates from the Universities of Canterbury Christ Church and Leicester.
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For further information please visit www.thesixteen.com