Blenheim Singers

Oxford’s world class vocal ensemble founded at Blenheim Palace

With its unique link to Blenheim Palace, the Blenheim Singers shares the vision of the Palace’s UNESCO status by building “peace into the minds of men and women” through musical performances of the highest level.

Now celebrating the 10th anniversary since their groundbreaking debut performance in the Palace’s opulent Chapel, audiences continue to be enthralled by the authentic and contemporary musical experiences. In 2016 performances in Germany and France were received passionately with standing ovations.

Blenheim Palace, the seat of the Duke of Marlborough and birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill, is the majestic backdrop for Hollywood film productions such as ‘Harry Potter’ and ‘James Bond 007, Spectre’.

In recognition of the Palace’s namesake, the Blenheim Singers maintains links with Blindheim in Germany, and regularly collaborates with the Bavarian Music Academy.

Upcoming Events

  1. Macmillan ‘A Celebration of Christmas’

    Friday 8 December, 8:00 pm

“Choral music at the highest level. An impressive experience.”

Augsburger Allgemeine

Tom Hammond-Davies

Tom Hammond-Davies, Director

The Blenheim Singers is directed by Tom Hammond Davies, one of the most versatile conductors of his generation and working regularly with musicians from London, Oxford and Cambridge, and top artists from the Royal Opera House.

Tom is also Director and founder of the Oxford Bach Soloists and sings professionally as countertenor Lay Clerk with the multiple Gramophone Award winning Choir of New College Oxford.

Blenheim Singers

2017-2019 programme

For festivals, concert series, arts centres and special events in 2017-18, Blenheim Singers offers four unique programmes: three telling the fascinating story of the music associated with some of the great monarchs of Great Britain, and the fourth presenting Brahms’ greatest choral work.

Gloriana

Gloriana

The Two Elizabeths

A programme celebrating the composers and writers who flourished under the patronage, support and artistic environment during the reigns of Queen Elizabeth I and our present Queen Elizabeth II. 

This concert features some of the finest a cappella singing in a celebration of the music which flourished during the time of these two great monarchs and inspired by the spirit of each age. A truly magical evening of top quality music for any occasion. 

Programme

Sheppard: Libera nos
Tallis: If ye love me
Tallis: O nata lux
Byrd: Haec Dies
Byrd: Ave verum corpus
Byrd: Susanna fair [three-part bawdy song]Byrd: O Lord, make thy servant Elizabeth our Queen
Gibbons: Magnificat and Nunc dimittis ‘Short’
Britten: Choral Dances from ‘Gloriana’

Interval

Bliss: Aubade for a Coronation Morning
Vaughan Williams: Three Shakespeare Songs
Murrill: Two Shakespeare Songs from Twelfth Night
Shearing: Is it for fear to wet a widow’s eye
Shearing: Spring
Rutter: It was a lover and his lass
Rutter: When daisies pied

Encore – Bernstein: Somewhere

Specification
  • Running time: 2 x 45 mins
  • Performers: 12 singers + conductor
  • Cost: £3,190 (plus travel and accommodation if over 100 miles from Oxford)
Restoration

Restoration

The Return of the Monarchy 

1660 saw the return of the Monarchy with the coronation of King Charles II of England, Scotland, and Ireland. Under his reign and the period that followed under James II, William III & Mary II, the arts flourished with European influences, bold new architecture and innovative new writings. The baroque age was born!

This concert celebrates the Restoration with some of the finest instrumental and vocal works of the period. Drawn from both the secular and sacred realms, Restoration is a vibrant and uplifting concert performance on period instruments perfect for a special occasion or festival opening/closing concert.

Programme

Henry Cooke: Put me not to rebuke, O Lord

Pelham Humfrey: By the waters of Babylon

Matthew Locke: Descende Caelo Cincta Sororibus – ‘The Oxford Ode’

Purcell: Hear my prayer

John Blow: God spake sometime in visions

Purcell: My heart is inditing

Purcell: When I am laid in earth + With drooping wings (Dido and Aeneas)

Purcell: Sound the trumpet (Come ye sons of art)

Purcell: ‘Tis wine was made to rule the day

Purcell: O dive custos

Purcell: Thou knowest, Lord the secrets of our hearts Z58c

Encore – Purcell: Thus nature rejoices from Come ye sons of art

Specification
  • Running time: 2 x 50 mins
  • Performers: 18 singers, orchestra + conductor
  • Cost: £9,500 (plus travel and accommodation if over 100 miles from Oxford)
The King Shall Rejoice

The King Shall Rejoice

Händel and the Court of King George II

George Frideric Händel’s first commission as a newly naturalised British subject was to write the music for the 1727 coronation of George II of Great Britain and Queen Caroline. Händel’s music blossomed under his courtly patronage which was further celebrated following the glorious victory over the French at the 1743 Battle of Dettingen.

A strikingly vibrant large scale programme for voices and period instruments celebrating the world of Händel and King George II. Premiered in festivals in Germany and France in 2016, the Blenheim Singers is proud to offer this programme to Festivals across the UK in 2017 as a concert to remember.

Programme

G. F. Händel: ‘Dettingen’ Te Deum
G. F. Händel: Organ Concerto in B flat, Op. 4, No. 2

G. F. Händel: Coronation Anthems
Zadok the Priest
Let thy Hand be Strengthened
The King shall Rejoice
My Heart is Inditing

Encore – G. F. Handel: ‘Hallelujah’ from Messiah

Specification
  • Running time: 2 x 50 mins
  • Performers: 18 singers, orchestra + conductor
  • Cost: £9,500 (plus travel and accommodation if over 100 miles from Oxford)
A German Requiem

A German Requiem

Great music for two pianists and choir

Brahms created the ‘London Version’ of his famous German Requiem in 1869 with piano duet (four hands on one piano). This compact version offers a more intimate and affordable alternative to the full scale work and has become a firm favourite with singers and audiences alike.

Alongside will feature Elgar’s evocative masterpiece ‘From the Bavarian Highlands’ and an exciting recent work by Sebastian Bartmann, ‘Last Letters’.

For this magnificent and moving concert, the Blenheim Singers are joined by 1st prize winners in Krakow, Valberg and Oslo,  Barbara and Sebastian Bartmann – the award winning Bavarian piano duo imPuls.

Programme

Sir Edward Elgar: Scenes from the Bavarian Highlands, Op. 27

Sebastian Bartmann: Last Letters p.s. voices before and beyond

Johannes Brahms: Requiem (London Version), Op. 45

Specification
  • Running time: 1 x 35 mins, 1 x 70 mins
  • Performers: 2 pianists (one grand piano), 16 singers + conductor
  • Cost: £4,750 (plus travel and accommodation if over 100 miles from Oxford)

Enquiries

Blenheim Singers are available for performances at Festivals, Arts Centres, Concert Series and Events. Do get in touch if you would like to discuss any of our programmes on offer for 2017-19.

Blenheim Singers