Houston Chamber Choir
Available languages: EnglishThe Houston Chamber Choir is strongly identified with its home city, performing works by composers based there and elsewhere in Texas. Yet the choir also has a national and even international reputation, having been praised by conductor Peter Phillips as one of the leading ensembles in the U.S. The Houston Chamber Choir was formed in 1995 by Robert Simpson, who remains its artistic director. The choir comprises 25 singers, all professionals, and mostly graduates of top American music schools who have won their places through a rigorous audition process. It presents a regular series of five concerts yearly around the Houston area. In 1999, the choir founded an invitational choral festival, Hear the Future, hosting thousands of singers from choral programs in greater Houston. In one of its first forays abroad, the group brought home a medal from the International choral Eisteddfod in Wales. It hosted the Tallis at 500 festival in Houston in 2005. The choir has a large repertory stretching from the Baroque to contemporary works, and in 2007, it presented Houston's first historically informed performance of Bach's Mass in B minor, BWV 232, reprised in 2017. The Houston Chamber Choir has performed several programs of Mexican choral music and gone on tour with them in Mexico. In 2019, the choir was selected to perform at the 12th World Symposium on Choral Music in Auckland the following year. The group released its first album, The Blue Estuaries: American Choral Music, in 2001 on the Zephyr label, moving to MSR Classics for Ravishingly Russian in 2009. Since then, they have recorded for MSR and the boutique labels ECM (Rothko Chapel, 2015) and Signum Classics (Duruflé: Complete Choral Works, 2019): for the latter, the choir won the 2020 Grammy Award for Best Choral Performance. The choir maintains educational outreach as an important part of its mission; educational activities include an in-school program entitled "Rise Up Singing!" that offers ear training, music history, and vocal instruction to students in grades 3-5.
© James Manheim /TiVo
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