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The Choir of King's College, London

The Choir of King's College London does not have the antiquity of collegiate choirs at England's more venerable universities, but it has a high profile across Britain, tours widely, and has a vigorous recording career. The group's annual Advent Carols services are an institution at holiday time in London. Choral singing at King's College London goes back to the mid-19th century when a choir was founded by organist (and "Abide with Me" composer) William Henry Monk, but the current Choir of King's College London was formed in 1945. It has had only five directors since that time (and one was a temporary appointment lasting only eight months); since 2015, the director has been Joseph Fort. The choir comprises about 30 singers who are designated choral scholars, although they study in various fields (not exclusively music). As with previous incarnations of the choir, the group has the primary function of singing at chapel services, several times weekly. These performances include the Advent Carols, presented annually over three nights in December. Some of the choir's service music is broadcast nationally on the BBC radio network. The choir also performs regularly beyond King's College, both in worship services (at such institutions as St. Paul's Cathedral and Westminster Abbey) and in concert. The group also gives concert performances, often at British festivals, and has appeared as far afield as the U.S., Hong Kong, and Nigeria. The Choir of King's College London has a substantial recording catalog that includes several recordings of Advent Carols; a new one was issued on the Delphian label in 2019. The choir has been primarily associated with that label but has also recorded for Hyperion and Gaudeamus. In 2017, the group recorded the English-language version of the Brahms German Requiem, Op. 45, for Delphian. The choir's recordings have been mostly, but not exclusively, devoted to Christian sacred music. In 2020, the choir released a recording of Holst's A Cloud Messenger, drawn from Sanskrit literature.
© James Manheim /TiVo

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