Voces 8 - Biography
The British vocal ensemble VOCES8 is proud to inspire people through music and share the joy of singing. Touring extensively throughout Europe, North America and Asia, the group performs repertoire from Renaissance polyphony to contemporary commissions and arrangements; versatility and a celebration of diverse musical expression is central to the ensemble’s performance ethos.
VOCES8 has performed at venues such as the Wigmore Hall, Royal Festival Hall, Royal Albert Hall, Bridgewater Hall Manchester, Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, Cité de la Musique Paris, Vienna Konzerthaus, Tokyo Opera City, National Centre for the Performing Arts Beijing, Shanghai Concert Hall and Mariinsky Theatre Concert Hall. Artistic collaborators have included the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, period ensembles Florilegium, L’Arpeggiata and La Folia Barockorchester, and violinist/artistic director Hugo Ticciati. This season they will perform with baroque violinist Rachel Podger with a new innovative project called "Guardian Angel". In the 2017/18 Season the ensemble will be touring Europe extensively, returning to Russia, and making three tours to the USA; they will also make debut tours to Singapore and Mexico.
With an on-going programme of recordings and live broadcasts, VOCES8 is heard regularly on international television and radio. The ensemble is a Decca Classics artist and has released acclaimed recordings that have been at the top of the classical charts. VOCES8 has premiered commissions from Roxanna Panufnik, Alexander Levine, Alec Roth, Ben Parry, Ola Gjeilo, Philip Stopford and Thomas Hewitt Jones. The group also performs bespoke arrangements written by Arranger in Residence, Jim Clements.
The ensemble welcomed one of the most celebrated contemporary composers, Jonathan Dove, as Composer in Residence for two seasons from September 2017. As well as a commission planned for 2019 (Jonathan’s 60th birthday year), the associateship will provide mentoring opportunities to emerging composers linked with the group’s education programme.
VOCES8 is passionate about music education and is the flagship ensemble of the music charity VCM Foundation. Engaging in a broad range of outreach work that reaches up to 40,000 people a year, the group also runs an annual programme of workshops and masterclasses at the Foundation’s home in London, the Gresham Centre at St Anne & St Agnes Church. The ensemble is dedicated to supporting promising young singers and awards eight annual choral scholarships through the VOCES8 Scholars initiative. These scholarships are linked to the annual Milton Abbey Summer School at which amateur singers of all ages are invited to work and perform with VOCES8. International education partnerships include Bozar Brussels, Paris Philharmonie, Vienna Konzerthaus and Heidelberg Frühling.
As official Ambassadors for Edition Peters, the ensemble has published a collection of Songbooks and educational material including the VOCES8 Method. Developed by Paul Smith, Co-Founder of VOCES8, this unique teaching tool is available in four languages and adopts music to enhance development in numeracy, literacy and linguistics.
VOCES8 is very grateful for support from Arts Council England, the Merchant Taylors’ Company, the Worshipful Company of Plaisterers, Holman Fenwick Willan and T.M.Lewin.
“The slickest of the lot…fans of a cappella ought to hear this.” CD Review, BBC Radio 3
“Eight beautifully integrated solo voices… Every number here has something particularly arresting within it, all supported by persuasive and committed singing.” BBC Music Magazine Choral and Song Choice, A Purcell Collection *****