Gallicantus

Biographies

Mark Chambers

Since leaving the Royal Northern College of Music in 1992 Mark has performed all over the world with many leading groups and conductors. Solo work has included Bach’s St Matthew Passion and Mass in B Minor with Sir John Eliot Gardiner, performances and a recording of Monteverdi Vespers of 1610 with Paul McCreesh and Bach’s St John Passion with Philip Pickett.

Mark is also in much demand as a choir and ensemble singer, working with many of the world’s leading groups; Tenebrae, Monteverdi Choir, Gabrieli Consort, The Binchois Consort, Ensemble Plus Ultra, Les Jeunes Soliste and Accentus.

Mark has made many recordings including countertenor duets by Purcell and Blow with Ryland Angel, two discs with the The English Cornett and Sackbutt Ensemble, one of Grandi solo motets and another of German Christmas music. Mark also recorded a programme of English song by Rubbra and Vaughan Williams with David Mason to commemorate the centenary of Rubbra’s birth.

David Allsopp

David Allsopp began his musical training as a chorister at Rochester Cathedral and went on to spend three years as a choral scholar at King’s College, Cambridge where he combined singing behind the beat with a degree in computer science. Indecision about what to do next meant that he spent an extra year at King’s as a lay clerk before moving to Westminster Cathedral Choir in 2005 where he spent nearly three years, leaving just before it was noticed that he was hardly ever there.

David sings with many consort groups and has toured extensively both in Europe and further afield. On the solo platform, he has given many performances – although he seems only to be booked for Baroque repertoire, he’s equally at home with renaissance and medieval works and with more modern composers when given the chance. Recent appearances have seen David in venues such as Karlsruhe Opera House, the Musikverein in Vienna and St John’s, Smith Square in London. Despite the vagaries of the British transport system, he continues to live in Cambridge, although he hardly ever works there.

Christopher Watson

After studying music at Exeter University, Christopher Watson held lay clerkships at Durham Cathedral, Christ Church, Oxford and Westminster Cathedral. He now lives in Oxford.

Christopher has made over 40 recordings and is a member of Tenebrae, Alamire and the Gramophone Award winning ensembles The Clerks and The Binchois Consort. He has worked with The Kronos Quartet, Fretwork and Phantasm, sings regularly with The Gabrieli Consort and has made more than 150 appearances with The Tallis Scholars.

Nigel Short

Nigel hails musically from Solihull Parish Church and went on to train at the Royal College of Music in piano, singing and composition before becoming a member in turn of Westminster Abbey Choir, The Tallis Scholars, Westminster Cathedral Choir and finally The King’s Singers. After a lengthy break of 4 years’ skiing in the Swiss Alps he came back to the music world to set up his own professional choir Tenebrae which now, along with his wife Grace and their two children keep him quite busy!

He has sung in opera (Monteverdi, Handel and Britten) all over Europe including several productions with English National Opera and also conducted several concerts with The English Concert and The Chamber Orchestra of Europe both in concert and a recording for Warner Classics. The culmination of all this musical endeavour has seen him secure a place in the vocal ensemble The Pits!

Gabriel Crouch

Gabriel Crouch is Director of Choral Activities and Senior Lecturer in Music at Princeton University. He began his musical career as an eight-year-old in the choir of Westminster Abbey, where he performed a solo at the wedding of HRH Prince Andrew and Miss Sarah Ferguson. After completing a choral scholarship at Trinity College, Cambridge, he was offered a place in the renowned a cappella group The King’s Singers in 1996. In the next eight years he made a dozen recordings on the BMG label (including a grammy nomination), and gave more than 900 performances in almost every major concert venue in the world. Special collaborative projects saw him working and performing with some of the world’s most respected artists, including percussionist Evelyn Glennie, pianists Emmanuel Ax and George Shearing, singer Barbara Hendricks and ‘Beach Boy’ Bruce Johnston.

Since moving to the USA in 2005, first to run the choral program at DePauw University in Indiana, and now at Princeton University, he has built an international profile as a conductor and director, with recent engagements in China and Australia as well as Europe and the United States. He has been musical director of Gallicantus since its inception in 2008, with whom he has released four recordings under the Signum Classics label to rapturous reviews, garnering ‘Editor’s Choice’ accolades in Gramophone and Early Music Review, and, for the 2012 release The Word Unspoken, a place on BBC Radio’s CD Review list of the top nine classical releases of the year. When the academic calendar allows, Gabriel maintains parallel careers in singing and record production, crossing the Atlantic frequently to appear with such ensembles as Tenebrae and The Gabrieli Consort, and in the US, performing recitals of lutesong with such acclaimed lutenists as Daniel Swenberg and Nigel North. As a producer his latest credits have included Winchester Cathedral Choir, The Gabrieli Consort and Tenebrae.

His achievements in the choral world have led to many invitations to adjudicate choral competitions, notably the mixed choir final of ‘Sainsbury’s Choir of the Year’ (televised by the BBC). His work as a singer, coach and musical director has led to his name appearing in the London Times’ list of ‘Great British Hopes’.

William Gaunt

William Gaunt was a chorister at Ripon Cathedral, later becoming a choral scholar at King’s College, Cambridge where he read Classics. Following two years as a Lay Clerk at Christ Church, Oxford, he took up his current post at Westminster Cathedral in 2004.

In addition to these daily choral duties, he maintains an active freelance career in choral, consort and solo singing. He has appeared and recorded with varying degrees of regularity and frequency with such groups as the Gabrieli Consort, Tenebrae, The Sixteen, The Binchois Consort and the BBC Singers. Recent solo engagements have encompassed composers from Purcell to Puccini, via Bach, Mozart, Haydn and Stainer.

About the group

The core of Gallicantus is six highly motivated and skilled singers. Their will to found a specialist six-man group came from many years’ singing together in ensembles. Click on the photos above to display each group member’s personal biography.

GALLICANTUS – ‘COCK CROW’ From the Aberdeen Bestiary – 12th Century

‘The crowing of the cockerel at night is a sweet sound, not only sweet but useful; like a good partner, the cockerel wakes you when asleep, encourages you when worried, comforts you on the road, marking with its melodious call the progress of the night. With the crowing of the cockerel, the robber calls off his ambush; the morning star itself is awakened, rises and lights up the sky; the anxious sailor sets aside his cares, and very often each tempest and storm whipped up by evening winds moderates.’