King's Singers

Composers

Biography

Active: May 1, 1968 - ; Cambridge, MA
While the first concert given by the King's Singers officially took place on May 1, 1968, their roots actually date to 1965 when 14 choral students at King's College (Cambridge) formed a group called Schola Cantorum Pro Musica Profana. Three of the original members of the King's Singers were a part of that ensemble: Alastair Hume (countertenor), Simon Carrington (baritone), and Brian Kay (bass). The Schola Cantorum group produced a private Read more recording of popular songs, but more importantly yielded an offshoot sextet taking the name Six Choral Scholars From King's College, which became the precursor to the King's Singers. Joining Hume, Kay, and Carrington in the ensemble were three other singers from King's College: Martin Lane, Neil Jenkins, and Richard Salter. This latter trio, however, did not stay on. Their replacements were Nigel Perrin (countertenor), Alastair Thompson (tenor), and Anthony Holt (baritone).

In 1968, the sextet debuted under the name of the King's Singers at London's Queen Elizabeth Hall. All were graduates of King's College except for Holt and Perrin, the latter graduating in 1969. Holt, however, had received his choral training at Christ's Church Oxford. The vocal style established by the group from its earliest days mixes madrigal-like singing with a sort of barber shop quartet manner that divulges other, more-modern American styles associated with groups like the Four Freshmen. Their repertory includes a broad range of music from the works of Janequin and Josquin Desprez to that of Gilbert and Sullivan, from Japanese folk songs to Berio and Penderecki, and from sacred to popular music. By 1971, the King's Singers had drawn considerable attention in England and began making their first recordings. By Appointment and The King's Music appeared in 1971 and 1972, respectively, the former a collection of British folk songs and the latter devoted to music from the last quarter of the Middle Ages. After these initial efforts, the group returned to the recording studio with regularity, usually turning out several titles each year. By 2002, they had made over 60 recordings, most of which remain available or periodically become available through reissues.

In the 1980s, the King's Singers had experienced its first personnel changes and by the end of that decade, three new members were in place: Jeremy Jackman, Robert Chilcott, and Colin Mason. Alastair Thompson, Nigel Perrin, and Brian Kay had departed, but their exit was no indication of any internal problems or artistic decline. Indeed, the group's popularity remained high, bolstered by a heavy touring schedule that even included an appearance on Johnny Carson's Tonight Show. Then-recent recordings, like their All at Once Well Met: English Madrigals (1985) and Beatles Connection (1986), had achieved impressive sales. Over the years, despite personnel changes and an ever-widening repertory, the group continues to grow in artistic stature, making concert appearances with some of the most prominent singers and artists (Domingo and Te Kanawa) and drawing works from leading composers (Richard Rodney Bennett, Ligeti, and Maxwell Davies). In addition, at the Royal College of Music, they serve as Prince Consort Ensemble in Residence. Since 1968, there have been 11 changes in personnel, one featuring two replacements. After 1997, no member from the original group remained. In 1999, BMG Classics announced it's retreat from classical music and exponged it's entire artist roster, including The King's Singers, who for the first time since 1968 found themselves with a recording contract. After recording a one-off Beatles-themed disc with the Cincinnati Pops on Telarc, The King's Singers signed a new agreement with the independent British label Signum in 2003. The change of venue has witnessed a distinct upturn in the quality of the recorded efforts since.

