The Sixteen - Choir and Orchestra



The Sixteen is an internationally acclaimed choir – of six women and ten men – and period instrument orchestra; founded by Harry Christophers in 1979.

A special reputation for performing early English polyphony, masterpieces of the Renaissance, bringing fresh insights into Baroque and early Classical music and a diversity of twentieth-century music, is drawn from the passions of conductor and founder, Harry Christophers.

At home in the UK, The Sixteen are "The Voices of Classic FM", TV Media Partner with Sky Arts, and Associate Artists of Southbank Centre, London. The group promotes an annual series at the Queen Elizabeth Hall as well as The Choral Pilgrimage, a tour of our finest cathedrals bringing music back to the buildings for which it was written. The Sixteen featured in the highly successful BBC Four television series, Sacred Music, presented by actor Simon Russell Beale.

The Sixteen tours throughout Europe, Japan, Australia and the Americas and has given regular performances at major concert halls and festivals worldwide, including the Barbican Centre - London, Bridgewater Hall - Manchester, Concertgebouw - Amsterdam, Sydney Opera House, Tokyo Opera City and Vienna Musikverein and also at the BBC Proms, the festivals of Granada, Lucerne, Istanbul, Prague and Salzburg.

In addition, The Sixteen’s period orchestra has taken part in highly acclaimed semi-staged performances of Purcell’s Fairy Queen in Tel Aviv and London, a fully-staged production of Purcell’s King Arthur in Lisbon’s Belem Centre, followed by new productions of Monteverdi’s Il Ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria at Lisbon Opera House and The Coronation of Poppea at English National Opera. Over ninety recordings reflect The Sixteen’s quality in a range of work spanning the music of five hundred years, winning many awards including Grand Prix du Disque, numerous Schallplattenkritik, the coveted Gramophone Award for Early Music, the prestigious Classical Brit Award in 2005 for Renaissance and IKON which was nominated for a Grammy Award and two Classical Brits. These latter two discs were recorded as part of the group's contract with Universal Classics and Jazz.

Since 2001 The Sixteen has been building its own record label, CORO, which will release its seventy-forth release in 2009. Recent recordings include Brahms’s German Requiem, ‘Treasures of Tudor England’ (music by Parsons, Tye and White) which accompanied the 2008 Choral Pilgrimage, Fauré’s Requiem with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields and Handel’s celebrated oratorio, Messiah, with an all-star soloist line-up: Carolyn Sampson, Catherine Wyn-Rogers, Mark Padmore and Christopher Purves, which was awarded the prestigious MIDEM Classical Award 2009.

The Sixteen also has an increasingly busy education programme and recent projects include a series of Schools' Matinees for hundreds of primary school children in Bury St Edmunds, Liverpool and Southwell under the national Sing Up initiative. The Sixteen also has close ties with The Guildhall School of Music and Drama and Trinity College of Music, offering unique opportunities for young people about to embark on careers as professional musicians. 

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