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Artist Hyperion Records
Tallis Scholars, The

The Tallis Scholars

The Tallis Scholars were founded in 1973 by their director, Peter Phillips. Through recordings and more than two thousand five hundred concerts they have established themselves throughout the world as the leading exponents of Renaissance sacred music. Peter Phillips has worked with the ensemble to create, through good tuning and blend, the purity and clarity of sound which he feels best serve the Renaissance repertoire, allowing every detail of the musical lines to be heard. It is the resulting beauty of sound for which The Tallis Scholars have become so widely renowned.

The Tallis Scholars perform in both sacred and secular venues, giving over eighty concerts each year worldwide. In February 1994 they performed on the 400th anniversary of the death of Palestrina in the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, Rome, where Palestrina had trained as a choirboy and later worked as Maestro di Cappella. The concert was filmed by Gimell and is available on DVD-Video. In April 1994 the group enjoyed the privilege of performing in the Sistine Chapel to mark the final stage of the complete restoration of the Michelangelo frescos, broadcast live on Italian television.

In 1998 they celebrated their twenty-fifth Anniversary with a special concert in London’s National Gallery, including a work by Sir John Tavener, In the Month of Athyr, written for the group and narrated by Sting. Further performances were given with Sir Paul McCartney in New York in 2000 and with Vanessa Redgrave in Birmingham’s Symphony Hall in 2006.

In March 2013 they launched a 40th Anniversary World Tour with a spectacular concert in St Paul’s Cathedral in London. The Tallis Scholars are broadcast regularly on radio including performances from the BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall in 2007, 2008, 2011, 2013, 2014 and 2018.

Much of The Tallis Scholars’ reputation for their pioneering work has come from their association with Gimell Records, set up by Peter Phillips and producer Steve Smith. The first Gimell recording, made in 1980 and featuring Allegri’s Miserere, is described by BBC Music Magazine as one of the 50 Greatest Recordings of All Time. Recordings by The Tallis Scholars have attracted many awards. In 1987 their recording of Josquin’s Missa La sol fa re mi and Missa Pange lingua received the Gramophone magazine Record of the Year award, the first recording of early music ever to win this coveted award. In 1989 the French magazine Diapason gave two of its ‘Diapason d’Or de l’Année’ awards for recordings of a Mass and motets by Lassus and of Josquin’s two Masses based on the chanson L’homme armé. Their recording of Palestrina’s Missa Assumpta est Maria and Missa Sicut lilium was awarded Gramophone’s Early Music Award in 1991; they also received the 1994 Early Music Award for their recording of music by Cipriano de Rore, and the same distinction again in 2005 for their disc of music by John Browne. In 2012 their recording of Josquin’s Missa De beata virgine and Missa Ave maris stella received a ‘Diapason d’Or de l’Année’. In 2020 they released the ninth and final album in their project to record all of Josquin’s Masses before the composer’s 500th anniversary in 2021. Featuring the Missa Hercules Dux Ferrarie, Missa D’ung aultre amer and Missa Faysant regretz, the album won the 2021 Gramophone Early Music Award and the BBC Music Magazine Recording of the Year Award.

These accolades are continuing evidence of the exceptionally high standard maintained by The Tallis Scholars, and of their dedication to one of the great repertoires in Western classical music.


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