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Wells Cathedral Choir (U.K.)



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Ranked by Gramophone Magazine as the 6th Greatest Choir in the World with the Highest Ranking Children Choristers

30 October 2012 (Tue) 8pm
Concert Hall, Hong Kong City Hall
$300, 200, 120

Due to overwhelming response, there are only a limited number of tickets for box seats and promenade seats with restricted view left available for sale at the price of $120 at the box office of Hong Kong City Hall from 10am on the day of the concert.  Each person can purchase a maximum of two tickets per transaction on a first-come-first-served basis.  For enquiries, you may contact us during office hours at 2268 7321 (Cultural Presentations Section).

 
Performers

Conductor

Matthew Owens

Soprano

Laurie Ashworth

Tenor

Andrew Staples

Clarinet

Susan Gill

Oboe

Andrew Knights

Flute

Katie MacDonald

Horn

Peter Merry

Timpani

Matthew Turner

Organ

Jonathan Vaughn

 
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Programme

Mozart

Gloria, Agnus Dei (from Coronation Mass)

Rachmaninov

Nunc dimittis

Walton

Coronation Te Deum 

Whitacre

Lux aurumque

Chilcott

Jesus, springing

Parry

I was Glad

Chilcott

Requiem

 
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Programme Details

A World-Class Choir Making its Hong Kong Debut

In December 2010 Wells Cathedral Choir was named by an international jury of Gramophone Magazine as the sixth greatest choir in the world and the highest ranking choir with children in the world.  The Choir boasts an amazingly long history and celebrated its 1100th anniversary in 2009.  Boys first sang at Wells Cathedral in 909 and the full choral tradition dates back over 800 years.  In 1994 the choral foundation at Wells was enriched by the addition of girl choristers.  Today the choir consists of eighteen boy choristers, eighteen girl choristers, groups sometimes singing separately and sometimes together, and twelve Vicars Choral (the men of the choir).  The Choir sings a wide repertoire of music ranging from the masterpieces of the Renaissance period to the finest choral works of the present day.  While it broadcasts regularly on BBC Radios 2, 3 and 4, and on television, it has also made recordings for Hyperion Records, which have won international praise.  In recent years, the Choir has also collaborated with other eminent arts groups for choral works of larger scale, including The King’s Consort, the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Jools Holland and his band, Wells Cathedral Oratorio Society, and performers such as Aled Jones.  The Choir has also toured extensively both in the UK and abroad and in a recent tour to Paris gave three concerts and sang Mass to over 3000 people in Notre Dame.  In its first appearance in Hong Kong, the Choir will bring a programme of Mozart and works of 20th century composers, including the popular Eric Whitacre and the Requiem of Bob Chilcott.

 

 
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Details of Performers

Wells Cathedral Choir

In December 2010 Wells Cathedral Choir was named by an international jury from Gramophone Magazine as the sixth greatest choir in the world and the highest ranking choir with children in the world.  The Choir boasts an amazingly long history and celebrated its 1100th birthday in 2009.  Boys first sang at Wells Cathedral in 909 and the full choral tradition dates back over 800 years.  In 1994 the choral foundation at Wells was enriched by the addition of girl choristers.  Today the choir consists of eighteen boy choristers, eighteen girl choristers and twelve Vicars Choral (the men of the choir).  The boys and girls usually sing separately with the Vicars Choral but occasionally come together for larger events and tours.

The Choir sings a wide repertoire of music ranging from the masterpieces of the Renaissance period to the finest choral works of the present day.  New music is also commissioned from some of today’s most exciting composers, including
Richard Allain, David Bednall, Judith Bingham, Geoffrey Burgon, Gabriel Jackson, James MacMillan, Sir Peter Maxwell Davies (Master of the Queen’s Music), Tarik O’Regan, and John Rutter. 

