The Elysian Singers
"Amongst chamber choirs, they're one of the best."
- Sir John Tavener
"that superb choir"
- John Woolrich, Radio 3
Founded in 1986 by Matthew Greenall, the Elysian Singers has established a national reputation as a young and lively chamber choir. We are particularly known for our adventurous programming and have won awards for commissioning new music. Initially formed from choirs in Oxford and Cambridge, we have diversified to embrace singers from all backgrounds, this website now being our main source of new members. We give the majority of our performances in London.
During the past five years the Elysian Singers have given concerts in St John's Smith Square, York Minster, Christchurch Cathedral, Dublin, at Kenwood House and in the Royal Festival Hall foyer. They have also appeared in the televised finals of the 2000 Sainsbury's Choir of the Year competition at the Albert Hall and performed in Windsor Castle and for the Royal Academy of Arts.
The choir has broadcast several times on radio and television in the UK and the USA, including the first broadcast performance of Gorecki's Miserere and Three Lullabies on BBC Radio 3, in the presence of the composer. It has also made several commercial recordings, including Delius' complete part-songs.
The Elysian Singers have forged relationships with a number of contemporary composers, including Alan Bullard, Geoffrey Burgon, Andrew Hugill, Howard Skempton and John Tavener, who said, "Amongst chamber choirs they're one of the best". We have regularly premiered and commissioned works by British composers.
The Elysian Singers' director, Sam Laughton read music at Cambridge, where he was organ scholar at Sidney Sussex College. He founded the Cambridge Baroque Singers, and has since become Director of the Craswall Players and the Shipton Festival. He has worked freelance with the Baylis Programme at ENO and Oxford Philomusica, made two recordings as an organist with River Records and appears regularly at the Battersea Arts Centre and the Stoke Newington Festival.
Matthew Greenall, the Elysian Singers' founder, studied at Balliol College Oxford and the Royal Academy of Music, where he won a number of awards. He subsequently pursued a career as a professional pianist, conductor and teacher. He founded the Elysian Singers in 1986 and was its Director until December 1999. He was appointed Director of the British Music Information Centre in 1996. He is active as a music journalist, and is a particular authority on new music.
Carl Jackson (organ) studied at the Royal Academy of Music under Malcolm Hill and Alan Haverson. He also held organ scholarships at the Chapel Royal, Hampton Court Palace, and at Downing College, Cambridge, where was a pupil of Peter Hurford. After teaching at Hinchingbrooke School, Huntingdon, Whitgift School, Croydon, and St Paul’s Girls’ School, he has been since 1998 Director of Music of Kingston Grammar School. In October 1996, he was appointed Director of Music of the Chapel Royal, Hampton Court Palace. He has broadcast with the chapel choir on BBC Radio 3 and on television, notably in Channel 4’s 25-part series Hampton Court Palace. In 2002 he directed the choir in the Czech Republic—its first ever foreign tour—and was awarded the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal.
Why not visit the Elysian Singers at their own website: