From the crystal purity of 16th-century polyphony to the exuberant energy of new Australian works, Sydney Chamber Choir sings the very best of choral music in all its freshness and beauty. Formed in 1975, Sydney Chamber Choir, under founding director Nicholas Routley, quickly established itself among Australia’s finest performers of Renaissance choral music, especially the works of Josquin des Prez. The Choir was also a pioneer in revitalizing performances of Baroque masterpieces by Bach and Handel. At the same time, it began a program of commissioning new music from Australian composers – a tradition which has continued in recent seasons under current Musical Director Paul Stanhope, with world premieres of works by Nigel Butterley, Paul Witney, Anne Boyd, Gerard Brophy, Andrew Schultz, Gordon Kerry, Joseph Twist, Lachlan Skipworth, Michael Yezerski, Clare Maclean, Christopher Gordon, Julian Yu, Nigel Westlake and, in 2014, Mary Finsterer, Stephen Adams and Dan Walker.
In 2015 the choir will celebrate its 40th anniversary with three concerts at the Great Hall, University of Sydney and after 10 years of musical leadership, Paul Stanhope will hand the choir over to Richard Gill.
- Musical Director & Conductor – Paul Stanhope
- Associate Conductor – Elizabeth Scott
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The Choir has toured widely in eastern Australia and performed in the United Kingdom, joining with Sydney Philharmonia Choirs for concerts at the BBC Proms, the Three Choirs Festival and in the Chapel of King’s College Cambridge, and presenting its own concerts in Canterbury and Oxford. In 2013, the Choir made its first Asian tour, to Hong Kong and Taiwan.
The Choir’s performances are regularly recorded for broadcast on ABC Classic FM and Fine Music 102.5, and CD recordings are available on the ABC Classics and Tall Poppies labels. Sydney Chamber Choir has also recorded soundtracks for a number of feature films.
Notable collaborations have included Exile Lamentations with Joseph Tawadros, Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s Gypsy Songs with guitarist Slava Grigoryan and Giya Kancheli’s Amao Omi with Continuum Sax. Sydney Chamber Choir also enjoys working with guest conductors such as Jonathan Grieves-Smith, Richard Gill, Roland Peelman, Brett Weymark, Graham Abbott and Carl Crossin.
In 2009, Sydney Chamber Choir was awarded third place in the Tolosa International Choral Competition, and performed to standing ovations in regional centres across northwestern Spain. Other recent highlights have included a performance of Spem in alium in Sydney with The Tallis Scholars, concerts at the Bangalow and Camden Haven Music Festivals, the closing performance of the 2010 Aurora Festival and International Society for Contemporary Music New Music Days, concerts and workshops for Musica Viva in Sydney and Newcastle, and recordings of Australian works for CD release on Tall Poppies and ABC Classics.