Choir of New College Oxford

oxford_newcollege2Choir of New College Oxford, one of the most prestigious vocal ensemble of the United Kingdom, has a long history. Among the few „Oxbridge” choirs (a blend word referring to the two historical educational centre, University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge) that have continuously been active since the 14th century. The choir was founded by William Wykeham, founder of New College University. Initially it numbered sixteen boys; today, however, the number of members has grown up to thirty. In the middle ages, beyond their duty of singing university students – who used to have high social status – had the right to order the boys to serve – by bringing a pint of beer, for instance.

Today, the choir is considered to be one of the leading vocal ensembles with a repertoire ranging all types of church music: in addition to the Anglican songs and psalms they perform celestial harmonies by Bach, Purcell, Palestrina and Fauré.

Their regular activity includes singing practice in chapels, recordings and stage performances as well. Members are entitled to receive allowance for their services but, as the most important benefit, their future career will be promoted by their choir practice.

Gifted Oxford resident boys between seven and thirteen are wellcome in the choir. Each January auditions are held in order to pick new members for the choir. Clear, tingling sound, typical of young boys bringing soprano and alto parts, and a vigorous style are ubiquitous characteristics of their performance.

Thank to its extended tours worldvide, the unique music experience provided by the choir is available in many countries now at their uplifting concerts. Beyond that, they contributes to the services at their church so everyone who walks in to participate at evening services can listen to the „choir of angelic voices”.

In recognition of its achievements the choir has been awarded with many prestigious awards. Almost eighty CD-s, reflecting its success, make the choir’s name well-known all around the world.

Robert Quinney, organist, assistant professor, conductor is apparently succesful in juggling with his complex tasks: in addition to the guidance of the choir’s preparations and education, he teaches and conducts examinations at the historical institute.

Quinney is well-known by the audience as the organist of  Westminster Abbey; he performed at the wedding ceremony of the Prince and Princess of Cambridge, Prince William and Kate Middleton – an event that has gone down in history. According the estimates nearly two million people followed the live wedding broadcast and listened to the marvelous play of the organist.

Concert times and venues:
20.00, 30 May Budapest – Mátyás Church
19.30, 31 May Debrecen – Great Church
19.30, 1 June Nyíregyháza – Co-cathedral of Our Lady of Hungary
19.30, 2 June Pécs – Basilica