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Nigel Short

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Versatile countertenor and conductor Nigel Short is best known as the artistic director and founder of the a cappella chamber choir Tenebrae. Short launched his career as a soloist in opera and oratorio, while also singing in various choirs, including the Tallis Scholars and the King's Singers. Short was born in Solihull, England, on August 16, 1965. As a youth, he sang as a chorister at Solihull Parish Church and later enrolled at the Royal College of Music in London, where he studied voice and piano. Short developed an interest in sacred music, from pre-Renaissance to modern, and following his time at the Royal College, performed with several choral ensembles, including the choirs of Westminster Abbey and Cathedral, the Tallis Scholars, and the King's Consort. He later began appearing in oratorios and operas, including with Opera North and the English National Opera. In 1994, he joined the King's Singers, where he made a number of highly successful performances and recordings. Among these recordings are Nightsong, Renaissance, and Circle of Life, for which the group received a Grammy nomination. He remained with the King's Singers until 2000. During his time with the King's Singers, Short envisioned forming a larger group to perform sacred music from the Renaissance to the 21st century. In 2001, Short and Barbara Pollock founded Tenebrae; Short has served as the artistic director since its founding. Tenebrae's premiere featured Short's composition The Dream of Herod (2002), for baritone, organ, and choir. The work was issued in 2003 by Signum, along with Christmas and traditional songs, and works by Peter Wishart, Howells, Gruber, and others. The group's repertoire encompasses sacred music from Hildegard von Bingen to John Tavener, traditional and Christmas songs, as well as music for chorus and orchestra by Mozart, Berlioz, Poulenc, and others. In such repertory, Short and Tenebrae have performed and recorded with ensembles including the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and the London Symphony Orchestra. Short commissioned composer Joby Talbot to write Path of Miracles, which Tenebrae premiered with great success in 2005. He has taken the ensemble on tour throughout Europe and the U.S. Throughout his career, Short has recorded for many labels, including EMI, RCA, LSO Live, Signum, and Warner Classics. Together, Short and Tenebrae have recorded over 30 albums. Among these are What Sweeter Music: Songs & Carols for Christmas from 2009, Music of the Spheres from 2016, which earned a 2017 Grammy nomination, and in 2018, A Walk with Ivor Gurney.
© Keith Finke & Robert Cummings /TiVo
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