“Eye candy as well as ear candy... A really gripping performance!”
— Ghislaine Morgan
About the choir
Founded by conductor Dominic Brennan in 2011, the Cantus Ensemble is one of London's leading chamber choirs. Drawing its membership primarily from recent university choral scholars and music graduates, the choir performs a wide array of vocal music, ranging from 15th century polyphony to world premieres of new music by leading contemporary composers.
Since its inception, the choir has performed throughout London including Westminster Abbey and The Royal Albert Hall, as well as having travelled to Rome, Barcelona and Slovenia. Under the watchful baton of Dominic, Cantus has evolved into the dynamic and exciting ensemble you hear today.
The choir is also fortunate to have a wonderful relationship with our home church and rehearsal venue, St Gabriel's, Pimlico, where we regularly sing choral Evensong and provide the music for other major feast day services throughout the year.
One of the choir's defining features is its social atmosphere - evident in an extensive and varied social calendar which includes events such as the annual tour abroad, end-of-year AGM and dinner, the eponymous "Cantus Challenge" and activities ranging from go-karting and concert trips to wine tasting and choir meals.
Hiighlights of the 2013-14 season included a concert of music by James MacMillan and Tarik O'Regan alongside Southern Sinfonia, and an unaccompanied programme of Britten, Vaughan Williams and Whitacre in the summer.
2014-15 was hugely successful: recording-breaking audiences at both Chansons Francaises and A Cantus Christmas, as well as the exciting Words & Echoes concert in April; music included Leoš Janáček's exciting Otčenáš ('Our Father') for harp, organ and choir and Zoltán Kodály's rip-roaring Missa Brevis. We were also joined by leading marimbist Calum Huggan in a rare UK performance of Marcus Paus's evocative and atmospheric 'O Magnum Mysterium' before a performance of Bernstein's much-loved 'Chichester Psalms' which, veering wildly between the dance-like and the sensuous, have become a staple of 20th century choral repertoire.
The 2015-16 season saw Cantus soar into esteemed musical heights, leaping to number 3 in the iTunes Classical Singles Chart with Rebecca Dale's "When Music Sounds", as well as being played on Classic FM and performing on ITV's "Tonight at the London Palladium". Cantus was also awarded Choir of the Day and went through to National selection for BBC Choir of the Year 2016. Quite a year...and hopefully just a taster of what is to come for one of London's most exciting emerging choirs.