The Miller Theatre Continues 2014-15 Early Music Series with SACRED MUSES Tonight

Miller Theatre at Columbia University School of the Arts continues the 2014-15 Early Music series with SACRED MUSES an exploration of the works of William Byrd featuring The Tallis Scholars and Peter Philips, director. Tonight, December 13, 2014, 8:00 p.m. at the Church of St. Mary the Virgin (145 West 46th Street)
Tickets: $40-$55 • Students with valid ID: $21-$27

Early Music

Tonight, December 13, 2014, 8:00 p.m.

Sacred Muses

Church of St. Mary the Virgin (145 W. 46th Street)
The Tallis Scholars have introduced audiences around the world to the wonders of vocal polyphony, and they have deservedly become a staple of Miller's Early Music series. The group's purity of sound is showcased in this program, dedicated to the works of William Byrd. Ye sacred muses captures Byrd's deep sorrow upon the death of his friend and mentor, Thomas Tallis, while a selection of Latin motets from Byrd's first publication,Cantiones sacrae, demonstrates the breadth of his artistry, from the exuberance of Vigilateto the restrained yearning of Ne irascaris, Domine. Works from Byrd's predecessors round out the evening.

The Tallis Scholars

The Tallis Scholars were founded in 1973 by their director, Peter Phillips. He has worked with the ensemble to create the sound which he feels best serves the Renaissance repertoire, allowing every detail of the musical lines to be heard.

The Tallis Scholars' career highlights have included a tour of China in 1999, including two concerts in Beijing, and the privilege of performing in the Sistine Chapel in April 1994. In that same year, Peter Phillips and The Tallis Scholars performed on the 400th anniversary of the death of Palestrina in the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, Rome. In 2013 the group celebrated their 40th anniversary with a World Tour performing 99 events in 80 venues in 16 countries, and were inducted into the Gramophone Hall of fame. Their new recording of the Missa Gloria tibi Trinitas by the 16th Century Tudor composer, John Taverner, enjoyed six weeks at number one in the UK Specialist Classical Album Chart.

Much of The Tallis Scholars' reputation for their pioneering work has come from their association with Gimell Records, set up by Peter Phillips and Steve Smith in 1980 solely to record the group. In 1998 they celebrated their 25th Anniversary with a special concert in London's National Gallery, premiering a Sir John Tavener work written for the group and narrated by Sting. A further performance of this work was given with Sir Paul McCartney in New York in 2000.

In 1987 their recording of Josquin's Missa La sol fa re mi and Missa Pange lingua receivedGramophone magazine's Record of the Year award, the first recording of early music ever to win this coveted award. In 1989 the French magazine Diapason gave them two of its Diapason d'Or de l'Année awards. Their recording of Palestrina's Missa Assumpta est Maria and Missa Sicut lilium was awarded Gramophone's Early Music Award in 1991; they received the 1994 Early Music Award for their recording of music by Cipriano de Rore; and the same distinction again in 2005 for their disc of music by John Browne. The Tallis Scholars were nominated for Grammy Awards in 2001, 2009, and 2010.

Peter Philips

Peter Phillips (b. 1953) has made an impressive if unusual reputation for himself in dedicating his life's work to the research and performance of Renaissance polyphony. Having won a scholarship to Oxford in 1972, Peter Phillips studied Renaissance music with David Wulstan and Denis Arnold. He founded the Tallis Scholars in 1973, with whom he has now appeared in almost 2000 concerts and made nearly 60 discs, encouraging interest in polyphony all over the world.

Apart from The Tallis Scholars, Peter Phillips continues to work with other specialist ensembles, currently appearing regularly with the Choeur de Chambre de Namur, Intrada of Moscow, Musica Reservata of Barcelona, and the Tudor Choir of Seattle. He has made numerous television and radio appearances, on BBC Radio 4 and the World Service as well as on German, French, Canadian, and North American radio, where he has enjoyed deploying his love of languages. Peter also works extensively with the BBC Singers with whom he gave a Promenade concert, in collaboration with the Tallis Scholars, from the Royal Albert Hall in July 2007.

As well as leading numerous master classes and choral workshops every year, Peter Phillips is Artistic Director of the Tallis Scholars Summer Schools-annual choral courses based in Uppingham (UK), Seattle (USA), and Sydney (Australia) dedicated to exploring the heritage of renaissance choral music, and developing an appropriate performance style. Peter has recently been appointed a Reed Rubin Director of Music at Merton College, Oxford, where the new choral foundation he helped to establish began singing services in October 2008.

In 2005 Peter Phillips was made a Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Minister of Culture, a decoration intended to honor individuals who have contributed to the understanding of French culture in the world.

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