The Monteverdi Choir at 50

“It has been, and continues to be, a tremendous collective adventure”


I find it impossible to write objectively about the Monteverdi Choir. It has been part of my life for so long: a laboratory to work in, a testing ground for trying out new sonorities and exploring the outer expressive limits a tight-knit ensemble of virtuosic singers can attain. Above all the Choir (along with its younger sister orchestras – the English Baroque Soloists and the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique) has been my extended musical family for the past fifty years. 


So I cherish it, worry over it, observing it grow up and evolve. There is sorrow as well as pride as several of its members, many of them trusted friends, having formed part of its choral harmony, take off on illustrious solo careers; but also unmitigated delight as exciting new vocal talent contends for admission via our Apprentice programme, bringing fresh responses to the music we sing. And surprise, too, at the way the Monteverdi Choir’s characteristic ‘sound’ persists tenaciously, passed on from one generation of high-calibre singers to the next, as if by osmosis.

On reflection, what I value most is the special complicity that builds through the single-minded commitment, the hard graft and shared endeavour of all its members - the heady experience of getting to grips with the world’s most beautiful and challenging music – and then the privilege of performing it in churches big and small, opera houses, recording studios, in concert halls and at festivals all across Europe, the Far East and the USA. It has been – and continues to be – a tremendous collective adventure: all the intense detailed work in the preparing and rehearsing finally being rewarded by the generous response shown to the Choir’s feats of musicianship by audiences of all ages right across the globe. On the occasion of its golden jubilee, my heartfelt and warmest gratitude goes to all thegoldq2 members of the Monteverdi Choir, past and present, for their loyalty, goodwill and determination to make every appearance and every performance so memorable.

John Eliot Gardiner

Prezi timeline shot                The Guildhall, 1970
Timeline 1964-2014
     Tributes & Memories

5- 1970s (date unknown)2.jpg 1990s Choir in rehearsal (by Jim Four)
Picture Gallery

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