In 2006, the King's Singers was comprised of Robin Tyson (countertenor), David Hurley (countertenor), Paul Phoenix (tenor), Christopher Gabbitas (baritone), Philip Lawson (baritone), and Stephen Connolly (bass). Tyson joined the ensemble in 2001, and Gabbitas in 2004. Read less
Browse 26-50 of 64 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    The King's Singers Collection
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 07063 Release Date: 07/08/2008   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Paul McCartney,  John Lennon,  Walter Jurmann,  Werner Richard Heymann  ... 
    Performer:  Emil Gerhardt,  Manuel Barrueco,  Nancy Hadden,  Goff Richards  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  King's Singers,  Consort of Musicke
    CD: $34.99
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  • 27.
    Vaughan Williams - The Collector's Edition
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 06636 Release Date: 07/08/2008   Number of Discs: 30
    Composer:  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Anonymous,  Traditional,  Henry Walford Davies
    Performer:  Norma Burrowes,  Ian Partridge,  John Shirley-Quirk,  Raimund Herincx  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult,  Meredith Davies,  Sir Charles Groves,  Sir David Willcocks  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Choir,  New Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
    Recommendation
    CD: $62.49
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  • 28.
    The King's Singers Collection
    Label: Signum U.k.   Catalog: 120 Release Date: 06/24/2008   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Thomas Tallis,  William Byrd,  Francis Pott,  John Dowland  ... 
    Performer:  Philip Lawson,  Christopher Gabbitas,  Paul Phoenix,  Robin Tyson  ... 
    Conductor:  Mark Levy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  King's Singers,  Concordia
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    CD: $54.49
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  • 29.
    Simple Gifts / King's Singers
    Label: Signum U.k.   Catalog: 121 Release Date: 05/27/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Traditional,  Randy Newman,  Joseph Brackett,  John David  ... 
    Performer:  Philip Lawson,  Stephen Connolly,  Paul Phoenix,  Christopher Gabbitas  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  King's Singers
    CD: $17.99
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  • 30.
    Richard Stoltzman - Spirits
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 68416 Release Date: 03/12/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Hildegard of Bingen,  Edward "Duke" Ellington,  Traditional,  Jeremy Wall  ... 
    Performer:  David Hurley,  Café,  Richard Stoltzman,  Jeremy Wall  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  King's Singers
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 31.
    The Golden Age - Siglo De Oro / The King's Singers
    Label: Signum U.k.   Catalog: 119 Release Date: 02/26/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alonso Lobo,  Diogo Dias Melgás,  Juan Gutierrez de Padilla,  Sebastian de Vivanco  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  King's Singers
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  • 32.
    Best Carols 100
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 10371 Release Date: 11/06/2007   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Traditional,  William James Kirkpatrick,  Henry Walford Davies,  Patrick Hadley  ... 
    Performer:  Francis Grier,  Jeremy Blandford,  Barbara Hendricks,  Hermann Prey  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Philip Ledger,  Sir David Willcocks,  John Rutter,  Andrew Parrott  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge King's College Choir,  Clare College Choir,  Clare College Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $26.99
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  • 33.
    Elgar - The Collector's Edition [30-Disc Set]
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 03603 Release Date: 11/06/2007   Number of Discs: 30
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar,  Charles Hubert Parry,  Frédéric Chopin
    Performer:  Hugh Bean,  David Parkhouse,  John Ogdon,  Herbert Sumsion  ... 
    Conductor:  Vernon Handley,  Sir Charles Groves,  Sir John Barbirolli,  Sir Edward Elgar  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Orchestra,  Allegri String Quartet  ... 
    Recommendation
    CD: $62.49
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  • 34.
    Los Impossibles / Christina Pluhar, L'arpeggiata, Et Al
    Label: Naive   Catalog: 5055 Release Date: 01/30/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Lucas Ruiz de Ribayaz,  Traditional,  Santiago de Murcia,  Marcello Vitale  ... 
    Performer:  Lucilla Galeazzi,  Béatrice Mayo-Félip,  Christina Pluhar,  Pepe Habichuela
    Conductor:  Christina Pluhar
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  King's Singers,  L'arpeggiata
    CD not available
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  • 35.
    Landscape & Time - Sibelius, Etc / The King's Singers
    Label: Signum U.k.   Catalog: 90 Release Date: 11/28/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John McCabe,  Robert Chilcott,  Zoltán Kodály,  Jean Sibelius  ... 
    Performer:  Andrew Swait
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  King's Singers
    Recommendation
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  • 36.
    The Triumphs Of Oriana - Morley, Etc / King's Singers
    Label: Signum U.k.   Catalog: 82 Release Date: 10/31/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Milton,  Edward Johnson,  Thomas Morley,  John Lisley  ... 
    Performer:  Stephen Connolly,  Philip Lawson,  David Hurley,  Paul Phoenix  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  King's Singers
    CD: $17.99
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  • 37.
    Christmastime Is Here / Kunzel, Cincinnati Pops
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80538 Release Date: 09/26/2006  
    Composer:  Meredith Willson,  Kim Gannon,  Joseph Carleton Beal,  Various  ... 
    Performer:  Tierney Sutton,  Tony Desare,  Ann Hampton Callaway,  John Pizzarelli
