Holiday Shop


Harvard University Choir

Biography

Active: 1834 - ; Cambridge, MA
There are documents from the eighteenth century that mention choral performances taking place at Harvard University, but a formal constitution of the Harvard University Choir didn't appear until 1834. In 1862, noted American composer John Knowles Paine was engaged as the first university organist and choirmaster. Up until his appointment, many of the young members of the choir had merely joined in order to sit in the relatively unsupervised Read more gallery of the chapel during the Sunday morning services at the Memorial Church. This all changed as Paine organized the group into a choir capable of professional-level performances. Eighteen of the best singers sing for the daily Morning Prayer services at the Appleton Chapel and, on special occasions, volunteer members of the Festival Choir join this group. In 1910, Archibald T. Davison created the tradition of the annual Carol Service, in which the women of Radcliffe College are invited to participate. John R. Ferris, choirmaster from 1958 to 1990, won acclaim for his performances of sacred choral literature in which women enhanced the previously all-male group. In 1990, noted choral and orchestral conductor and scholar Dr. Murray Forbes Somerville was appointed the sixth university organist and choirmaster and curator of the university organs. He created a new direction for the choir through tours that have gained it popular and critical recognition for its excellence, musical intelligence, and fresh energy. To date, the choir has appeared at Westminster Abbey, the Rheingau Festival in Wiesbaden, the Musica Sacra Festival in Nuremberg, the Boston Early Music Festival, at Tanglewood with the Boston Camerata (with whom it has also recorded), and the Piccolo Spoleto Festival. The choir has also given the U.S. premiere of professor Christoph Wolff's new edition of Bach's Mass in B minor (1997 Harvard's Arts First Festival) and the first performance of the Kyrie and Gloria by Daniel Roihl. The choir's repertoire is wide-ranging and covers music from the medieval through the modern period. Read less
Browse 1-6 of 6 Available Recordings
  • 1.
    Label: Composers Recordings, Inc. (Cri)   Catalog: 511 Release Date: 05/01/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Seymour Shifrin
    Performer:  John Ferris,  Sally Pinkas
    Conductor:  David Hoose
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lydian String Quartet,  Cantata Singers,  Harvard University Choir
    CD: $13.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $13.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 2.
    Liberty Tree: Early American Music 1776 - 1861 / Cohen, Boston Camerata
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 4692120 Release Date: 11/16/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Traditional,  William Billings,  Anonymous,  Moses Kimball  ... 
    Performer:  Timothy Leigh Evans,  Donald Wilkinson,  Joel Frederiksen,  Margaret Swanson  ... 
    Conductor:  Joel Cohen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Camerata,  Harvard University Choir
    Recommendation
    CD: $12.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $12.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 3.
    Rorem: Works For Choir And Organ / Harvard University Choir
    Label: Black Box   Catalog: 1102 Release Date: 03/21/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ned Rorem
    Performer:  Robert August,  Jung-A Lee,  Carson P. Cooman,  John McMunn  ... 
    Conductor:  Murray Forbes Somerville
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Harvard University Choir,  Appleton Wind Ensemble,  Brattle Street Chamber Players
    Recommendation
    CD: $19.99
    2-3 Days
    CD:  $19.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 4.
    Music Of Antonio Lotti / Somerville, Harvard Choir, Et Al
    Label: Centaur Records   Catalog: 2376 Release Date: 11/01/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonio Lotti
    Performer:  Salley Koo,  Daniel Kim,  Anna Ackerberg,  Nancy Granert
    Conductor:  Murray Forbes Somerville,  Nancy Granert
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Harvard Baroque Chamber Orchestra,  Harvard University Choir,  Harvard University Morning Choir
    CD: $17.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $17.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 5.
    Liberty Tree / Joel Cohen, Boston Camerata, Et Al
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 21668 Release Date: 08/18/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Deacon Janaziah,  Traditional,  Anonymous,  Moses Kimball  ... 
    Performer:  Joel Frederiksen,  Timothy Leigh Evans,  Anne Azéma,  Donald Wilkinson  ... 
    Conductor:  Joel Cohen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Camerata,  Harvard University Choir
    Recommendation
    ArkivCD $16.99
    In Stock
    ArkivCD:  $16.99 Add to Cart

  • 6.
    Carols From The Yard / Somerville, Harvard University Choir
    Label: Gothic Records   Catalog: 49075 Release Date: 10/17/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Michael Praetorius,  Mateo Flecha,  John Cook,  William Byrd  ... 
    Performer:  Christopher Thorpe,  Daniel Gallisá,  Murray Forbes Somerville,  Nancy Granert  ... 
    Conductor:  Murray Forbes Somerville
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Harvard University Choir,  Harvard Bach Society Orchestra
    CD not available
    MP3 Available
    MP3:  $9.99 Add MP3 to Cart