Harmonia Sacra

Harmonia SacraHarmonia Sacra have launched their new website, for more information please visit www.harmoniasacra.co.uk

Formed by Peter Leech in 2009, specifically for the performance of late-Renaissance and early-Baroque music to the highest standards, Harmonia Sacra received critical acclaim at their inaugural Advent Reflections concert at the church of St Thomas the Martyr, Bristol.

Described as ‘a fine body of singers’ by John Packwood in the Bristol Evening Post, they have delighted audiences with their fresh, inspiring interpretations of choral repertory from many centuries.

Members of the choir come from many parts of the UK for intensive weekends of music-making, culminating in concerts acclaimed for their invigorating choral sound, clarity of tone and texture, and innovative programming.

In June 2010 Harmonia Sacra were invited to perform a programme of music by early seventeenth-century English Recusant musicians (including William Byrd, Richard Dering and Peter Philips) for a Swansea University History conference at Oystermouth. The concert featured a unique and rare exhibition of seventeenth-century books and music associated with the British Isles Recusant community, including the Selosse Manuscript.

This was followed by a highly successful concert of Summer Choral Classics at St Thomas the Martyr in July 2010 which raised funds for an inaugural collaboration with leading period instrument ensemble, Canzona, led by Theresa Caudle, for the November 2010 Advent Reflections concert.

Advent Reflections 2010 featured the Bristol (and possibly UK) premiére performances of excerpts from the Conductus Funebris by Polish baroque composer Grzegorz Gorczycki and Lawrence Whitehead’s Creator alme siderum, composed specially for Harmonia Sacra.

In November 2010 choir also had the great honour to be invited to sing for the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales at the opening of the new Bristol Civil Justice Centre at St Thomas the Martyr.

Victoria’s 1605 Requiem posterOn 8 May 2011 at 7.30 pm Harmonia Sacra performed Tomas Luis de Victoria’s sublime 1605 Requiem to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the composer’s death (1611) at the church of All-Saints-with-St Saviour, Weston-super-Mare, as part of North Somerset Arts Week. The concert was reported by the Weston Mercury as a highlight of the May concert season at All Saints’ Church.





Russian Rococo

On Sunday 3 July 2011 at St Thomas the Martyr, Bristol, the choir performed Russian Orthodox choral works from the reigns of Catherine the Great to Nicholas II. They recorded this repertory for their first CD, select tracks from which were previewed in a BBC Radio 3 documentary, broadcast on Saturday 29 October, 2011, about music at the court of Catherine the Great.





Advent reflection poster 2011Sunday 27 November, 2011, St Thomas the Martyr, Bristol, 6.00 p.m. Advent Reflections, Victoria – Missa Ave Regina Caelorum a8 and other works by Cristobal de Morales, James MacMillan and Lawrence Whitehead.

An excerpt from this concert – Lawrence Whitehead’s new work Christe Redemptor Omnium – can be viewed on Lawrence’s YouTube channel




Cherubim & Seraphim poster

Saturday 12 May, 2012, St Mary Redcliffe, Bristol, 7.30 pm. Cherubim & Seraphim. A special concert to launch our exciting first CD on the Nimbus Alliance label, featuring Russian Orthodox choral music and other works by Robert Parsons and Thomas Tallis.

The CD is now available through the Nimbus website and numerous online music distributors.

For reviews see www.classical.net and www.amazon.co.uk




‘Now the Powers of Heaven’, Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford, Saturday 26 October, 8.00 p.m.







Princely Splendour posterA programme of choral works from 18th-century Rome, focussing on the little-known but splendid princely Jacobite court of Cardinal Henry Benedict Stuart, grandson of King James II. The concert will feature music by Giuseppe Ottavio Pitoni, Giovanni Battista Costanzi and the first modern performances of motets and mass movements by Sebastiano Bolis.

The Princely Splendour programme was recorded on CD and released in May 2013 on Nimbus Alliance. The CD was Recording of the Month for June 2014 with Musicweb International. For a review by choral authority John Sheppard see here.



If you would like to get in touch please email us at the following address: harmoniasacra@gmail.com



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