High-quality singing, innovative programmes and communicative performances are the hallmarks of Nonsuch Singers. The choir has gained a reputation for stylistic versatility in a cappella and accompanied works ranging from the Renaissance to the present day. It has frequently sought to make less familiar music accessible by exploring connections between works by established composers and lesser-known contemporary works.
Concerts have featured more than 80 works by living British composers, some of whom – including Diana Burrell, Gabriel Jackson, Roxanna Panufnik, John Tavener and Judith Weir – have attended rehearsals of their music.
The choir of some 40 members typically gives six or seven concerts a year, mostly in prominent London venues but also further afield, regularly performing with some of the UK’s leading instrumental ensembles and finest young vocal soloists.
Founded in 1977, the choir owes its name to the location of its first - informal - rehearsal, held on the site of Nonsuch Palace. The choir has had four Music Directors over the course of its history: Garrett O'Brien, Michael Hodges (from 1981 to 1996), Graham Caldbeck (1996 to 2012) and Tom Bullard, appointed in January 2013.
"The Nonsuch Singers presented a captivating programme..."
"The Nonsuch singers are one of the best choirs I have heard at Douai..."
Derek Ansell, Newbury Weekly News, April 2014
Highlights have included Monteverdi’s Vespers with His Majestys Sagbutts and Cornetts at St Martin-in-the-Fields (recommended as “Critic’s Choice” in The Times); a critically acclaimed concert of French Baroque works, edited by Lionel Sawkins, and the first complete modern performance of Joseph-Nicolas-Pancrace Royer’s opera, Zaïde, Reine de Grenade, celebrating the 300th anniversary of the composer’s birth. The choir has given a number of world premieres, including John Tavener’s Exhortation and Kohima in the Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall (televised).
2016 saw the release of the choir's début CD, To the FIeld of Stars, featuring works by Gabriel Jackson, Jonathan Dove, William Byrd, and Tomás Luis de Victoria. In 2016/7, the choir celebrated the 40th anniversary of the founding of Nonsuch Singers, with a special performance of Bach's St Matthew Passion on 31 March 2017 at Southwark Cathedral. Click here for details of the exciting programme of concerts for the 2017/18 season.