Voces8 - Biography
Founded in 2003, Voces8 has become known as one of the most exciting and versatile vocal groups on today’s music scene. The multi award-winning ensemble fulfils an international touring schedule across Europe, the USA, Asia and Africa.
Highlights of the 2013/2014 season include an extensive European concert schedule with concerts in Austria, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Italy, Romania and Sweden, in addition to tours to the USA, Indonesia, Korea and Russia and for ‘La Folle Journée’ in Nantes and Tokyo in 2014.
Wherever the eight singers travel, they win glowing reviews. The London Evening Standard said: “The searing chromatic harmonies of Lotti’s glorious Crucifixus stunned everybody into appreciative silence.” International Record Review wrote of their “exhilarating freshness of sound, unanimity of ensemble and superb diction.”
In January 2014 the group releases its debut recording for Decca, Eventide, showcasing the group’s intimate, perfectly blended sound in a series of seductive arrangements given a contemporary edge with the addition of solo cello, harp and saxophone. The disc features a wide range of captivating vocal music from composers such as Thomas Tallis and Eric Whitacre, and includes John Williams’ ‘Hymn to the Fallen’ from his Grammy® Award-winning soundtrack to Saving Private Ryan; and music by Patrick Hawes, Paul Mealor, Karl Jenkins and many others.
The programme on this Decca release reflects the versatility of a group which, while specialising in classical choral music, has made its mark in repertoire ranging from Renaissance polyphony to jazz and pop arrangements. The ensemble regularly commissions and collaborates with world-renowned contemporary composers including New York-based Norwegian composer Ola Gjeilo (whose Second Eve is included on the disc), Roxanna Panufnik, Alexander Levine and Ben Parry.
Outreach and education are central to the work of Voces8, who lead an innovative series of music education workshops reaching some 20,000 people annually. Aiming to inspire creativity and excellence through music, Voces8 have written a book for schools The Voces8 Method. Consisting of musical group activities centred on rhythm and melody, The Voces8 Method is intended to develop key learning skills and improve students’ academic learning across all subjects. Having undergone a pilot study with 100 schools in the UK and France, it is an innovative new system (based on research by the Institute of Education), published by Edition Peters in 2013.
The group’s many broadcasts include appearances on Deutschlandradio Kultur, ARTE TV, Radio France Musique, BBC Radio 3 and Classic FM, and it as enjoyed artistic collaborations with the Philharmonia Orchestra, the London Philharmonic Orchestra and period ensemble Les Inventions. In 2005, the group won first prize and the audience vote for best act at the International Choral Competition in Gorizia, Italy, and the following year it won two first prizes at the international choral competition in Tolosa, Spain. In 2013, it was nominated for seven CARA awards, winning in the categories for Best Classical Album and Best Classical Song.
With extensive education work and a growing reputation for stunning concerts, Voces8 is winning plaudits everywhere its charismatic music-making is heard. In the words of Stephen Eddins of AllMusic, “Radiant and luminous are adjectives that are perhaps overused in describing choral sound, but in this case they are fully deserved.”