MIDDLEBURY, Vt. - The Tallis Scholars, considered by many to be superstars in the world of Renaissance music, will make a stop on their 2006 United States tour for a concert at Middlebury College at 7 p.m., Sunday, April 2, in Mead Chapel.
It has been 15 years since the acclaimed choral ensemble last performed at the college. The program for their return, under the direction of Peter Phillips, will focus on a cappella German music that predates Mozart, including chorale selections from Schütz, Praetorius, Aichinger, Hassler, and Senfl. A highlight will be their performance of J. S. Bach’s motet, “Komm, Jesu, komm.”
Founded in 1973, The Tallis Scholars ensemble has been the life’s work of director Peter Phillips, who has dedicated himself to the research and performance of sacred Renaissance music. He began his efforts in 1972 at Oxford University and continues to this day to learn, understand and ultimately recreate and preserve with modern voices the sounds of long ago.
“Listening to The Tallis Scholars is what it must have been like to attend evensong in an English parish church 400-500 years ago,” wrote a reviewer in Soundscapes magazine. “If you want to hear utterly flawless singing of unaccompanied Renaissance polyphony - this is it,” wrote a reviewer for Toronto’s National Post.
The result has been a contribution embraced by the classical music world. In more than 30 years, The Tallis Scholars have performed over 1,000 concerts around the world. They appear in both sacred and secular venues, from modern concert halls to Rome’s revered Sistine Chapel. They have performed alongside Paul McCartney in New York and at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow.
Beyond live performances, The Tallis Scholars are known for their prolific recordings of Renaissance polyphonic masterpieces. The ensemble records on its own label, Gimell Records, and has won acclaim both in the early music genre and for overall classical excellence. The group has received the coveted Gramophone Record of the Year award, gold honors from the French magazine Diapason, and accolades from Classic FM, a leading classical radio station in the United Kingdom. All of these honors and many others have helped secure The Tallis Scholars’ place in the music world as a true authority on Renaissance repertoire. According to Gramophone magazine: “They have surely contributed more than any other group to making renaissance choral music with mixed voices a commercial reality.”
In addition to the ensemble’s Mead Chapel performance, venues for the group’s 2006 tour include churches, cathedrals and concert halls in New York City, Ann Arbor, Chicago and Kansas City. Mead Chapel is located on Hillcrest Road off College Street (Route 125.) The concert is sponsored by the Middlebury College Performing Arts Series.
Tickets for the concert are $12 for general admission and $10 for seniors. For tickets or information, contact the Middlebury College Box Office at 802-443-6433 or visit online at www.middlebury.edu/arts