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Artist Hyperion Records
Schola Cantorum of Oxford
© Russell Duncan

Schola Cantorum of Oxford

Schola Cantorum of Oxford is one of the most long-established and widely known chamber choirs in the UK. Founded by the conductor László Heltay in 1960 as the Collegium Musicum Oxoniense, Schola Cantorum has worked with many highly respected musicians, including former patrons Sir Michael Tippett and Yehudi Menuhin, as well as Leonard Bernstein, Gustav Leonhart, Sir Colin Davis and Sir Neville Marriner. Current distinguished patrons of the choir include Emma Kirkby (a former member), John Mark Ainsley and the choir’s former conductor Andrew Parrott. Schola Cantorum is comprised of around thirty singers, most of whom sing with the choir while they are students at Oxford University. Studying a wide range of academic subjects including music, the choir members rehearse during university term-times, perform regularly in Oxford and give concerts all over the UK.

In addition to its long recording history, the choir has developed a formidable international reputation, and in recent years has given concert tours of Mexico, Argentina, Italy, Israel, Spain and France. In 2007 they became the first choir from a British university to tour in China, giving concerts in the Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing and the new Oriental Arts Centre in Shanghai. In 2008 they appeared as guest artists at the 43rd International Festival Wratislavia Cantans in Wroclaw, Poland.

Schola Cantorum has frequently appeared on radio and television in the UK and abroad. In 2006 the choir commissioned The Oxford Blues Service, a jazz setting of the service of Evensong by Roderick Williams which they performed live on BBC Radio 3. A jazz Matins service followed in 2007 which was broadcast on BBC Radio 4. In 2008 the choir featured in John Bridcut’s BBC film The Passions of Vaughan Williams in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the composer’s death.

Many generation of former choir members are in touch with the choir and support its activities. The choir would be delighted to hear from any who have fallen out of touch.


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