Magdalena Consort

Magdalena Consort
The Magdalena consort, founded in 2008 by baritone Peter Harvey, is acclaimed for its virtuoso chamber performances of sacred vocal music from Monteverdi to Bach.


The singers associated with the Magdalena Consort are well established as international soloists, besides having considerable experience of ensemble singing, and the instrumentalists are drawn from some of the world's best-known period instrument orchestras and chamber groups.

The group aims to use the vocal and instrumental forces for which this music was originally written; the instrumental band varies in size from single strings to a small chamber orchestra, while choral movements are frequently sung by the soloists alone - 'one voice per part'. It is this which gives the Magdalena Consort its distinctive sound: an intense choral texture with strong contours in the individual musical lines.

The nature of the ensemble demands particular skills from the singers, who, as well as being highly-respected soloists, bring with them a wealth of ensemble experience. The personnel is not fixed, but varies according to availability and the needs of particular projects. Singers who are associated with the group include:

** Peter Harvey - founder, baritone. Peter Harvey arrived at Magdalen College, Oxford to study French and German, only later changing course to music, and a love of languages has always remained at the heart of his singing. On leaving university he went on to the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, during which time he won prizes in a number of international singing competitions, including the Walther Grüner International Lieder Competition, the English Song Award, and the Peter Pears Award. Peter has made around a hundred recordings in repertoire spanning eight centuries, with an emphasis on music from the High Baroque. Along with works by Handel and Purcell he has recorded all the major vocal works of J.S. Bach and many of the cantatas with conductors including Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Philippe Herreweghe and Paul McCreesh. Recent career highlights include Bach cantatas with Ton Koopman in Vienna's Musikverein, the B minor Mass in the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Die Winterreise with Roger Vignoles in Cambridge and Spain, Messiah in Toronto, a tour to the Far East with the Orchestra of the Age of the Enlightenment in the St John Passion and the St. Matthew Passion with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, in Bernard Haitink's first performances of the work. He recently recorded Schubert's song-cycle 'Die Winterreise' with fortepianist Gary Cooper.

** Elin Manahan Thomas - soprano. Elin graduated from Clare College Cambridge in Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic, and is now fast coming to light as one of Wales's leading young sopranos. Elin was the first singer ever to record Bach's Alles mit Gott, a birthday ode written in 1713 and only discovered in 2005.

** Julia Doyle - soprano. Julia gained a choral scholarship to Cambridge University before pursuing a career in singing. Having been in great demand as a consort singer with all of the UK's leading vocal ensembles for the last few years, Julia is fast establishing a reputation as a soloist specialising in the Renaissance and Baroque periods, both in the UK and across Europe with a busy schedule of tours, concerts and recording.

** Gillian Keith - soprano. Gillian was the winner of the Kathleen Ferrier Awards in 2000. She is in great demand for performances in recital, oratorio and opera. She has earned praise particularly for her interpretations of Baroque music.

** Robin Blaze - countertenor. Robin is now established in the front rank of interpreters of Purcell, Bach and Handel, and his busy schedule has taken him to Europe, South America, North America, Japan and Australia. He won a post-graduate scholarship to the Royal College of Music where he trained with assistance from the Countess of Munster Trust and is now a Professor of Vocal Studies.

** Daniel Taylor - countertenor. Daniel is now one of the most sought-after countertenors in the world and recognized as "Canada's star countertenor...there is a sense of conviction and honesty that sets him apart from the others" (Globe and Mail). He receives invitations from an ever-widening circle of the world's leading early and contemporary music ensembles.

** Charles Daniels - tenor. Charles' repertoire covers 1150 years from the ninth century to the present day. Born in Salisbury, he received his musical training at King's College, Cambridge, and the Royal College of Music in London where he studied under Edward Brooks. He has made over sixty recordings as a soloist including Handel's Messiah

** James Gilchrist - tenor. James is a keen exponent of contemporary music and has performed in the world premieres of Knut Nystedt's Apocalypsis Joannis (Oslo Philharmonic), John Tavener's Total Eclipse (Academy of Ancient Music), which was also recorded, and Helen Ottaway's new commission for the Salisbury Festival, The Echoing Green.



No Concerts Scheduled