Choir of King’s College, Aberdeen
The Choir of King’s College, Aberdeen is made up of 16 choral scholars who sing at weekly services and at other special occasions, such as the popular Carol Service held each year in St Machar’s Cathedral. They are the successors to the original Vicars Choral appointed by Bishop Elphinstone at the foundation of the University in 1495 to sing the Daily Office. In addition to the regular pattern of services, the choir performs concerts in Aberdeen, the UK and internationally, as well as singing services in English cathedrals. Recent tours have included an invitation to return to Budapest in 2014 after an earlier tour which was particularly well received, and a week in residence at Canterbury Cathedral. As well as live appearances, the choir has broadcast on national radio and television.
The choir’s repertoire extends from plainchant and early polyphony, which would have been familiar to Elphinstone’s contemporaries, to new works specially written for the choir. The ecumenical nature of worship in Chapel enables the choir to sing music from many different traditions.
The choir has worked with distinguished musicians such as Ralph Allwood, James O’Donnell and Emma Kirkby. Future plans include a recording of music by Peter Philips and Richard Dering with the Rose Consort of Viols.
David J. Smith
David J. Smith was Organ Scholar at St Peter’s College, Oxford, before becoming the first John Brookman Graduate Organ Scholar at Wadham College, where he completed his doctorate on the instrumental music of Peter Philips (1560/61-1628). He became Assistant Director of Music at the University of Aberdeen in 1994, served as Head of Music from 2009 to 2013, and is now Master of Chapel and Ceremonial Music and Organist to the University.
David is an organist, harpsichordist, recorder player and accompanist. As a keyboard player, David specialises in early keyboard music from England and the Netherlands, and in improvisation: “David J. Smith is renowned for his improvisations... he gave us a sturdy Prelude and Fugue in the German Baroque style and... he brought the recital to a close with a Toccata-like modern piece, full of wonderful sharp edges, twists and turns and excellent good humour.”
David directs King’s College Chapel Choir at the University of Aberdeen. Future plans on the Vox Regis label include a recording of music by Peter Philips and Richard Dering with the Rose Consort, making use of his forthcoming edition of their consort music which will be published as Volume 101 in the scholarly series, Musica Britannica.
Rose Consort of Viols
The Rose Consort of Viols takes its name from the celebrated family of viol makers, whose work spanned the growth and flowering of the English consort repertoire. The Consort performs throughout the UK and Europe, has appeared regularly on the BBC and in the major London concert halls, and has also featured at festivals in Canada and the USA, and as a guest ensemble at the Pan-Pacific Gamba Gathering in Hawaii.
Concerts frequently include guest singers; the vocal groups Red Byrd, Stile Antico and the BBC Singers; and lutenists Jakob Lindberg and Jacob Heringman. The Consort has received awards for its research and performance of newly devised programmes, and has investigated some of the earliest viol consort repertory using instruments modelled on those painted by Lorenzo Costa in 1497. Recent engagements have included performances in Drongen, Belgium; at the Trigonale Festival in Austria (including the premiere of a specially commissioned piece by Judith Bingham); and a performance in Florence with I Fagiolini of Striggio’s Mass in 40 parts.
The Rose Consort has made a number of highly acclaimed recordings, including Adoramus Te, with music by Byrd and Philips (shortlisted in the 2015 Gramophone awards); Serenissima, featuring Renaissance consort music from around Europe played on Venetian-style viols made by Richard Jones (selected as ‘Chamber Choice’ by BBC Music Magazine); and most recently Mynstrelles with Straunge Sounds, using the ‘Costa’ viols in music from Italy, Spain and England. Members of the Rose Consort are in demand as tutors on courses at Benslow Music (Hitchin) and throughout the world.