Welcome to Collegium Musicum of London Chamber Choir. With a regular membership of about 35 singers, the ensemble is centrally based in one of the capital’s most elegant Christopher Wren churches, St James Garlickhythe, in the City of London. Focusing naturally on a cappella repertoire, the choir also collaborates with some of the leading professional soloists and instrumentalists in the country. The choir’s repertoire encompasses sacred music of the Renaissance and Baroque periods as well as music of the nineteenth century, the great secular works of the last 100 years, folksong and popular classics.
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‘A wonderful choir. You clearly have high standards, and deep commitment. It was clear that everyone there wants to be the best they can be. It was a good experience to work together with you, and to speak with some of you. It made me want to be in a choir again.’
– James Conway, Artistic Director, English Touring Opera
‘You were heavenly! This Messiah was sheer bliss.’
– audience member
Collegium Musicum of London Chamber Choir is currently on the lookout for new tenors to join the choir for its exciting 2020 season. More information about joining the choir here…
CML revisits the St John Passion
Collegium Musicum of London‘s spring programme includes two contrasting concerts featuring Bach’s magnificent St John Passion. The first, on March 5, is a collaboration with English Touring Opera, and takes place at the Hackney Empire Theatre. CML previously teamed up with ETO as part of their 2018 St Matthew Passion at Temple Church. This year’s production promises to be equally inventive and engaging.
Two weeks later (March 17), the choir performs the St John Passion at Temple Church, as part of the Temple Music Foundation’s spring programme.
The death has been announced of CML founder and patron Laszlo Heltay.
Laszlo was born in Budapest and studied conducting and composition at the Franz Liszt Academy under Kodaly and Bardos. He became a British citizen in 1957. In 1964 he went to New Zealand as associate conductor of the NZBC Symphony Orchestra and director of the NZ Opera Company. On his return to London, as well as founding Collegium Musicum of London Chamber Choir, he became conductor of the Phoenix Opera Company and also worked as assistant to Klemperer.
Throughout his distinguished career Laszlo Heltay conducted many major orchestras including the Philharmonia, the Dresden Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, Dallas Symphony and the Budapest Philharmonic Orchestras. He has also conducted many radio orchestras and choirs including those of Brussels, Hamburg, Stuttgart, Madrid, Budapest and Stockholm. In addition he founded the Academy Chorus of St Martin in the Fields, with whom he directed the choral music for the film Amadeus and a recording of Paco Pena’s Misa Flamenca. In 1982 he was awarded the International Kodaly Medal.
Laszlo lived in Barcelona for several years where he was closely involved with the Madrid Radio Choir as well as continuing a busy schedule of conducting and master classes for young choral conductors in Europe and the USA. More recently he retired and returned to live in Budapest, the city of his birth.
Records and Recording described Laszlo Heltay as “One of the finest and most inspiring choral trainers in the world….Through his efforts the whole British choral tradition has been given a new look and a new set of standards to aim for.”
CML starts Christmas off in style
Some great photos by Andrea Liu of CML’s Christmas concert on Saturday 7 December at St Bart’s the Great in West Smithfield. A large and enthusiastic audience enjoyed an atmospheric evening of seasonal music, both classical and popular, alongside readings and communal carols.
Donate to CML
You can now donate to your favourite chamber choir by clicking the button below. CML ticket prices are kept low through our members’ subscriptions – and our special low subs rate for the under-25s helps attract younger singers.
In 2020, CML will be moving its base to St James Garlickhythe in the City – resulting in a huge increase in rehearsal hire costs.
Every little helps!
CML celebrates French choral works
Saturday, October 19th saw CML return to Temple church for a polished and moving performance of choral music by Duruflé, Pulenc and Fauré. A large and appreciative audience enjoyed the atmospheric surroundings and in particular the contributions of soloists Joanna Harries, Michael Hickman and Sophie Harries, alongside virtuoso organist Daniel Moult.
‘One voice of exceptional quality, rich in tone and enhanced by practice and study, is a joy to behold. It almost seems excessive of the Collegium Musicum to amass thirty-odd of such talents, and blend their individual skills into an auditory feast for anyone lucky enough to catch one of their performances. They blend together in a celebration of singing that lifts the spirits and touches the soul. But even this does not suffice: the Collegium also offers soloists of deep skill and rich tone, and adds a cello to enrich and enhance the human voice; while an organ supplements and adorns. This is bordering on an excessive feast of sensual qualities even before it is staged in one of London’s oldest monuments – the impeccable Temple Church. The event is a serious joy; the Collegium, an enterprise of great talent and knowledge from which the highest standards are presented with dignity, assurance and understanding. Quite wonderful!’
‘Very talented choristers. Excellent choice of repertoire. Very worthwhile evening.’
‘Fantastic venue for a choral concert. Good programme and mix of composers.Great performance from the choir, soloist and organist in particular.’
2020 season announced
CML looks forward to a busy 2020, with an exciting series of concerts planned, including Bach’s St John Passion with English Touring Opera, Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis at St John’s, Smith Square, a celebration of choral music by near namesakes John Taverner (1490-1545) and John Tavener (1944-2013), and a performance of Clara Sanabras’s modern take on Shakespeare’s The Tempest, A Hum About Mine Ears, to round off an eventful year.
Midsummer music from CML
Collegium Musicum of London changed the mood from Bach to the Beach Boys for its June concert in Clerkenwell. With music by Vaughan Williams, Rutter, Delius, George Gershwin and many more, the choir made its first appearance at the historic Crypt on the Green with a light and eclectic acappella programme, greatly appreciated by the audience.
CML’s latest CD
Recorded in 2018 at Temple church, the collection includes works by Byrd, Tallis, Victoria, Parsons and Guerrero, as well as organ interludes by Tomkins and Byrd, played by the choir’s MD Greg Morris.
With repertoire taken from Collegium’s highly successful Armada! concert in March that year, the choir’s CD O Quam Gloriosum is now available. You can buy it at all our concerts, or as a download from iTunes, Spotify or Amazon.
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CML Chamber Choir appears on BBC Radio 3’s Meet My Choir
Collegium Musicum of London Chamber Choir’s Chair John Biggins was featured talking about the choir on Radio Three’s The Choir, on Sunday, 19th April.
Click here to listen to what he had to say.