Brief History

Over 50 years ago the Monteverdi Choir was formed for a one-off performance on Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 in Kings College Chapel Cambridge conducted by a student, John Eliot Gardiner. Since then, the ensembles have expanded to include the English Baroque Soloists and the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique. The three ensembles have embarked on milestone international tours including the Bach Cantata Pilgrimage in 2000 and the Beethoven Symphonies Cycle in 1999. In 2005 Soli Deo Gloria, the Monteverdi Choir and Orchestras own record label produced its first CD which won the Gramophone Album of the Year Award. And in 2007, the choir were joined by their first cohort of apprentices. The Monteverdi Choir and Orchestras have led the classical music world in period music performance and will continue to do so far into the future.


The Monteverdi Choir is formed for a performance of Monteverdi’s Vespers in King’s College Chapel, Cambridge


First London concert at Crosby Hall, Chelsea. Music by Dowland, Morley, Gibbons, Monteverdi and Berlioz


Monteverdi 400th anniversary concert at the V&A


The creation of the Monteverdi Orchestra for a performance of Handel’s Hercules at the V&A Museum

First performance at the BBC Proms performing Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610


First European tour of Upper Rheinland: Basel, Strasbourg, Überlingen and Freiburg


The first public performance of the English Baroque Soloists performing Handel’s Acis and Galatea at the Innsbruck Music Festival


First tour to the USA to perform at the ‘Britain salutes New York Festival’, New York City


Monteverdi Choir’s 25th anniversary tour performing Handel’s Israel in Egypt in the UK, USA, Australia, Japan and Taiwan


First public appearance of the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique for a performance of Brahms Ein Deutsche Requiem in London and Germany


Monteverdi Choir and English Baroque Soloist’s recording of Beethoven Missa Solemnis wins Gramophone Best Choral and Record of the Year Awards


Monteverdi Choir named ‘Best Chorus of the Year’ by the International Classical Music Awards


The 30th anniversary celebration for the Monteverdi Choir at the Guildhall, London including performances of Poulenc and Tavener


The Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique embark on a Beethoven Symphonies Cycle which includes performances in Vienna, New York, Orange County and London


The English Baroque Soloists and Monteverdi Choir spend a year performing all of J.S. Bach’s surviving church cantatas on the liturgical feasts for which they were written to mark the millennium and the 250th anniversary of Bach’s death


The ‘Santiago Pilgrimage’ performing a cappella Spanish polyphony in churches en route from Averyon in the South of France to Santiago de Compostela


Soli Deo Gloria produces its first album (Bach Cantatas: Volume 1) which wins Gramophone Record of the Year


For the first time eight young singers join the choir for a year of performance and training as part of the creation of the Monteverdi Apprentice programme


The first cohort of orchestral apprentices joins the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique


Performances at the BBC Proms, Versailles, Pisa and Durham celebrate the 400th anniversary of Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610


The Choir take part in a ‘Bach Marathon’ - a celebration of Bach’s music lasting 9 hours


Musicians perform at a gala performance at Buckingham Palace joined by our patron, HRH The Prince of Wales

The Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique celebrate their 25th anniversary with concerts in Mexico, London and Budapest

2016 Monteverdi Choir take part in a major world tour of Bach’s St Matthew Passion, which they perform from memory


The English Baroque Soloists, Monteverdi Choir and soloists take part in a landmark tour of Monteverdi’s three surviving operas

50 years since John Eliot Gardiner’s first performance at the V&A Museum, the choir returns for a performance of extracts of Monteverdi’s operas


The Monteverdi Choir and Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique give a moving performance of Verdi’s Requiem at Westminster Cathedral in memory of Stage Manager Richard Fitzgerald


The Monteverdi Choir and English Baroque Soloists performed two semi-staged operas: Handel’s Semele and Berlioz’s Benvenuto Cellini.


Throughout the global pandemic the Monteverdi Choir and Orchestras produced an acclaimed podcast series: John Eliot Gardiner – Monteverdi and his constellation as well as releasing a Bach Cantata of the Week series.


The Monteverdi Choir and Orchestras announced a new creative partnership with St Martin-in-the-Fields.


Starting with a partnership with the Berlin Philharmonic, the year culminates in a tour of J.S. Bach’s Christmas Oratorio at Teatro alla Scala, Milan, Chapelle Royale, Château de Versailles, and at our London home, St Martin-in-the-Fields, which is livestreamed on Deutsche Grammophon’s new online platform STAGE+.


The Monteverdi Choir and Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, conducted by Dinis Sousa, perform Berlioz’s Les Troyens on a critically-acclaimed European tour culminating in a performance at the BBC Proms.


The 60th-anniversary season in 2024 begins with the Monteverdi Choir performing Brahms’s Ein Deutsches Requiem with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, conducted by Dinis Sousa.