About TOV:

Theatre of Voices

(Danish version below)

THEATRE OF VOICES, widely recognized as one of the world’s foremost vocal groups, was founded by Paul Hillier in 1990 and re-established in Denmark when he moved to that country in 2004.  The group presents a wide range of contemporary music, often juxtaposed with elements of early music.  Their programs feature many of today’s most eminent composers - Berio, Pärt, Reich, Cage, Gudmundsen-Holmgreen, Stockhausen - while among their current favourite ‘early’ composers are Perotin, Dowland, and Buxtehude.

Amongst the group’s early successes were the presentation of several new works by Arvo Pärt and the premiere of Steve Reich’s Proverb – written for them – which they recorded for Nonesuch with a quartet of musicians from the composer’s own ensemble. The group then collaborated with the theatre director Peter Sellars in a staged production of Stravinsky’s Biblical Pieces at the Netherlands Opera in Amsterdam. They also performed with John Adams: Grand Pianola Music in Los Angeles, conducted by the composer, and the world-premiere in Paris of his Christmas oratorio El Niño, followed by a DVD recording and performances worldwide.

Theatre of Voices now regularly appears at international venues such as the Edinburgh Festival, Barbican Centre and Carnegie Hall. In 2007 they premiered David Lang’s The Little Match Girl Passion at Carnegie Hall. This piece was commissioned for TOV and won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize; their CD of the work then received a Grammy Award in 2010 – on the group’s 20th anniversary!

In 2008 the group opened the Berliner Festspiele with Stockhausen’s Stimmung - at the composer’s own request – also performing it at the BBC Proms and at venues across Europe and from Mexico to Australia. John Cage is another major figure in modern music who has often been featured by TOV. Most recently the group performed his Sinfonia for 8 voices and orchestra in Casas da Musica, Portugal.

Theatre of Voices enjoys collaborations with some of the world’s finest instrumentalists, among them the Kronos Quartet, London Sinfonietta, Michala Petri, Andrew Lawrence-King, the Smith Quartet. They premiered Gavin Bryar’s ”The Stones of the Arch” with Kronos Quartet at Barbican Centre’s Steve Reich Festival (2007), and the two ensembles have just completed a concert/recording project celebrating Gudmundsen-Holmgreen’s 80th birthday.

In 2009 they commissioned and premiered a chamber opera by Chinese composer Liu Sola – “The Afterlife of Li Jiantong” – at the Royal Danish Opera and the Barbican Centre London, together with three brilliant musicians: Michala Petri (recorder), Andrew Lawrence-King (medieval harp), and Gert Mortensen (percussion). In 2010 Theatre of Voices premiered Gudmundsen-Holmgreen’s Company with London Sinfonietta – this collaboration resulted in more premieres and recording in 2012. David Lang wrote ‘Ark Luggage’ for TOV and Smith Quartet the same year.

The past few years have included tours to Australia, Sweden, UK, Mexico, Denmark, the US, Italy, France, Poland, Belgium, Germany, Portugal, Luxemburg and Holland.

Presently, the group is preparing projects with composers Jóhann Jóhannsson (film project), David Lang, Bent Sørensen, Sunleif Rasmussen and Bryce Dessner (of The National).

The group’s most recent CDs are Stockhausen’s Stimmung (the Copenhagen version), David Lang’s Little Match Girl Passion, Stories (Berio, Cage, Berberian), ‘The Christmas Story’, and Creator Spiritus (Arvo Pärt) - all on Harmonia Mundi USA. On Dacapo-Records TOV has released Buxtehude’s Scandinavian Cantatas – the first in a series of five CDs.

Nominated for Nordic Council Music Prize 2013. More Theatre of Voices on www.theatreofvoices.com and Facebook.

Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen at 80 - London Sinfonietta and Theatre of Voices:
“One of the extreme high points was ‘Song’, in which Theatre of Voices sublimely divided the pitch-black lament ‘Flow my Tears’ by the 16th-century composer John Dowland. Calmly and meticulously, the melancholy verses were chopped up into atoms... And then, along the way, it all came together again in a harshly beautiful, chanting epitaph of desolation in a perfect union of creaky throat sounds and tormented utterances.
And both ensembles played and sang with a musical energy rarely encountered.”
Politiken: 6 hearts.

