The Choir of St John’s College, Cambridge
The Choir of St John’s College, Cambridge is one of the finest collegiate choirs in the world, known and loved by millions from its broadcasts, concert tours and recordings. This is the Choir’s 100th album to be released. Founded in the 1670s, the Choir is known for its distinctive rich, warm sound, its expressive interpretations and its breadth of repertoire. Alongside these musical characteristics, the Choir is particularly proud of its happy, relaxed and mutually supportive atmosphere. The Choir is directed by Andrew Nethsingha following a long line of eminent Directors of Music, recently Dr George Guest, Dr Christopher Robinson and Dr David Hill.
The Choir is made up of around 20 Choristers and Probationers from St John’s College School and 15 Choral Scholars who are members of St John’s College, its primary purpose being to enhance the liturgy and worship at daily services in the College Chapel. The Choir has a diverse repertoire spanning over 500 years of music. It is also renowned for championing contemporary music by commissioning new works, including recent compositions by Joanna Ward, Lara Weaver, Cecilia McDowall, and the College’s Composer in Residence Michael Finnissy. Each term the Choir sings Bach Cantatas liturgically with St John’s Sinfonia, its period instrument ensemble. This Bach series is now entering its second decade.
The Choir brings the ‘St John’s Sound’ to listeners around the world through its weekly webcasts (available at sjcchoir.co.uk). The Choir’s first video live-stream took place in May 2018 with Classic FM on Facebook. It was watched over 80,000 times during the subsequent fortnight. In addition to regular radio broadcasts in this country and abroad, the Choir usually makes two CD recordings each year. In May 2016 the College launched its new ‘St John’s Cambridge’ recording label (in conjunction with Signum Classics) on which the Choir has released the BBC Music Magazine Award winning recording of Jonathan Harvey’s music: DEO; Christmas with St John’s; KYRIE (works by Poulenc, Kodály and Janáček); Mass in G minor (works by Vaughan Williams); and Advent Live (a collection of live recordings from the Advent Carol Services, broadcast each year by the BBC).
The Choir also maintains a busy schedule of concerts and tours internationally twice a year. Recent destinations have included Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, the Netherlands, Singapore and the USA. It also performs regularly in the UK, with venues including Symphony Hall, Birmingham, Royal Albert Hall and Royal Festival Hall, London.