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The Sixteen




The Sixteen is one of the jewels in the musical crown of Britain. Internationally recognised as one of the finest choirs of our time, it is admired for performances combining clarity and precision with beauty and dramatic intensity. It concentrates on the heritage of early English polyphony, masterpieces of the Renaissance and Baroque, and a diversity of twentieth century choral work.

The choir is complemented for larger scale works by its orchestra, The Symphony of Harmony and Invention, and through it Harry Christophers brings fresh insights to the music of Purcell, Monteverdi, JS Bach and Handel. Many prize-winning recordings reflect the quality and inspiration of the group's work. The Sixteen now has its own record label, Coro, which makes available treasured releases of the past as well as new recordings and commissions. Each release contains a foreword written by Harry Christophers, and forms part of The Sixteen Edition on Coro. Coro now owns the entire recording output of The Sixteen on Collins Classics.

The Sixteen has toured throughout Europe, Japan, Brazil and Australia, with sold-out North American tours in 1993 and 2001 and an acclaimed Lincoln Center, New York debut in 1997. Recent years have seen acclaimed debuts at the Vienna Musikverein, the new Auditori in Barcelona, the "Mostly Mozart" Festival at New York's Lincoln Center, the Tokyo Opera City Concert Hall, and the Covent Garden Festival.

In 1998 Lisbon Opera's invitation to Harry Christophers to conduct Monteverdi's Il Ritorno d'Ulisse in a new production directed by Aidan Lang was rapturously received. This success followed on the group's earlier operatic achievements in Purcell's Fairy Queen and King Arthur, and The Sixteen's part in the world première of Harrison Birtwistle's Gawain at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in 1991.

In 2000 The Sixteen made its first Choral Pilgrimage to the great English cathedrals, restoring early Tudor music to its intended buildings as a millennial celebration. Its continuation is an important strand of the group's aim to bring its work to the widest possible audience. In 2001/2 the pilgrimage extended to Scotland for the first time and included the world première of its first commission - O bone Jesu by James MacMillan.

Alongside the Choral Pilgrimage, The Sixteen and The Symphony of Harmony and Invention's current seaon included Handel's Israel in Egypt at Manchester's Bridgewater Hall, Vienna's Theater an der Wien, London's Barbican Centre and the Newbury Spring Festival and Bach's St Matthew Passion in Spain and Andorra. Harry Christophers and The SIxteen also renewed their association with the BBC Philharmonic for a recent tour in Spain performing the Requiem of Fauré and Stravinsky's Symphony of Psalms.