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Stile Antico

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Biography

Stile Antico is an early music vocal ensemble consisting of 12 singers who perform without a conductor. They have focused largely on medieval and Renaissance-era sacred repertory, taking in music by Byrd, Tallis, Taverner, John Sheppard, and many anonymous works. Made up of three singers each in the soprano, alto, tenor, and bass ranges, the ensemble performs about 40 concerts yearly and regularly goes on tour. It has concertized in 15 countries across the globe, including the U.S., where they have made yearly visits since 2009. Twice nominated for Grammy awards, Stile Antico have rightly earned the reputation as one of the finest smaller early music ensembles from the U.K. It has made several acclaimed recordings for the Harmonia Mundi label. Stile Antico was formed in Oxford, England, in 2001. Founding members, who were then mostly students, were sisters Helen (soprano), Kate (soprano), and Emma Ashby (alto), Carris Jones (alto), Eleanor Harries (alto), Andrew Griffiths (tenor), Oliver Hunt (bass), and Matthew O'Donovan (bass). All of them were still members in 2011 along with Rebecca Hickey (soprano), Jim Clements (tenor), Benedict Hymas (tenor), and Will Dawes (bass). Stile Antico's debut concert took place in Oxford, England, in 2001. For the first several years the group performed mostly on university holidays. Its breakthrough came when it entered the 2005 Early Music Network Young Artist Competition at the York Early Music Festival, where it won the audience prize. Robina Young, an executive for Harmonia Mundi, was on the competition jury and later signed the ensemble to a recording contract. From 2005, Stile Antico made London the base of operations. It debuted to acclaim at the City of London Festival in March 2006. In early 2007 its first recording, Music for Compline, was issued by Harmonia Mundi and went on to capture several prestigious awards, including a Diapason d'Or and a Grammy nomination. In 2008 Stile Antico made its debut at the MA (Musique Ancienne) Festival in Bruges, and the following year made two more important debuts, at the Boston Early Music Festival, in June (their U.S. debut), and at New York's Music Before 1800 series, in October. In 2010 Stile Antico debuted to acclaim both at the Schleswig-Holstein Festival and at the BBC Proms. Among its more highly praised recordings is the 2010 Harmonia Mundi CD Puer natus est, a collection of Advent and Christmas works by Byrd, Tallis, Taverner, and others. Stile Antico made its Wigmore Hall debut in July 2011.

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