'Anyone familiar with Renaissance music knows that this group has attained superstardom among its ilk' (Boston Globe)
'The rock stars of Renaissance vocal music' (New York Times)
The Tallis Scholars were founded in 1973 by their director, Peter Phillips. Through their recordings and concert performances, they have established themselves throughout the world as the leading exponents of Renaissance sacred music. Peter Phillips has worked with the ensemble to create, through good tuning and blend, the purity and clarity of sound which he feels best serve the Renaissance repertoire, allowing every detail of the musical lines to be heard. It is the resulting beauty of sound for which the Tallis Scholars have become so widely renowned.
The Tallis Scholars perform in both sacred and secular venues, giving around 70 concerts each year. In April 1994 the group enjoyed the privilege of performing in the Sistine Chapel to mark the final stage of the complete restoration of the Michelangelo frescoes. The concert was broadcast live on Italian television and later the same day in Japan. In 1998 they celebrated their 25th Anniversary with a special concert in London's National Gallery including a work by John Tavener, In the Month of Athyr
, written for the group and narrated by Sting. Further performances was given with Sir Paul McCartney in New York in 2000 and with Vanessa Redgrave in Birmingham’s Symphony Hall in 2006.
In recent years, they have performed in Germany, Spain, Italy, the Concertgebouw in the Netherlands, the Cite de la Musique in Paris, throughout the USA, Japan, China, Australia, Singapore, and at many UK venues including Symphony Hall, Bridgewater Hall, Wigmore Hall, London's South Bank Centre and the Royal Albert Hall for the BBC Proms, where they appeared in both July 2007 and July 2008. Concerts in 2006 included their debuts in Iceland, Ravinia and Tanglewood, alongside their second appearance at the Mostly Mozart Festival in New York. 2007 saw their debut at the Edinburgh Festival as well as a return to Moscow.
In February 1994 Peter Phillips and the Tallis Scholars performed on the 400th anniversary of the death of Palestrina in the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, Rome, where Palestrina had trained as a choirboy and later worked as Maestro di Cappella. The concerts were recorded by Gimell and are available on both CD and DVD. The group's second DVD was released in 2003; made in collaboration with BBC television and entitled Playing Elizabeth's Tune, it focuses on the life and works of William Byrd and features performances of the sacred music of Elizabeth I's favourite composer, filmed in the beautiful surroundings of Tewkesbury Abbey. This received a top five-star listing in the French music magazine, Diapason.
Recordings by the Tallis Scholars have attracted many awards throughout the world. In 1987 their recording of Josquins Missa La sol fa re mi and Missa Pange lingua received GRAMOPHONE magazines Record of the Year award, the first recording of early music ever to win this coveted award. In 1989 the French magazine DIAPASON gave two of its coveted Diapason d'Or de lAnnée awards for recordings of a mass and motets by Lassus and of Josquin's two masses based on the chanson L'Homme armé. Their recording of Palestrina's Missa Assumpta est Maria and Missa Sicut lilium was awarded GRAMOPHONE's Early Music Award in 1991; they received the 1994 Early Music Award for their recording of music by Cipriano de Rore; and the same distinction again in 2005 for their disc of music by John Browne. These accolades are continuing evidence of the exceptionally high standard maintained by the Tallis Scholars, and of their dedication to one of the great repertoires in Western classical music.
Visit the Tallis Scholars website at http://www.thetallisscholars.co.uk/
The Tallis Scholars are managed by Hazard Chase.
Peter Phillips blogs at http://tallisman.wordpress.com/