Biography of Vasari Singers:
The award-winning chamber choir Vasari Singers, under Music Director Jeremy Backhouse, enters its 25th anniversary year with a reputation for excellence and versatility based on vivid concert performances and recordings. Described by Gramophone magazine as “one of the most accomplished small choral groups of our time”, Vasari has performed in most of London’s major concert venues and taken part in numerous commercial concerts and festivals, including the BBC Proms. The choir can be heard regularly on BBC Radio 3 and has featured on BBC TV. Choral evensong is a major part of Vasari’s schedule and the choir sings regularly in Canterbury Cathedral at the request of the Dean and Chapter and at other main English cathedrals. Vasari’s substantial discography features recordings across a wide range of periods and styles, from Palestrina and Lotti, to Britten, Fauré, Kodály, and Swingle. The Gramophone Award-nominated Howells Requiem and Frank Martin Mass was re-released by Signum in 2004 and the recent recordings of works by the French composer Marcel Dupré both received Gramophone’s ‘Editor’s Choice’ accolade. The choir performs regularly in London’s leading choral venues including St John’s, Smith Square and St Martin in the Fields, with repertoire ranging from Tallis’ Spem in Alium, the Bach motets, Rachmaninov’s Vespers, Parry’s Songs of Farewell, and Fanshawe’s African Sanctus, to works by living composers including James MacMillan, Jonathan Dove and Francis Pott. Alongside its performances of works from the last 500 years, Vasari is committed to performing and promoting new choral music. Since 2000 Vasari has commissioned 20 new pieces – with 10 new works to celebrate its 25th anniversary - from British composers including Diana Burrell, Bob Chilcott, Humphrey Clucas, Howard Goodall and Roxanna Panufnik, Francis Pott, Gabriel Jackson, Richard Blackford and Will Todd. In 2006, Vasari will premiere a large-scale choral commission by Francis Pott, The Cloud of Unknowing. Vasari has recently agreed a new recording contract with Signum Records and has also recorded for the Guild Label, EMI, Virgin and Cala/United. Vasari Singers gratefully acknowledges financial support from the PRS Foundation, the RVW Trust, the Holst Foundation, the Michael Marks Foundation, the Leche Trust, the Kenneth Leighton Foundation and valuable assistance from our sponsors including La Sologne Publications, Sim Canetty-Clarke Photography, Metro Imaging and SLDesign.