Buxtehude’s Scandinavian Cantatas:
"The superb musicianship of the six voices and seven instrumentalists make this easy to recommend enthusiastically" Gramophone

Sold out concert in Carnegie Hall 2012 featuring David Lang’s Little Match Girl Passion: ”Sublime” – New York Times

 

THEATRE OF VOICES fejrede i 2010 sin 20 års fødselsdag, og året begyndte med en Grammy for David Lang-cd’en ’The Little Match Girl Passion’.
Gruppen blev grundlagt af sangeren og dirigenten Paul Hillier i USA, men er nu fast etableret i Danmark og benytter hovedsaglig danske og regionale sanger/musikere. Aktuelt repertoire omfatter musik fra Perotin over Dowland, Carissimi og Buxtehude til mange af nutidens mest markante komponister som Berio, Pärt, Reich, Cage,  og Stockhausen. TOV har i de seneste år medvirket i John Adams Grand Pianola Music og hans vidt berejste og berømte El Niño. Ensemblet er fast gæst på bl.a. Edinburgh Festival, på Barbican Centre og i Carnegie Hall i New York, hvor uropførelse af David Langs ‘The Little Match Girl Passion’ fandt sted. Stykket er skrevet til gruppen og vandt i 2008 Pulitzer Prisen. Det år omfattede også tourné med Stockhausen’s Stimmung på BBC Proms, åbningskoncert på Berliner Festspiele efter Stockhausens ønske.

TOV samarbejder med nogle af verdens bedste instrumentalister. Senest har ensemblet uropført Gavin Bryars ”The Stone Arch” med Kronos Kvartetten på Barbican Centre’s store Steve Reich fejring. TOV har netop sunget koncert og CD-indspilning med Kronos - med musik af Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen i anledning af hans 80års fødselsdag.

De seneste år har gruppen turneret i bl.a. Australien, Frankrig, Storbritannien, Sverige, Tyskland, Portugal, Italien, USA, Danmark og Mexico. TOV sang i 2010 uropførelse af Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreens ‘Company’ - skrevet til TOV og London Sinfonietta. Dette samarbejde udviklede sig til en hel portrætkoncert og CD-indspilning i 2012. Den amerikanske komponist David Lang skrev samme år nyt værk til TOV og Smith Quartet (UK). TOV har uropført Liu Sola’s The Afterlife of Li Jiantong på Barbican Centre i London og på Takkelloftet i København med Michala Petri, Andrew Lawrence-King og Gert Mortensen.

Theatre of Voices og Paul Hillier satser i stigende grad på at formidle deres virke gennem workshops og arbejder på formidlingsprojekter med bla Stanford University, Yale/David Lang, University of Central Arkansas, DKDM og i en hel anden boldgade - Bryce Dessner (The National) samt filmprojekt med den islandske Jóhann Jóhannsson.

Udvalg af seneste cd-udgivelser: Cries of London (engelsk barok), Stockhausen’s Stimmung samt David Langs Little Match Girl Passion, Stories med værker af Berio, Marsh, Cage og Berberian, jule-CD’en The Christmas Story og ’Creator Spiritus’ med musik af Arvo Pärt – alle på Harmonia Mundi USA. En ny Buxtehude-serie er blevet præsenteret med: Buxtehude’s Scandinavian Cantatas på Dacapo.

Nomineret til Nordisk Råds Musikpris 2013.

Om Stimmung på Republique under Athelas New Music Festival - Politiken: 6 hjerter
... ren chill out i en god times tid, da seks elitevokalister fra ensemblet Theatre of Voices roligt gik på scenen i løst, lyst tøj, satte sig i skrædderstilling omkring et lavt bord med en rund lampe – og leverede det, de før har opført med stormende succes og også cd-indspillet i deres egen smukke ’Copenhagen Version’: ’Stimmung’ af Karlheinz Stockhausen.. Og det er ren, afspændt hippiefryd. Det lød let, mens strubesang og diverse indiske gudenavne samt alle ugens dage på flere sprog blev flettet sammen i det, der lignede et spontant forløb.
I realiteten var det superkoncentreret partiturforløsning. Men de seks sangere formåede alligevel at formidle ren og skær musikalsk ordleg.

Om ‘Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen 80 år’ i Diamanten – Politiken: 6 hjerter
"det var toppen af poppen, der forløste… Gudmundsen-Holmgreen havde skræddersyet syv værker som en sammenhængende koncert til ..London Sinfonietta og de fire sangere i køberhavnergruppen Theatre of Voices.
Et af de høje højdepunkter var "Song", hvor Theatre of Voices på sublim vis sønderdelte den begsorte klagesang "Flow my Tears" af 1500-tals-komponisten John Dowland. Roligt og minutiøst blev de melankolske vers hugget op i atomer,…Og så samlede det hele sig hen ad vejen i en grumskøn, messende gravskrift over trøstesløsheden med knirkende halslyde og smertelige konstateringer i sjælden forening… begge ensembler spillede og sang med et musikalsk overskud, man skal lede længe efter.”

 

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