The King's Singers
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About The King's Singers
Comprising an ever-changing cast of six members, the King's Singers are a British vocal ensemble that tours the world singing a variety of repertory. Since its inception in the '60s and into the new millennium, the group has continued to perform, frequently to sold-out audiences.
The group was formed in 1965 by six choral scholars of the Choir of King's College, Cambridge. They decided to make a private recording of some of the secular music they had been working on, calling themselves "Schola Cantorum Pro Musica Profana in Cantabridgiense." They commissioned 100 pressings to keep and give to friends and families. From this start, the six (Martin Lane, Alastair Hume, Neil Jenkins, Richard Salter, Simon Carrington, and Brian Kay) decided to undertake a tour, and booked themselves as "Six Choral Scholars from King's College." The tour was a success, and a new name -- the King's Singers, suggested by an Argo Records executive -- was chosen.
Their first concert officially took place on May 1, 1968. By 1971, the King's Singers had drawn considerable attention in England and began making their first recordings. By Appointment and The King's Music appeared in 1971 and 1972, respectively. In the '80s, the King's Singers experienced their first personnel changes, but the group's popularity remained high, bolstered by a heavy touring schedule that even included an appearance on Johnny Carson's Tonight Show. Then-recent recordings, like their All at Once Well Met: English Madrigals (1985) and The Beatles Connection (1986), achieved impressive sales.
The group continued to entertain audiences into the '90s and 2000s, maintaining its meticulous style through numerous changes in its lineup. Of its past members, the longest serving was Alastair Hume, who remained with the King's Singers until the end of the 1992 season. Several former members, such as Nigel Short and Gabriel Crouch, established successful solo careers. As the troupe continued into the 2010s, its members included Patrick Dunachie and Timothy Wayne-Wright, countertenors; Julian Gregory, tenor; Christopher Bruerton and Christopher Gabbitas, baritones; and Jonathan Howard, bass.
The King's Singers have made several dozen recordings of a wide variety of music for several labels, everything from madrigals and motets to Japanese folk songs to a cappella arrangements of pop songs. They have also commissioned a large number of new compositions from composers such as Luciano Berio, György Ligeti, Toru Takemitsu, James MacMillan, and Gabriela Lena Frank. They also teach master classes and summer programs for young musicians. In 2009, the King's Singers won a Grammy Award for their recording Simple Gifts, on the Signum label. They were also part of Eric Whitacre's 2012 Grammy-winning recording Light & Gold. Great American Songbook followed in 2013 and Postcards in 2014. In 2017, they issued Gold, a three-disc set that featured their takes on traditional classics and pop hits from the likes of Wiz Khalifa ("See You Again"), the Beatles ("And I Love Her"), KT Tunstall ("Black Horse and the Cherry Tree"), John Legend ("All of Me"), and many more. ~ TiVo Staff
- Cambridge, England
- 1 May 1968
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