- John Sheppard: Missa Cantate album release – 6th October 2023
- 50th Birthday world tour with over 90 concerts through 2023/24 season
- London 50th Birthday event at Middle Temple Hall – 3rd November 2023
- Director Peter Phillips celebrates his 70th birthday – 15th October 2023
Friday 3rd November 2023 marks 50 years since renowned British choral ensemble The Tallis Scholars gave its first ever concert at the Church of St Mary Magdalen, Oxford. In those 50 years the line-up of singers has evolved but Director Peter Phillips has been at the helm for every one of their 2500 concerts across the globe and all 60 original album releases for record label Gimell, with Steve Smith as Producer for each of these recordings.
To celebrate this milestone, The Tallis Scholars have embarked on a world tour through the 2023/24 season performing over 90 dates at sacred and secular venues across Europe, the United States and the Far East, bringing their unique sound and varied programme of Renaissance sacred music to fans worldwide. A special event at London’s historic Middle Temple Hall marks the birthday itself on Friday 3rd November 2023 which promises performances of some favourite works as well as refreshments and speeches along with a chance to meet Director Peter Phillips and the singers.
On 6th October 2023, The Tallis Scholars release a recording of John Sheppard’s exuberant Missa Cantate, the ensemble’s 60th original album for the Gimell record label, a cheerful and energetic work, ideally pitched to celebrate The Tallis Scholars’ pioneering achievements. This is their second album of music by the English Renaissance composer John Sheppard (c.1515 -1558) – the first, released in 1989, created a new icon of English Renaissance polyphony with the first recording of Media vita. Eight other ensembles and choirs have subsequently recorded Media vita, a fitting testimony to the Tallis Scholars’ influence. Producer Steve Smith comments: “Alongside the ‘Cantate Mass’, our new Sheppard album includes another masterpiece, ‘Gaude virgo Christiphera’. I have a hunch this recording will add another icon to the Renaissance repertoire.”
Director Peter Phillips also celebrates a personal milestone this season, celebrating his 70th birthday on 15th October 2023. Peter Phillips has made an impressive if unusual reputation for himself in dedicating his life’s work to the research and performance of Renaissance polyphony. He adds: “There are quite a few round numbers in the air at the moment – the Tallis Scholars are 50; the Sheppard disc is our 60th; I’m turning 70. And yet there is so much more to do. More repertoire to discover. New audiences all over the world to introduce our music to. New venues to bring alive with our sound, symphony halls as much as cathedrals. The future seems terribly exciting, and I can’t wait for it.”
Over five decades of performance and a catalogue of award-winning recordings for Gimell, Peter Phillips and The Tallis Scholars have done more than any other group to establish sacred vocal music of the Renaissance period as one of the great repertoires of Western classical music. They have brought Renaissance works to a wider audience in churches, cathedrals and secular venues on every continent on the planet except Antarctica! These include the Royal Albert Hall, the Sistine Chapel, the Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall New York, the Philharmonic Hall Berlin, Saint Mark’s Venice, Seoul Arts Centre Korea, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre London, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Wigmore Hall, Beijing Concert Hall, Megaron Athens and the Opera House Sydney.
The Tallis Scholars continue to develop their unique sound, praised by reviewers for its supple clarity and tone, and to bring fresh interpretations to music by contemporary as well as past composers, such as Pärt, Tavener, Whitacre, Muhly and Jackson.