    Conductor:  Erich Kunzel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Pops,  School for Creative and Performing Arts Chorale,  King's Singers  ... 
    CD: $12.99
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  • 38.
    Swinging Bach / Bobby Mcferrin & Guests
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 2050406 Release Date: 07/25/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Bobby McFerrin,  Gil Shaham,  Adele Anthony
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Quintessence Saxophone Quintet,  Jacques Loussier Trio,  King's Singers
    DVD: $19.99
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  • 39.
    America / King's Singers
    Label: Emi Classics Encore   Catalog: 41448 Release Date: 03/21/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Paul Simon,  Peter Cetera,  Randy Newman,  Jimmy Webb  ... 
    Performer:  Howard Shelley,  José Luis Garcia,  Michael Laird
    Conductor:  Carl Davis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra,  King's Singers
    CD: $5.99
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  • 40.
    Tallis: Spem In Alium / King's Singers
    Label: Signum U.k.   Catalog: 71 Release Date: 02/28/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Thomas Tallis
    Performer:  Robin Tyson,  Paul Phoenix,  Christopher Gabbitas,  Philip Lawson  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  King's Singers
    SuperAudio CD: $9.99
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  • 41.
    Sacred Bridges / The King's Singers, Sarband
    Label: World Village   Catalog: 468052 Release Date: 10/11/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Salomone Rossi,  Claude Goudimel,  Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck,  Sarband  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  King's Singers,  Sarband
    Recommendation
    On sale! $19.98
    CD: $11.99
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  • 42.
    1605 Treason & Dischord - William Byrd, Etc / King's Singers
    Label: Signum U.k.   Catalog: 61 Release Date: 06/28/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Dowland,  William Byrd,  Richard Dering,  Peter Philips  ... 
    Performer:  Mark Levy,  Sarah Baldock
    Conductor:  Mark Levy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concordia,  King's Singers
    Recommendation
    CD: $17.99
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  • 43.
    Dickinson: Pianos, Voices And Brass / Söderstrom, Et Al
    Label: Albany Records   Catalog: 760 Release Date: 06/28/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Dickinson
    Performer:  Peter Dickinson,  Elisabeth Söderström,  Eric Parkin,  Rodney Slatford
    Conductor:  Lars-Gunnar Bjorklund
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Solna Brass,  King's Singers
    Recommendation
    On sale! $19.98
    CD: $16.99
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  • 44.
    Summer Night Of Music / Bridgewater, Maisky, Boreyko, King's Singers
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 2053299 Release Date: 03/22/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Various
    Performer:  Rodolfo Mederos,  Roby Lakatos,  Dee Dee Bridgewater,  Mischa Maisky  ... 
    Conductor:  Andrey Boreyko
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra,  King's Singers
    DVD: $24.99
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  • 45.
    Six - Berlin, Young, McCartney, Joel, Talbot / King's Singers
    Label: Signum U.k.   Catalog: 56 Release Date: 03/01/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Traditional,  Paul McCartney,  Joby Talbot,  Billy Joel  ... 
    Performer:  Paul Phoenix,  David Hurley,  Christopher Gabbitas,  Robin Tyson  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  King's Singers
    CD: $9.99
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  • 46.
    Sermons And Devotions - Bennett, Et Al / The King's Singers
    Label: Catalyst   Catalog: 64299 Release Date: 02/22/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Tavener,  Richard Rodney Bennett,  Geoffrey Poole,  Igor Stravinsky  ... 
    Performer:  Philip Lawson,  David Hurley,  Stephen Connolly,  Nigel Short  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  King's Singers
    CD: $8.99
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  • 47.
    Rutter: Three Musical Fables - The Reluctant Dragon, Etc.
    Label: Collegium Records   Catalog: 513 Release Date: 08/31/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Rutter
    Conductor:  Richard Hickox,  John Rutter
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  King's Singers,  City of London Sinfonia,  Cambridge Singers
    CD: $11.99
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  • 48.
    Gesualdo: Tenebrae Responsories For Maundy Thursday / King's Singers
    Label: Signum U.k.   Catalog: 48 Release Date: 05/25/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carlo Gesualdo
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  King's Singers
    CD: $17.99
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  • 49.
    The King's Singers Madrigal History Tour / Rooley, Et Al
    Label: Emi Classics Encore   Catalog: 85714 Release Date: 05/04/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Dowland,  Giaches de Wert,  Anonymous,  Phillippe Verdelot  ... 
    Conductor:  Anthony Rooley
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Consort of Musicke,  King's Singers
    Recommendation
    CD not available
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    MP3:  $5.99 Add MP3 to Cart

  • 50.
    Nocturne Voices
    Label: Virgin Classics   Catalog: 62146 Release Date: 02/10/2004   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Claudio Monteverdi,  John Tavener,  Jean-Philippe Rameau,  Jorge Arriagada  ... 
    Performer:  Arleen Augér,  Della Jones,  Patricia Petibon,  Natalie Dessay  ... 
    Conductor:  Richard Hickox,  David Hill,  Patrick Cohën-Akenine,  Jean-Louis Negro  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of London Baroque Sinfonia,  Winchester Cathedral Choir,  Les Folies Françoises  ... 
    Low Stock
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    MP3:  $12.99 Add MP3 to Cart

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