Cambridge University’s award-winning ambassadors for musical excellence, The King’s Singers have ventured to Australia to present a series of concerts in Perth, Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne as part of a 50th anniversary world tour.
With a discography of over 150 recordings and renowned for their technical excellence, The King’s Singers have built an enviable global reputation through their ongoing commitment to musical diversity. Acclaimed for their life-affirming virtuosity and irresistible charm, this global phenomenon has been described by the London Times as ‘The superlative vocal sextet’ and secured a place in Gramophone magazine’s inaugural Hall of Fame.
The King’s Singers first came together in 1968 when a group of six recently-graduated choral scholars from King’s College Cambridge gave a concert at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London’s Southbank. The vocal line-up, which has not wavered in 50 years, features two countertenors, one tenor, two baritones and one bass.
A key feature of the group’s success has been the continuity of its membership. Including the current six singers, there have only been twenty-six King’s Singers since that first performance. This has enabled the techniques that guide every aspect of the group’s music-making to be inherited and refined without the readjustments that high turnover often causes.
The current singers, aged from 25 to 39 years old, share diverse backgrounds from the University of Cambridge and the University of Oxford as well as the Royal Academy of Music and the Trinity College of Music.
First countertenor Patrick Dunachie is the newest and youngest member of the sextet and the only one from King’s College, while second baritone Christopher Gabbitas is the eldest and longest-serving singer, having joined the group from St John’s College, the University of Cambridge in 2004. Timothy Wayne-Wright (second countertenor), Julian Gregory (tenor), Christopher Bruerton (first baritone) and Jonathan Howard (bass) make up the current sextet.
Along with classic audience favourites from the renaissance and the romantics to U2 and Paul Simon, the Gold concerts will feature new anniversary commissions from Bob Chilcott, Toby Hession, Nico Muhly and John Rutter.
The King’s Singers play tonight at the Perth Concert Hall (28 February), before playing the Queensland Conservatorium, Brisbane (2 March), St Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney (3 March), and Robert Blackwood Hall – Monash University, Clayton (4 March). For more information, visit: www.kingssingers.com for details.
Image: The King’s Singers (supplied)