The Rodolfus Choir
The Rodolfus Choir was founded in 1983. Its members, aged up to 25, are chosen from students of the Eton Choral Courses. Each year these six summer courses attract some 350 young singers, and of these a dozen or so of the best are invited to join the Rodolfus Choir. Many of the singers are choral scholars, several are at music college, some are still at school, and many hope to make a career in music. They come from all over the country to sing for a few intensive days during the three main holidays. In recent years the choir has concentrated on recordings and performances within the UK, with the exception of a two-week tour of the US in 2005. It made a great impression at the Gloucester Three Choirs Festival in 1989, and since then has appeared at many other important English Festivals.
The choir has made six CDs on the Herald label, two of music by Francis Grier, one of choral music by Arnold Bax and Pierre Villette, one of English and Scottish folk-song settings (commissioned by Past Times), one of music by C. H. H. Parry, including his Songs of Farewell and some partsongs, one of sacred music by the 18th-century Austrian composer Johann Eberlin, one which features special choral arrangements of favourite instrumental classics, "By Special Arrangement", one of Christmas arrangements and carols and one of German Romantic motets. In January 2000 the choir gave a performance of the Bach B minor mass with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment broadcast on Classic FM, and in the summer of 2001 sang again in the Three Choirs Festival in Gloucester. Regular singing at festivals has recently included the Chiswick Festival and the International Organ and Choral Festival in Dublin.
Clare Stevens wrote in March 2005, in ‘The Singer’:
The sound of the Rodolfus Choir is like that of no other UK chamber choir that I can think of. It is fresh, because all the members are under 25, it is wonderfully blended. It is fantastically in tune and very expressive, with a wide range of dynamics, sensitively employed. What does that leave out? Oh yes, balance - and that too is superb, and it has a quite extraordinary flexibility.