Wells Cathedral Choir broadcasts regularly on BBC Radios 2, 3 and 4, and on television.  It has also made recordings for Hyperion Records and Regent Records, which have won international praise: “wonderfully blended, and must rank as one of the top cathedral sounds outside London” (BBC Music Magazine); “currently enjoying a superb top line” (The Observer), and has had two recent discs made Editor’s Choice in Gramophone Magazine which called the choir
“probably the finest English cathedral choir at the moment” in “world-class form”.

As well as the liturgical musical repertoire the Choir performs larger scale choral works in concert, with recent collaborations including The King’s Consort, the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Jools Holland and his band, Wells Cathedral Oratorio Society, Wells Cathedral School Chamber Orchestra, and performers such as Aled Jones.  The Choir has toured extensively both in the United Kingdom and abroad; with recent tours to Paris where it gave three concerts and sang Mass to over 3000 people in Notre-Dame Cathedral, the North West of England, Germany and the Netherlands.

 

Matthew Owens

Conductor

Matthew Owens was appointed Organist and Master of the Choristers of Wells Cathedral in June 2004.  He is also Tutor in Organ Studies at Wells Cathedral School (one of the four specialist music schools in England), Conductor of the Wells Cathedral Oratorio Society, and President of the Cathedral Organists’ Association.

Born in 1971, Owens studied at Chetham’s School of Music and was subsequently Organ Scholar at The Queen’s College, Oxford from where he graduated in music. As a postgraduate he received the highest award for performance, the Professional Performance Diploma, with distinction, and the college Bach prize at the Royal Northern College of Music; gained a Master’s Degree from the University of Manchester; won thirteen prizes in the diplomas of the Royal College of Organists and was awarded the Silver Medal of the Worshipful Company of Musicians.  He then studied at the Sweelinck Conservatorium in Amsterdam.  His major organ studies were with Gordon Stewart, Margaret Phillips and Jacques van Oortmerssen.

Owens worked extensively as Assistant Conductor of the National Youth Choir of Great Britain from 1993 to 1999.  He has also conducted the Nash Ensemble, the Hungarian National Philharmonic Orchestra, Devon Baroque and the Sarum Orchestra.  From 1997 to 2011 he was Conductor of The Exon Singers.  He has made over twenty-five CDs as a conductor or solo organist.

As an organist, Owens has given recitals in Australia, France, Ireland, Switzerland and throughout the United Kingdom and at venues such as St Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster Cathedral and St John’s Smith Square.  He is also active as a composer, and some of his works have been recorded for commercial release and broadcast on BBC Radio 3.  His carol, The Holly and the Ivy was published by Oxford University Press in Carols for Choirs 5.

 
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Programme Length

Running time of the performance is about 2 hours with an intermission of 15 minutes.

Audiences are strongly advised to arrive punctually.  No latecomers will be admitted until the interval or a suitable break in the programme.

 
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Ticket and Concession

Tickets available from 28 August onwards at all URBTIX outlets, on Internet and by Credit Card Telephone Booking.

Half-price tickets available for senior citizens aged 60 or above, people with disabilities and the minder, full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) recipients (Limited tickets for CSSA recipients available on a first-come-first-served basis).

'Great Music' Package Discount
For each purchase of standard tickets for 'Gidon Kremer and Kremerata Baltica', 'The English Concert', 'Wells Cathedral Choir', 'Piano Recital by Krystian Zimerman' and 'Piano Recital by Piotr Anderszewski': 5% off for any 2 concerts; 10% off for any 3 concerts; 15% off for any 4 concerts; 20% off for all 5 concerts.

Group Booking Discount
10% off for each purchase of 4-9 standard tickets;
15% off for 10-19 standard tickets;
20% off for 20 or more standard tickets.

Patrons can enjoy only one of the above discount schemes for each purchase. Please inform the box office staff at the time of purchase.

 
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Enquiries

Programme Enquiries: 2268 7321
Ticketing Enquiries: 2734 9009
Credit Card Telephone Booking: 2111 5999
Internet Booking: www.urbtix.hk

The presenter reserves the right to substitute artists and change the programme should unavoidable circumstances make it necessary.

 
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