Biography of Gabrieli Consort & Players

"McCreesh and the Gabrieli's prove the power of period practice." Opera Today, August 2011

Gabrieli Consort & Players are world-renowned interpreters of great choral and instrumental repertoire, spanning from the renaissance to the present day. Their performances encompass major works from the oratorio tradition, virtuosic a cappella programmes and mould-breaking reconstructions of music from historical events. Formed by Paul McCreesh in 1982 as an early music group, Gabrieli has both outgrown and remained true to its original identity. Its inaugural performances of Monteverdi and Gabrieli were defined by the desire to employ historical performance ideals and knowledge of the old world to create music anew. Whilst the repertoire has perhaps developed beyond all expectation, this same aesthetic is fundamental to Gabrieli's work today, presenting great choral and instrumental repertoire from across the centuries.

Gabrieli are regular visitors to the world's most prestigious concert halls and appear frequently at London's major venues, with their own promotions often held in the splendidly refurbished Christ Church, Spitalfields. Recent highlights have included performances of Haydn's The Seasons at the Barbican, London and Theatre des Champs Elysees, Paris in January 2012, a colossal performance of Mendelssohn's Elijah as part of the BBC Proms 2011 with further performances at the Gewandhaus in Leipzig and at the Wratislavia Cantans Festival 2011, Bach's St John Passion and St Matthew Passion in Germany and Switzerland, and a UK choral tour featuring Byrd's Great Service complemented by two new commissions by Jonathan Dove.

A number of strong relationships have helped define the ensemble's international profile. For eleven years, in conjunction with Martin Randall Travel, Gabrieli have pioneered new areas of ‘cultural tourism' in creating festivals of music in European historic centres. They have been resident artists at Brinkburn Music in Northumberland, with whom they have developed some of their most exciting projects, for 18 years. Gabrieli are also associate artists of the Wratislavia Cantans Festival, and have embarked on an exciting partnership with the Wrocław Philharmonic Choir.

Gabrieli is increasingly committed to working with young musicians and in 2010 launched a major new initiative, the Gabrieli Young Singers' Scheme. Under this scheme, Gabrieli has formalised its long standing partnership with Chetham's School of Music and has expanded the breadth of its work with young singers to include relationships with North East Youth Chorale, Taplow Youth Choir and Ulster Youth Choir. This ground-breaking initiative has enabled Gabrieli to give young musicians the opportunity to train and perform alongside professionals, in a professional environment, and to support the inspirational existing work that each choir does in its own region. In 2011, the Gabrieli Young Singers' Scheme gave a Proms performance of Mendelssohn's Elijah, immediately followed by a studio recording of the work; the success of this project has already led to further recording and concert appearances, with many exciting plans for the future.

Gabrieli are acclaimed interpreters of Handel's oratorios and Bach Passions and their recordings with Deutsche Grammophon have garnered numerous international awards. Their recording of Haydn's Creation won a 2008 Gramophone Award for Best Choral Recording, whilst A Spotless Rose was nominated for a 2010 Grammy Award. Gabrieli now record for Paul McCreesh's new record label Winged Lion, often in collaboration with International Festival Wratislavia Cantans in Wroclaw, Poland and the Wroclaw Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra. In the first year, this new label released no fewer than four Gabrieli recordings: Berlioz's Grande Messe des Morts and Mendelssohn's Elijah, as part of the Wratislavia Cantans Oratorio Series; A Song of Farewell, an a cappella recording of music for mourning and consolation; and A New Venetian Coronation, a re-recording of one of Gabrieli's most acclaimed early programmes.

Highlights of Gabrieli's 2013 diary include a recording of Britten's War Requiem, in collaboration with the Wroclaw Philharmonic Choir and Gabrieli Young Singers' Scheme, and a performance of Mendelssohn's Walpurgisnacht at the composer's home, the Leipzig Gewandhaus, for which the Gabrieli Consort will join the famed Leipzig Gewandhausorchester.

"¦Budding singers, composers, conductors and producers everywhere take note: this is how it's done. … All we can do is applaud…” (Classic FM Magazine, April 2012)

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Biography not to be reproduced without permission. Please contact Susie York Skinner.